Big Move # 7 - Identity Focal Points

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What do Identity Focal Points mean in Lewisville?

A key concept behind this Big Move is to recognize Lewisville’s enormous expanses of commercial corridors. Due to the scale of existing commercial corridors and challenges along their lengths, it is recommended that portions of the City be addressed individually. This is not to say existing corridors should be ignored. Rather, a “one size fits all” broad brush for the entire City is not practical.

Public investments for aesthetic enhancements and redevelopment strategies for all commercial corridors within the City are extremely costly endeavors and not feasible with existing resources. In addition, redevelopment of commercial corridors is a very long term commitment, likely taking decades to accomplish. Thus, a series of special development events, or Identity Focal Points, should be implemented at the most highly visible intersections and gateways to form new identity. The nodes of development would create interesting pulse points, destinations and sense of place for the City. Identity Focal Points can help to establish regional gateway into the City and when combined with Old Town, provide a hierarchical system of mixed use community centers. These nodes of redevelopment will create focal areas in which new investment can be directed.

This Big Move is closely related to other identity, new housing and employment strategies. Private development should be coordinated with public investment to create unique mixed-use and redevelopment sites at targeted locations. These targeted node locations would include a concentrated mix of new development and redevelopment, both scenarios offering retail, employment and residential uses. Their site plans would promote walkable destinations with emphasis on the pedestrian scale. First floor non-residential uses could be located with vertically-mixed uses above, such as mixed-use type residential units. The areas between these Identity Focal Points would continue to redevelop over time. Lewisville should consider a master developer for each and encourage developments at three identity focal points:

  • A Southern Gateway at the Intersection of SH 121 and IH 35E:Southern Gateway
    • The intersection of SH 121 and IH 35E is a major architectural and landuse regional gateway into Lewisville. There was consensus that efforts should be taken to support the strengthening of this district through new investment in existing buildings, new development, and area landscaping. Specifically, this would involve the addition of a denser pattern of mixed-use development on the southern portion of the retail strip east of IH 35E, and the densification of land use on the mall property.

      Currently, this area is defined by suburban-style pad sites, commercial strip development, and large green aprons within the IH 35E right of way. Vista Ridge Mall no longer is directly visible from IH 35E, and the aging pad site experience dominates this district. As this is cash-flowing real estate, redevelopment would be costly and existing ownership may not be motivated.

      There should be an economic incentive program established to help mitigate the cost of infill development aimed at improving the Corridor experience. The City is encouraged to work with TxDOT in a landscaping regimen for the right-of-way aprons to better define the visual design of the highway edges.

      Southern Gateway Programming Opportunities: 46 acres of mixed-use

  • A Northern Gateway just past the Lake Lewisville bridge:Northern Gateway
    • This area of Lewisville is perceived as one with the biggest potential for development due to proximity to surrounding amenities, including Lewisville Lake and the transit station. The entrance of IH 35E into the City of Lewisville is a major landscape and land use regional gateway. There was consensus that efforts should support strengthening this district through new investment, new development and area landscaping. Specifically, this involves working with the private sector to create a mixed-use district on the west side of the gateway that would be marked by residential, retail and office uses, as well as a major regional hospitality development on land along the lake.

      There are several funding opportunities including Public Bonds, PIDs, TIFs, New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC), and the 380 Agreement. The City is encouraged to work with related property owners and developers to achieve the following action items.

      Northern Gateway Programming Opportunities: 14 acres of low density single family, 143 acres of Lewisville’s Green Centerpiece, 81 acres of mixed use

  • A Central Node at Business 121 and IH 35E:Central Node
    • This intersection is key to Lewisville’s regional profile as it marks the center of the City from the regional view, and is in the midst of TxDOT right-of-way acquisition that has opened up new property for reinvestment. As such, the real estate community should be incentivized to redevelop the broader properties around this intersection to provide a stronger sense of identity and physical improvement.

      This area of Lewisville is considered one of the greatest catalyst’s for change due to the Business 121/IH 35E interchange. The convergence of these two regional corridors give rise to many redevelopment opportunities.

      The City is encouraged to work with related property owners and developers to achieve a new land use plan, connection concept to the Green Centerpiece, improved transportation flow, and key redevelopment on catalytic sites. There are several funding opportunities including Public Bonds, PIDs, TIFs, New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC), and the 380 Agreement.