From dream to reality

Driving along South Pointe’s mile-long main corridor, David Branch says he feels like the Mansfield development has bought nearly every tree in Texas. Some, the North Rock Real Estate land development director says, were even trucked in from Oklahoma.

“These are very mature trees,” he says of the triumph elms, a handpicked species located throughout the upscale community. “They’re beautiful. They grow nice, and they’re very hardy. They were actually designed for the Texas climate.”

The trees also lend an established look to the development, he says, which is laying its own roots within the city.

South Pointe sits on 870 acres near Lone Star Road and 287 at the southern tip of Mansfield near State Highway 360. When fully developed, the site will contain about 1,400 homes in the near-$300,000-to-$1 million price range, as well as four lakes and four schools within the Mansfield school district, which Branch says is a big draw.

The development was envisioned a decade ago, but the recession slowed things down. Now, an improved economy, a booming North Texas housing market and the expansion of General Motors are spurring growth, Branch says. The subdivision, which broke ground last year, will soon begin its second phase.

“We felt Mansfield offered a good opportunity for growth,” he says. “We felt we could come and offer a community in Mansfield that offered great value and affordability compared to what’s going on in the northern suburbs.”

South Pointe is attracting local buyers, as well as those moving into the area for employment, Branch notes. And the expansion of SH 360 will make commuting to local job centers and DFW airport easier.

While many potential homebuyers look for houses within the Mansfield ISD, John Houston Homes sales manager Lee Degrande says empty nesters wanting to retain property values look for houses in Mansfield, as well. Degrande’s employer offers 13 different floor plans, and she says the area’s location, upcoming schools, and on-site shopping are major factors in home buying decisions.

“In terms of looking for a house today, I think what people are looking for is light, bright, modern and customizable … like open floors plans,” she says.

Some of the development’s other builders include Plantation, Rasor, Mansfield Custom Homes, Steve Boyd and David Weekley. Homes range from 2,000 square feet to about 5,500 square feet, according to Branch, who notes that there are several high-end homes in an exclusive, gated area overlooking a lake.

“This [lake] is kind of unique in the fact that if you look down on an aerial, this is like an aqua,” he says. “These houses will all face this area.”

Another nearby pond and fishing pier will have a surrounding walking path, and more trails and park areas are planned throughout the community. Branch says plans are also in the works for a 450-unit luxury apartment complex, which will be located in Ellis County and part of the Midlothian school system; a 4,000-foot, resort-style amenity center and pool activity area; and a 110-acre commercial area with shopping centers and restaurants. Branch expects SH 360 will bring in the traffic.

“South Pointe had been conversation for so many years,” Branch says. “Now, it’s a reality.”