The sale of a 966-acre tract of land on the east side of Midlothian has been finalized, and up to 2,000 new rooftops could begin to pop up starting two years from now.
Hanover Property Company announced last week it had acquired 966 acres of land for a $950 million master-planned development located at the northeast corner of U.S. Highway 287 and Walnut Grove Road.
The land is the biggest part of the former Diamond J Ranch, which consists of a total of 1,167 acres on either side of U.S. 287. The remaining 200 or so acres that lie south of the highway are being kept and separately developed by ECOM Real Estate Management Inc., which formerly owned the entire property before selling the larger north tract to Hanover.
As a result of a previously-reported December agreement with the Midlothian City Council, Hanover will be allowed to participate in the city’s yet-to-be-approved tax increment reinvestment zone, or TIRZ; and also in the municipal management district, or MMD, which was created in 2015. That agreement cleared the way for the Hanover purchase.
Plans for the property include 2,000 single-family homes priced from the $300s, 160 townhomes, 26 acres of commercial and 42 acres of industrial development. Pre-development is underway, and homes will be available by early 2022.
“We’ve been jointly working with the City of Midlothian for the last year on the planning of this development,” Ben Luedtke, executive vice-president of Hanover Property Company, said in a statement. “The city is a great partner, and the result is the first true master-planned community of this size in Midlothian. There is substantial tree coverage, gentle rolling hills and a 50-acre lake. We will thoughtfully enhance the natural beauty that is already in place.”
Hanover is currently developing multiple master-planned communities in the DFW metroplex, including Somerset (487 acres, 1,105 lots) and M3 Ranch (720 acres, 1,571 lots) in Mansfield; and Berkshire (358 acres, 641 lots) and Wellington (610 acres, 1,680 lots) in north Fort Worth. It is also the developer of the Mira Lagos community in Grand Prairie.
“Midlothian has been one of the most dynamic growth areas of the southern DFW new home market with 511 housing starts last year,” said Ted Wilson of Residential Strategies, a market research firm. “As land and development costs have risen, it has become increasingly challenging for developers to produce lots that can translate into the $275,000- $400,000 home price—the historical ‘sweet spot’ for Midlothian new home construction.
“Hanover has a reputation of producing ‘right-priced’ master planned communities that are visually appealing, well-designed and well-executed. This community will offer a spectrum of affordable, normal-sized lots for homebuyers. We anticipate that a cadre of high-quality builders will introduce architecturally appealing homes for this neighborhood,” Wilson added.
The location of the new development off Highway 287 is near one of the more accessible, high-traffic thoroughfares in the growing DFW southern sector and is close to retail, restaurants, higher education, recreation, medical facilities and a regional airport. The development’s name and builders for Phase One, which will consist of 350 homes, will be announced later this year.