Big plans are underway for the northwest corner of Forest and Inwood: a walkable mixed-use development with a small, specialty grocer new to the neighborhood.
If re-zoning is approved, the existing Forestwood Townhouse Community will be razed for three-story apartments and townhomes, 85,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, and two athletic fields, plus a parking lot for Jesuit College Preparatory School.
The Daniel family has owned the 30-acre tract of land for 165 years.
“It’s a neighborhood-oriented project,” says William Dalstrom, a land-use attorney with Jackson Walker LLP, representing the family. “It’s not a destination. It will be for the betterment of what’s there.”
The plan calls for an increase in residential units at the corner, which might strike a chord with some neighbors. Right now, 208 rental townhomes occupy the site. The new development could have up to 350, a mixture of both townhomes and apartments, ranging $2,200-$4,400 a month. All of the townhomes, and some of the apartments, will include garages.
Forthcoming engineering studies will determine the impact on traffic at the intersection, which is flanked by two large private schools (Jesuit and Hockaday). Dalstrom says there’s no timeline for when a study will be completed since the project still is in the early stages of planning. A traffic study will be required, though, when the re-zoning application is submitted — which could be months from now.
The site has been zoned as a planned development (PD 41) since 1969. The Daniels will apply for a new planned development district to allow for mixed-use.
The plan also includes a gathering space large enough for several tables and chairs. A tree-lined creek runs along the west the side of the property, and developers are floating the idea of creating a public trail back there, if neighbors want it.
The fact that two legacy landowners are involved in the project — the Daniel family and Jesuit — should be a good sign to neighbors, Dalstrom says, since those owners likely will be around for years to come.
To learn more about the project and voice concerns, a neighborhood meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29 at Jesuit, where a more detailed site plan will be presented.
The corner of Forest and Inwood has seen other small changes recently. Back in 2011, neighbors fought a proposal to build a Murphy Express gas station on the Lowe’s Home Improvement property, and they won. Earlier this year, a new restaurant development went up, with Rusty Taco, Einstein Bros. Bagels and The Juice Bar. The popular, longstanding Tex-Mex spot Tupinamba announced plans to move. No word yet on what might take its place.
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