Want to live on an island in landlocked DFW? This booming development will have one

In the heart of the Viridian development, island living will soon be a reality.

No, it won’t feel like a tropical paradise, but it will be surrounded by a lake, have access to trails, an amenities center and sit not far from the historic Bird’s Fort site, which was one of the first Anglo settlements in North Texas.

A bridge to the island is being built and should be completed by December with construction of new homes starting by February 2020, said Robert Kembel, president of Nehemiah Company, the developer of Viridian.

Lots aren’t for sale yet but the island will include about 140 homes ranging in price from $650,000 to $2 million.

For 2019, Viridian was the fastest-growing master-planned development in Tarrant County and ranked 38th in U.S., according to real estate advisers RCLCO.

Since development began, Viridian has closed on 1,384 homes with an average price of $427,860. So far this year, 45 homes have sold.

Why is this once-empty piece of real estate that sits across from a landfill so popular now?

There are variety of reasons, Kembel said. The location, just minutes from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and AT&T Stadium, doesn’t hurt.

“You have the highest quality public infrastructure with a location near the airport and entertainment,” Kembel said. “There’s a town plan with open space, trails and abundant wildlife.”

The 2,300-acre development is also designed like communities from decades ago, where it’s walkable with nearby parks and income levels are mixed together, from pricey custom houses to townhomes for young families.

Sections of the development are set aside for senior living and commercial development is planned over the next 10 to 12 years.

Yet the real estate boom over the last decade has probably priced Viridian out of reach for some buyers with the cheapest townhomes selling for around $300,000.

With higher real estate prices, Kembel argues that homeowners should look for homes with smaller lot sizes and square footage where they can still take advantage of the amenities.

“This will still be here a 100 years from now,” Kembel said. “This is built to last and be an asset to the community for decades to come.”

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Bill Hanna is an award-winning reporter who has covered just about every beat at the Star-Telegram. He currently covers Arlington but also writes about a variety of subjects including weather, wildlife, traffic and health.