The 2.8 million square-foot Park 360 South project will need city incentives to pay for needed infrastructure for the seven warehouses proposed near the southeast Mansfield city limits.
In exchange, the project will donate the land in the flood plain to the city for park trails.
Several City Council members want a better idea of what kind of incentives the developer, Logistics Property Company, wants before the third and final vote on Nov. 26.
The 241-acre project is proposed at Lone Star Parkway and Texas 360 just south of the railroad tracks.
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The controversial project has sparked passionate debates in the city with residents in nearby Mansfield National and other neighborhoods protesting the increased truck traffic on city streets.
Residents don’t want 18 wheelers rumbling through the neighborhoods or clogging up intersections. The trucks will also increase pollution and noise in the area. They’re also concerned about the massive buildings lowering property values.
Supporters, including the five landowners who are selling the wide open land for the warehouses, say these projects are thriving in today’s on-demand e-commerce economy and will bring needed jobs.
Just before midnight on Nov. 12, the council voted 5-2 on second reading to approve the project. Councilmen Terry Moore and Larry Broseh voted against the zoning change on second reading.
Moore said his vision for the property would be a hotel with conference center surrounded by a mixed-use project that complements the entertainment across the railroad tracks at Big League Dreams and Hawaiian Falls.
“360 just got completed and we weren’t on the map for a project like this until this highway got completed,” Moore said. “Should we go with the very first thing that comes along? We need [retail and restaurants] for the residents of Mansfield.”
He cited the city’s own study that showed a mix of retail, restaurants and high-density residential would bring in more property tax revenue to the city over the long term.
Moore also urged LPC to move the largest 1 million-square-foot building farther away from the highway so it’s not so visible.
Mansfield resident Wayne Lee said he wants to see more entertainment or hotel options on the site.
“That area is ripe for a mixed-use area,” said Lee, who added that he’s concerned about truck routes being enforced.
Kent Newsom, executive vice president of the South Region for LPC, said he can’t announce any potential warehouse tenants but he did say they would be built to suit and they have three companies interested now.
He also showed a traffic simulation that showed how 120 to 150 trucks flowing through Lone Star Parkway would work.
“There’s really not a lot of queuing,” Newsom said. “Three queued trailers is as much as you’ll see coming in or out of the developments.”
He added that the intersection at Lone Star Parkway and Texas 360 would have traffic signals.
Councilman Casey Lewis said the landowners have agreed to sell.
“I have a hard time saying no to that,” Lewis said.
His biggest concern is Dan Massey’s property on Britton Road. Massey has refused to sell to LPC because the offers were too low.
A few hours before the meeting, LPC made an offer of $900,000, based on the latest appraisal they did on the property, Newsom said. Newsom called it a “fair shake.”
Massey said that offer is still too low.
“They didn’t take into consideration the barn that we have there,” Massey said.
If he does stay, his property value would decline.
“It’s going to hurt me specifically, there’s no way I can get in and out of my driveway if we have that many trucks,” Massey said. “I’d have to have a traffic cop just to get out of my driveway.”
Lewis made it clear what he wants to see before the final vote.
“I would like for you guys to make a very aggressive offer to Mr. Massey,” Lewis said.
In case Massey doesn’t sell, LPC moved the proposed warehouse that would have backed up to his property farther away.
Councilwoman Julie Short said she lives in Mansfield National but supports the project.
“I do not believe this will impact property values other than Mr. Massey because he’s so close,” Short said. “I thought about that seriously because I am so invested.”
Mansfield resident Larry Davis spoke in favor of the project, saying it would have less impact than many of the master-planned neighborhoods the council has approved recently.
“I think it’s a good thing for Mansfield,” he said. “I see all these subdivisions that all these people are trying to get in here. If subdivisions come, that’s going to a minimum two cars each. Some will have three or four. We have a lot of bedrooms in Mansfield but we don’t have Class A distribution space. We need a healthy balance of both.”
Councilman Mike Leyman said this proposal brings the highest and best use for the land while offsetting residential property taxes that have become a concern for homeowners.
“We can regulate any major concerns that people have related to this project,” Leyman said.
Rob Miller, who works at Lee & Associates, a Dallas-based supply and logistics chain, said this type of warehouse project will make Mansfield instantly competitive.
Landowner Robbie Mayse said he’s worked with the Mansfield Economic Development Corp. to find a buyer for this site, including a hotel/conference center.
“It’s been 10 years and we haven’t been approached by anybody with any kind of deal to come in here,” Mayse said.
The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended 7-0 to deny the warehouse project at its Oct. 1 meeting.