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May. 21, 2011

Unique DFW Mixed-Use Project Sets Sail

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Arlington’s mixed-use, master-planned community Viridian was finally launched this week. The highly ambitious project–set on becoming one of the country’s largest developments of its kind–was first announced three years ago.

Located just west of State Highway 360 along the Trinity River, the Viridian community spans more than 2,300 acres of land and is to include hundreds of homes, office and retail space. The planned town center alone will benefit from 400,000 square feet of office and medical space, whereas another 400,000 square feet of retail space will be combined with both for-sale and rental housing options ranging from loft-style condominiums to high-end rentals in mixed-use buildings.

More than 3,600 detached homes are to be built within the Viridian community, with prices ranging from $250,000 to $750,000. A private island in the center of Lake Viridian is reserved for the 70 custom-built, multimillion-dollar estates. The seven different home builders that are under contract for the Viridian inaugural village will start the actual building in the spring of 2012, as the several site-development works such as the extensive hydraulics and water infrastructure are estimated to take 12 months to complete.

An elementary school has also been included in the project, with its adjacent areas designed to incorporate shared-use sports fields, playgrounds and public parks. The Viridian will also preserve 1,100 acres of wetlands, lakes, open spaces and trails, providing canoeing and fishing access to the Trinity River and an extra nine miles of nature and jogging trails by connections with the River Legacy Park.

Huffines Communities and CrossHarbor Capital Partners are providing equity financing, while Plains Capital Bank is financing the debt with bonds underwritten and sold by First Southwest and Stiefel Nicholas. Renowned urban planner Peter Calthorpe’s firm has been hired to oversee the design and plan of the New Urbanism community, but there are several other strategic partners that will assist.

The Viridian community, which is expected to take 15 years to complete, plans on setting itself apart from other communities not only through its size and prime location but also through its commitment to sustainability, aiming to become the first Audubon International Gold Certified Community in the state of Texas.

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