Companies continue Harvest development

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The developers of a planned residential and mixed-use community near Argyle and Northlake have begun to turn 1,000 acres of empty land into what they hope will be a $1 billion development.

The Harvest development, located near the northwest corner of Interstate 35W and FM407, is a joint project between Dallas-based businesses Hillwood Communities and Realty Capital Management. Last week, Argyle and Northlake leaders and developers from the two companies conducted a ceremonial groundbreaking just prior to the start of construction.

The development sits within two special taxing districts, which allows each district’s board of directors to set and collect property taxes to be used to repay municipal bonds used to build out the development.

The residential development, formerly known as Belmont Village, was announced in 2005, and Realty Capital began making land purchases for the project in 2006.

The Argyle and Northlake councils approved a development agreement with Realty Capital in 2006, and in 2007, Denton County approved the creation of the two special districts, Belmont Fresh Water supply districts No. 1 and No. 2.

In 2007, however, the housing market weakened and the economic climate forced the development to stall, Hillwood Communities President Fred Balda said.

But this year, Hillwood Communities partnered with Realty Capital, and the project got back on track, Balda said.

During the Nov. 6 election, a single resident in the fresh water district No. 1 voted to give the district’s board of directorsthe ability to set an unlimited maintenance tax rate.

However, voters in the second district voted 11-8 against an identical proposition.

Despite the one failed proposition, developers proceeded with construction.

According to officials with Hillwood Communities, lots for homes should be available to builders by spring 2013.

About 250 lots will be developed by spring 2013, Balda said. A total of 2,500 homes could be built, which will take 10 to 12 years, he said. Retail construction won’t start until at least 2016 or 2017, he said.

The development, which sits a few miles north of Texas Motor Speedway, will also include about 130 acres for offices, shops and restaurants, according to information on the Hillwood Communities website. During a presentation at an Argyle council meeting, officials said homes in the development are expected to cost between $200,000 and $400,000.

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is jharden@dentonrc.com .


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