2018 "State of the City" Address
On Tuesday, Feb. 26 Depute Mayor Pro Tem Brandon Jones presented the 2019 "State of the City" video to a joint luncheon of the Lewisville, Flower Mound and Highland Village business communities. The presentation included video highlights of 2018 achievements and projects planned for 2019.
A city starts with its infrastructure – the streets, drainage, utilities, parks, and other public facilities that make city life possible. Lewisville made great strides on infrastructure projects during 2018.
Last January, Lewisville started collecting a Stormwater Drainage Utility Fee that will be used to fund more than $30 million in priority drainage projects around the city. The first of those projects will be the second phase of the Timber Creak streambank stabilization project. A design contract was awarded in December.
Design work also continues on the Corporate Drive project, which will connect from Railroad Street across the Trinity River and through Castle Hills into Plano; and on the Timberbrook neighborhood improvements, which will revitalize the neighborhood with new streets, drainage, utilities, and sidewalks.
In the public safety realm, Lewisville opened two new fire stations during 2018 – a relocation of Station 3 to FM 3040 near the Convergence Center, and a brand new Station 8 on Josey lane in East Lewisville. These new stations, and the 18 new firefighters hired to staff Station 8, will bring faster response times to residents and businesses in the southeast and southwest corners of Lewisville. A $4.9 million Safer Grant was received to pay for the new firefighters for three years, allowing the city to use budgeted money to replace its reserve ladder truck.
Speaking of businesses, Lewisville continues to be a popular choice for local, regional, national, and even global businesses.
In November, Mary Kay opened its $120 million manufacturing and R&D facility on south Lewisville, bringing more than 400 employees to the area with more being added soon.
Late last year, California-based Zion Market announced it had purchased the vacant Sears building at Music City Mall and plans to open a major Asian marketplace. The current timeline calls for an opening date in late summer or early fall of this year.
Ericsson, the largest wireless network vendor in the United States, is opening its largest training center in the country this month in Lewisville. DJO Global, a company that makes orthopedic devices to improve personal mobility, is moving its corporate headquarters and 200 jobs to Lewisville this year.
Innovative IDM, an industrial process control and Innovations company, is moving to Lewisville and will build a 100,000-square-foot facility. Chicago-based First Industrial Realty Trust will build two buildings in the $14 million first phase of its new development on Midway Road.
And there are more announcements coming. The secret is out – Lewisville is a great place to do business, and companies are looking to Lewisville for development, growth, and expansion.
The city took several important steps last year to facilitate commercial development. A new overlay district for the 35E corridor was adopted, giving direction and setting high standards for redevelopment of this key passage through Lewisville.
City Council also adopted small area plans for Old Town North and Southwest Lewisville. These plans, created with extensive input from property owners in each area, carry out the Lewisville 2025 vision an apply it very specifically to two target areas within the city.
The city also took major steps toward future annexation of the Castle Hills master planned community. Work has been done to assess the public infrastructure in Castle Hills, including streets, utilities, and parks. Lewisville also has expanded its police presence in Castle Hills, adding up to 16 hours of dedicated neighborhood patrol each day.
A key accomplishment was formation of a Tax Increment Financing District covering the last two phases of the Castle Hills development. This TIF, formed jointly with Denton County, creates a future funding source for infrastructure investments in those two districts. With the formation of the TIF, a major financial hurdle was cleared. As a result, annexation is likely to happen as early as July 2021, bringing more than 20,000 new residents into Lewisville.
The housing boom in Old Town gained momentum during 2018, with new construction and new residents in six projects totaling more than 250 residential units, ranging from single-family detached to single-family townhome to Old Town’s first condominium units.
That trend will continue in 2019 when construction is expected to begin on two upscale multi-family projects near the DCTA Old Town Station, giving Lewisville the type of viable transit-oriented community with strong appeal for young mobile professionals seeking a walkable urban experience.
This new housing opportunity will help link the commuter rail with the historic core of Old Town. Another very important connection will be the Main Street Corridor project, which started construction in January and will continue into September. It will beautify the short distance between downtown and the rail station, increasing interest for visitors, residents, and businesses. That project will be followed by the Mill Street Corridor project, which will stretch the Old Town core district south to the new Mill Street Elementary School opening this fall.
The emphasis on residential growth in Old Town is a major initiative from the Lewisville 2025 vision plan, created by residents in 2014 and used by City Council and city staff to guide the development of Old Town into a vibrant place to live, work, and visit.
No city can succeed without considering the quality of life experienced by its residents. The 2018 Resident Satisfaction Survey showed that 91 percent of residents are satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of life in Lewisville, and 85 percent would recommend Lewisville to a friend or relative considering a move to the North Texas area.
What’s more, nearly 55 percent of survey respondents said Lewisville has improved as a community during the time they’ve lived here, the first time more than half the people marked that answer in five years of asking that question.
But why is Lewisville’s quality of life so good? There are dozens of reasons, from good schools to safe streets to friendly neighbors. But last year brought several milestones that show how Lewisville’s quality of life continues to improve.
In May, Lewisville Public Library opened The Hive makerspace. And two months later, the library opened its Digital Media Lab. These interactive spaces allow library card holders to create amazing handiworks, manipulate digital media files or all types, and build relationships with their friends and neighbors.
In July, the Parks and Recreation Department broke ground on Thrive, a new 87,.000-square-foot multigenerational recreation center. When it opens in 2020, it will feature an indoor natatorium, double gymnasium, indoor walking track, expanded fitness area, community rooms, and an indoor playground for children. It also will include more than 14,000 square feet of space dedicated to activities for senior adults.
Public Art made a dramatic appearance in Lewisville during 2018. The city’s first piece of permanent public art, Earth & Beyond, was dedicated during April’s ColorPalooza festival on the grounds of the Medical City Lewisville Grand Theater. Two privately-funded murals – one at J2 Steakhouse and one on Beside the Bride – brought splashes of color to Old Town. And three more public art projects were started in 2018, two of which will be completed by the middle of 2019.
The Visitor Information Center debuted a new heritage exhibit in September that tells the history of Lewisville Lake. This fall, the city will work with Denton County Office of Culture and History to stage an exhibit at MCL Grand celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Texas International Pop Festival. And if visiting an exhibit is not enough celebrating for you, plan on coming to a two-day retrospective concert on Labor Day weekend. Live Nation, the leading entertainment booking company in North America, has been hired to retain performers in this tribute to the original 1969 event.
This May, be sure to stop by Lewisville Lake Park to experience The Wall That Heals. This three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. travels the country to bring a meaningful experience to people from coast to coast. It will make its first Lewisville visit, and its only North Texas visit of 2019, on May second through fifth.
There are so many great things happening in Lewisville, from commercial development to thriving neighborhoods to family-friendly festivals and concerts. We invite you to be a part of it by choosing to live, work, and visit in Lewisville, Texas.