The City Council on Monday gave first-round approval to a 456-acre mixed-use development in south Mansfield, but all seven members made it clear they wanted the 18 acres of apartments to disappear from plan when it comes back to the council.
Officials of Hanover Property Co., who called the project upscale and cited its planned trails, lakes and amenity center, among other features, reluctantly agreed to replace the apartments with more townhouses and commercial buildings.
The proposed development, called Somerset, would line the west side of U.S. 287 from Lone Star Road south to the intersection of 287 and Texas 360. The project is across U.S. 287 from another large, council-approved planned development called South Pointe, which is bordered by the two highways.
The Somerset plan included 1,061 single-family lots, 31 acres of multi-family housing -- including apartments and townhouses -- and 47 acres of commercial development when deliberations started.
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Hanover President Dick LeBlanc said the "vast majority" of homes are expected to have values ranging from $250,000 to $450,000, and those planned for 60 to 70 lots in two gated communities would range from $600,000 to $700,000, possibly more.
But each council member, one by one, spoke out against the apartments.
“I probably haven’t seen an apartment complex that I liked,” said Councilman Cory Hoffman.
LeBlanc resisted at first.
“We’re struggling with what we can be successful with there,” he said. “We have a lot to lose if we don’t do that right.”
In the end he relented. Outside, after the council’s unanimous vote, he said the development will be “iconic.”
“And by that I mean we’re creating an environment that will be desirable and compelling,” he said.
Final approval will take two more council votes. If all goes well, he said, development could begin in the first quarter of 2015.