(ROCKWALL, TX – September 29, 2015) Ebby Halliday Realtors was treated to an informative presentation regarding several upcoming projects from the cities of Rockwall, Heath, Garland and Rowlett during a Mayors’ Forum held on Sept. 16 at Waterview Golf Club.
The real estate agency welcomed Rowlett Mayor Todd Gottel, Garland Mayor Douglas Athas, Rockwall Mayor Jim Pruitt and Heath Mayor Lorne Liechty as they each spoke of the highlights of their respective cities and of major developments currently underway.
Mayor Liechty spoke on the City of Heath’s Capital Improvement Plan which will improve the roads, the water system, the trails and the entire infrastructure throughout the city in preparation for incoming growth. With over $20 million in the CIP budget, the CIP will prioritize improving roads and building new water lines to attract more businesses into Heath, while also focusing on high quality residential development. New developments such as Falcon Point, Heath Crossing and the Heath Golf and Yacht Club – an 820-acre development located in the very southwest corner of Heath bringing 1,236 homes and a 27-hole golf course to the area – will keep that sense of community Liecthy said the city continues to strive for.
“People in Heath want to maintain that sense of community, and that’s what we’re working for, that’s what we’re striving to do,” Liechty said. “We’re going to see that the expansion we’re about to experience and the growth we’re experiencing now is going to all be done with the goal of maintaining that good community and hometown feel everybody there likes.”
Perhaps one of the biggest projects currently in progress is a $1.5 billion development called Bayside at the site of the old Elgin B. Robertson Park off Dalrock Road. Mayor Gottel presented the project which will encompass 1.7 million square feet of commercial space, 3,000 residential units on 257 acres, retail, multi-family living, condos, hotel and entertainment center, plus a six-acre clean lagoon with sandy beaches connecting the north and south ends of the development with a trolley for transportation access to both ends.
According to Gottel, the development will completely transform the city of Rowlett and the surrounding areas, and looks to be completely built out within the next 8-10 years.
Mayor Athas told of a $1 billion data center coming to Garland and the importance of getting a complete rebuild of I-635 completed so that the city can accommodate traffic coming from Greenville, Heath, and other areas surrounding the region. Athas said the I-635 rebuild will be the next number one project in all of North Texas because of the highway’s important position in helping communities within the region to accommodate future growth.
“If this quarter becomes congested, it chokes off growth for all of us,” Athas said. “So it’s very important we get it changed.”
Rockwall Mayor Jim Pruitt agreed that a big focus for all of the mayors present included improving Interstate 30, voicing his concern that a backed-up I-30 causes more people travel through the middle of Rockwall on State Highway 66, effectively gridlocking the streets and preventing police, fire from getting to their destinations quickly in the event of an emergency. He said the next step would be to convince the North Texas Council of Governments and TxDOT that Rockwall County and the surrounding area needs an access route across I-30.
“They’ve just about decided – through our state senator and our state representatives’ support in both cities – to say that we’re going to move the study out to the Rockwall County line,” Pruitt said. “So I think that’s something, and that’s a long-term project, but that project will change Interstate 30 all the way from downtown Dallas hopefully all the way to the Rockwall County line.”
The folks with Ebby Halliday Realtors also paid tribute to the real estate agency’s namesake, Ebby Halliday Acers, who passed away earlier this month at 104 years old.
Ebby received many honors as a result of her dedication to her civic and professional endeavors, including the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of REALTORS and the International Real Estate Federation, induction into the Texas Business Hall of Fame, induction into the Dallas Business Hall of Fame, the Regional Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Ernst & Young, the YWCA’s 100 Women 100 Years award, and the Linz Award presented annually to a Dallas County resident whose civic or humanitarian efforts benefit the city of Dallas. Ebby was also the first to receive the Executive Women International’s Executive Excellence Award.
Story by Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News staff writer and reporter. Photos by Richard Redig.
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