Northeast Tarrant

Bedford buys land from developer, killing deal for luxury apartments

Luxury apartments aren’t coming to Bedford Commons after all.

The Bedford City Council voted unanimously March 26 to purchase 8.07 acres from Realty Capital, an Irving-based developer that had planned to build 240 luxury apartments geared toward Millennials on land near City Hall.

The city is buying the land for $2.5 million.

Realty Capital purchased the property in November. It is adjacent to City Hall and bounded by Texas 183 on the south, Bedford Road on the north, Forest Ridge Drive on the west and Central Drive on the east.

Tim Coltart, the managing director at Realty Capital, said in an emailed statement to the Star-Telegram that the company worked with the city for the past three years and spent “significant time and resources accommodating the recommendations from the city on a plan that fully complies with the intent and standards of the existing Bedford Commons ordinance.”

Mayor Jim Griffin said the area needs a mixed use development including restaurants, entertainment and residential.

“We are trying to look at the next developer that will give us those options. Obviously, citizens have spoken, and they don’t want apartments. We will look for different solutions,” Griffin said.

Tom Burnett, who helped organize the group Save Bedford Texas, which fought the proposal to build apartments in Bedford Commons, called the land purchase a victory for the citizens.

“I think the city did listen,” Burnett said. “It forces the city to focus on other types of development that will have a long-term benefit.”

The group argued that apartments were not the best use for the small amount of vacant land left in Bedford, and that the city needed to bring in businesses that would generate more sales tax revenue for fixing streets, resolving drainage issues and making other improvements.

The group attended city council and planning and zoning meetings and launched a petition drive calling for an election to change zoning ordinances regulating density for apartments, including limiting the number of apartments per acre and specifying parking spaces for the elderly and disabled .

The group got the signatures needed for the election, but the city council adopted ordinances regulating density, so there was no need for an election.

The group also started a petition drive to recall Griffin but stopped the effort when the mayor met with the residents.