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Disappointing Development?

Spotlight on Community

Destination Resort Coming to Rowlett - Not?

This past fall we were all agog over Bayside. I'd just heard the developer of this coming community discuss what was planned for the sliver of land near the DalRock exit on the I-30 Bridge. Oh my goodness! What a treat it was going to be. It took a series of posts to cover it all.

According to the developer there would be a destination-style resort planted right there. Rowlett was going to be put on the map and people would flock from all over the world to enjoy the acres of fun - a white sand beach, a Las Vegas style fountain, a Klyde-Warren type park, luxury condos, resort hotel, millennial focused entertainment, free trolley rides - the list went on and on.

I imagined what that would mean for Rockwall, for The Harbor, for Chandler's Landing, for The Heath Golf and Yacht Club. Then I began to watch the western side of the DalRock exit where houses were supposed to start popping up any day. Well, the houses never popped up. In fact, what popped up looks like a multi-story parking lot.

Just More of the Usual MUD

Then Bill forwarded me this article, New Developer on Rowlett's $1B Bayside Project Puts Crystal Lagoon Plans in Flux. "Plans for the 8-acre Crystal Lagoon, which was to be the centerpiece at Bayside, are in discussion, the developers say." This was disappointing news to me. I had already envisioned sitting at one of the upscale millennial foodie spots watching the fountain display all its glory.

"We are digging deeper to learn what kinds of trends are occurring in this market, especially in the types of amenities people want — we have to be market-driven in order to be sustainable," the new developer went on to explain. Just for the record, a white sand beach, show fountain, multi-use park, etc. etc. etc. sounded pretty good to me and to most of the people I talked to about the development.

Here's my fear. The dream will be downsized and all we'll get is The Harbor Part Duex! Someone will do a cost-benefit analysis and they'll find out how many apartments they could stuff into that fountain and white sand beach. Yawn.

Market driven? You mean downsizing spaces and making them environmentally friendly. You mean bare bones restaurants serving weird food? You mean matching donations to the charity du jour? You mean more monochromatic clean lines? I was really hoping for something breaking out of the modern box and actually being both beautiful and fun.

I hope I'm wrong, but it sounds as if the new developer went and bought a copy of Wringing the Most Money Possible Out of Multi-Use Developments and Justifying It by Citing Market Trends. What do you think?

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