Adlai Pennington went to the outskirts of Mansfield to find suitable land for his next luxury home development. And he expects other developers to do the same thing.
The owner of Fort Worth-based MKP Development found a tract with rolling hills and oak stands just off Lillian Road and south of West Broad Street, which has finally been widened with four-lanes and a median. He purchased the 158-acre site from Bob McCaslin Jr. of M.R. Development and began planning the 163-lot neighborhood.
The project is within the Mansfield school district but just beyond the city limits of Mansfield. The next step will be for Pennington to request the unincorporated land be annexed into the city of Mansfield so it will receive city services.
“The only land left is west,” Pennington said. “There’s no reason in the world not be out there. There will be others.”
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The City Council will consider both the annexation and the zoning change for the development at three consecutive meetings on Dec. 14, 15 and 16.
Homes would start at about $450,000 in the first phase, which would be called The Oaks Preserve. The second phase to the south would be called The Enclave at the Oaks Preserve and would be gated with homes starting at $550,000. There would also be land preserved for parks and open space.
Felix Wong, the city’s director of planning, did a cost benefit analysis that looked at the additional property taxes versus the burden on the city’s fire, police, water and other services. He projects that at full build out, the project will generate about $600,000 in additional city taxes annually. The cost to serve the neighborhood runs about $400,000 a year, making the overall benefit about $200,000 annually, Wong said.
Pennington said that it would be a “significant” boost to the property taxes in that region of Mansfield.
“Mansfield is in desperate need of high-end lots,” he said. “The Oaks is intended to satisfy that.”
The large-scale development is a long-time coming for Michael Evans, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church and president of the Mansfield school board.
“The western section has been starving for a new development,” Evans said. “We believe the more development that comes to the west sector brings with it the opportunity to get a big box store, a grocery store on the west side.”
He would like to see more affordable housing options for that part of Mansfield, too. A free enterprise zone, for example, would stimulate infrastructure that could benefit the region.
“We want to make sure that those who work in Mansfield will be able to live in Mansfield,” he said.
Adding that many homes will also impact the Mansfield school district, Evans anticipates that another bond election could be on the horizon to accommodate this and other growth. The district owns land on West Broad Street immediately adjacent to the Oaks Preserve.
“At some point, as our schools begin to crowd up again, we know we’re going to ask the citizens to partner with us to build new schools,” Evans said.