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Richardson Residents Square Off Over Development

By Jay Gormley, CBS 11 News
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Richardson Development

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RICHARDSON (CBSDFW.COM) – One of the most prime pieces of real estate in North Texas sits in a large field where central expressway meets the President George Bush Turnpike in Richardson.

The land has sparked a heated debate. Neighbors who live near the massive lot packed Richardson City Hall to weigh the pros and cons of a massive project.

If approved, the proposal would allow two mixed-used developments to join together and form the largest such development in Richardson.

“And we’re certainly conscious of the impact of being able to compete with the other communities in our fringe areas,” says Richardson City Manager Bill Keffler.

The mixed-used projects would be similar to developments such as Park Lane and West Village in Dallas and the Legacy Town Center in Plano, but on a much larger scale: 143 acres to be exact.

Supporters like Richardson resident Terry Zimmerman say these so called ‘live-work-play’ developments have proven quite successful with a mix of high-end residential, retail and entertainment.   “We do a lot of business at Legacy and we do shopping and dining at Waters Creek. It would be nice to spend our money in Richardson.”

Concerned neighbors like Miatri Smithhisler say the dual projects are too big and call for several thousand apartment units.   “How big this project is and how that will affect overall quality of life, traffic congestion and the impact on the environment.”

Some neighbors fear the project will lower their property values if the developers are allowed to do as they please.  “The fear is if you turn it over to a capitalistic entity, they might do the thing that gives them the most bang for their buck and not necessarily the best for our benefits” says resident John Wallberg.

One development could have as many as 2400 apartment units. The adjacent development calls for 1500 units.

The Richardson City Council did not vote Monday night. They will take up the issue January 31.

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