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Mixed-use project near White Rock Lake gets zoning change from city council

The Trailhead development would include apartments and retail at Grand and Gaston avenues.

Developers who want to build a mixed-use project at the north end of Grand Avenue near White Rock Lake are optimistic the project will go forward thanks to new zoning approved by Dallas’ city council.

Builder Mill Creek Residential wants to build a retail and apartment project at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Garland Road.

Called The Trailhead, the project would include about 300 rental units plus restaurant and retail space. The almost 4-acre development would take the place of vacant commercial buildings that previously housed a bar, restaurant and other uses.

The project would include a pedestrian link to the adjacent Santa Fe Trail, which runs to the lake and downtown Dallas.

The development plan calls for a public plaza area and new entrance to the trails.

The council voted unanimously on Wednesday to give the developer extra height for the project in return for contributing 9% of the proposed rental units to affordable housing.

Some neighbors in the area had fought for months to kill the development on the grounds that it would add to traffic and density. Opponents of the plan had also claimed the project — which is next to White Rock Creek — will tower over the lake.

The Texas Department of Transportation is set to give the adjoining intersection of Garland, Grand and Gaston a complete remake with a new traffic layout.

The Trailhead developers are also required to contribute to pedestrian and vehicle improvements next to their property.

“This project is a mixed-use, trail-oriented mid-rise that brings good planning and smart design to a blighted corner,” Michael Blackwell, senior managing director of Mill Creek Residential, told the council. “We’ve listened to the community and made further accommodations to lower the height and increase the workforce housing.”

In approving a zoning change, the council required Mill Creek to cut the height below the most recent request. The building will be a maximum of about six floors.

Mill Creek officials say they are still evaluating the council’s action and will have to make the design changes laid out in the zoning action.

Planning and design of the project has been led by TBG Partners and Architect GFF, both based in Dallas.

The Trailhead includes a new pedestrian connection to the adjacent Santa Fe Trail.
The Trailhead includes a new pedestrian connection to the adjacent Santa Fe Trail.(TBG Partners)

Steve Brown, Real Estate Editor. Steve covers commercial and residential real estate in Dallas-Fort Worth.

stevebrown@dallasnews.com @SteveBrownDMN
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