There has been so much mis-information in the city about the potential project being proposed for the 37.5 acres on HWY 377 in front of Milestone Church and I wanted to try and clear up as much of it as I can.
The first question really needs to be what do we want on this property. The no growth group in Keller is trying to scare everyone as usual. The property in question has been zoned commercial for over thirty (30) years. Over the last thirty (30) years if the property were going to develop with retail it would have already happened. By right the property can be developed as warehouses and will not come before council. As an example the seven (7) acres on the north side of this property is going to be developed as warehouses. The Texas Legislature this past year based a law keeping cities from enforcing their building standards. Council can not stop it due to the zoning and we can not control the materials to used to build the warehouses. North 377 is our main entrance into Keller from Westlake and Roanoke and I do not want to see warehouses to be what people see when they come into our town. People in town complain about storage facilities and chicken restaurants on 1709 I can not imagine what will be said about warehouses in front of one of our larger housing developments. Click on the link below to see what is already coming on the seven (7) acres.
The project proposed for the property in front of 377 would be a Mixed Use development. As proposed it will have apartments, retail, restaurants, single family homes, and office space. It will require a council approved Planned Development. The property is currently owned by Hanover Properties and they have owned it for eight-teen (18) years. They have attempted to build on the property several times (if you want to learn more about these attempts just reach out) and Keller has denied the projects making Hanover ready to get out of our city.
Now we have Realty Capital coming to Keller wanting to buy the property from Hanover and build a Mixed Use Development. Let me be clear I am NOT in favor of the project as presented, but I am however very willing to work with the developer to find a way to develop the property in a way that is best for all of Keller. There are four major issues that I hear about when discussing this project. They are: 1) school over crowding, 2) property values going down, 3) traffic, and lastly 4) crime. I'd like to address all four of them and share facts to back the positions I'm sharing.
School Over Crowding
I talked to KISD and apartments in the district deliver .3 kids per apartment for K-12. So if council agreed to 550 apartments then it would deliver 165 new students K-12. Also according to KISD the elementary school in Marshall Ridge is not over crowded and could handled the kids that 550 apartments might generate. I did however ask that if for some reason the apartments delivered more kids than the average the district has solutions to bus the kids to other feeder schools for Keller High School. Also remember that our schools only get money when they get kids. Not getting these kids in KISD does not all of the sudden get more money per student in the district.
I asked Realty Capital to compare property values around other projects they have done with similar components to see if they reduced property values. They did not reduce property values. You can review the entire presentation by clicking on the link at the bottom of the blog.
In 2007, Keller Police Department did a study on the crime in apartments in Keller. The study showed that the crime from the apartments we no higher than the rest of Keller (I'll be happy to share the study). Realty Capital also looked at crime around their other properties and they had zero impact on crime. The full presentation details the review of crime around their other projects.
Realty conducted a traffic study and in summary this project will have very limited impact to the traffic. The company that did the study is a very reputable firm and they said that the wait time on 377 would only increase by less than 10 seconds. The traffic from the church would be greatly improved on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday because there will be a direct connection from the church parking lot to 377 taking the impact off of Mt. Gilead and Marshal Ridge Pkwy. I have the 150 page traffic study and will be more than happy to share i with anyone wanting to read it.
Realty Capital Full Presentation
So in summary, I believe if we do not work with Realty Capital we will get more warehouses. In a Planned Development we can negotiate with the developer to get the building standards and materials we want. We can get the community amenities such as additional trails and community lawn. We can get business services like dry cleaners. We can get multiple restaurants and a coffee shop. Let's use facts to guide our decisions and bring high quality development to Keller. If I can answer any questions please feel free reach out.