The transformation of Lakeside Parkway in Lakeside DFW will kick into high gear in the next few weeks, according to a spokesman for Greystar, the builder of the mixed-use and multi-family components at Lakeside DFW.
In the long term (fall of 2014), it means an inviting shopping district called The Shops at Lakeside.
In the near term (between now and the fall), it means a portion of the parkway will be closed and many residents of nearby neighborhoods will have to drive home by a new route.
The months-long construction process will bridge the wide divide between what was planned as an office park in 1999, and the vibrant mixed-use community that is sprouting today.
At the heart of the community will be The Shops at Lakeside, featuring wide, treed sidewalks, parks, and slant-in parking to complement what is expected to be a hip mix of eateries and shops.
(For more on the expected “feel” of the parkway, click here.)
Dan Quinto, planner for Lakeside DFW, has relegated the majority of parking spaces to locations behind the buildings — out of sight, for the most part.
“The concept is to create a place where people will love to shop, dine, stroll, gather, and interact,” Quinto said.
Respondents to Lakeside DFW’s recent dining survey ranked patio dining as a high priority.
(Click here to take the survey, if you haven’t already.)
In response, Quinto has featured outdoor seating options on as many as six of the restaurants. Four of the locations face parks.
The new parkway will be reduced from six to four lanes to make room for convenient slant-in parking spaces.
The parking spaces will effectively minimize the distance pedestrians have to walk when crossing the parkway.
“We hope that pedestrians feel comfortable crossing the parkway,” Quinto said. “That’s important for the restaurant and shop owners at The Shops at Lakeside, but it’s also important in building the small-town feel and sense of community.”
Lakeside Pkwy. between Northwood Dr. and the northern roundabout will be closed during reconstruction for approximately five months beginning in the third week of April, according to Greystar’s spokesman.
The projected length of time needed to complete the transformation includes rebuilding the northern roundabout.
When this segment of Lakeside Pkwy. closes, drivers will be diverted to the newly completed Northwood Drive, which will then serve as the alternate route to access Surrey Lane, the nearby neighborhoods to the north and west, as well as the model homes (see map at the top of the story).
Some relief will be provided around the first of July with the completion of Surrey Ln., which will provide an alternative to Northwood.
While the closing of Lakeside Parkway will impact neighborhood drivers mostly over the short-term, the transformation will have a long-term impact on commuters who use Fairway Drive (the two-lane road over the dam) to bypass Grapevine Mills Mall.
Many of these drivers used Lakeside Pkwy to speed their way toward the dam. But with the near-term closure and the long-term retail and residential traffic, that route may be changing permanently.
Most will choose the path of least resistance: FM 2499 to Lakeside Village Parkway (formerly Lakeside Pkwy./Silveron) to the southern roundabout.
(A deceleration lane was recently completed on southbound FM 2499 to ensure that those taking the route over the dam do not slow those heading south toward Grapevine Mills.)
Residents of Lakeside and nearby neighborhoods may opt to take Northwood Drive south from Lakeside Parkway (bypassing the closure) and reconnect with the parkway just north of the southern roundabout.
No matter the route, the coming months will bring to the area a time of changing driving habits and soon, changing shopping habits.
Updated to add the following sentence: (A deceleration lane was recently completed on southbound FM 2499 to ensure that those taking the route over the dam do not slow those heading south toward Grapevine Mills.)