Monday, November 5, 2012

Viridian, newest Arlington neighborhood, sprouts new rooftops and Artist Garden Park

Having 20 to 25 families house hunting in a new community over a month’s time is considered a pretty decent number in terms of foot traffic.
Viridian – located in north Arlington off North Collins -- is averaging 60 to 100 families on any given weekend.
Sixty home lots have already been sold in the mixed-use, $2 billion development where several thousand homes are expected to be built over a span of about 15 years, the eventual population of the unique river-and-lake neighborhood estimated to eventually become 20,000 people.
This pedestrian-centered community with plans for everything from townhouses to multi-million dollar custom homes has steadily grown since breaking ground in May of last year.
On Thursday, Nov. 1, another amenity was unveiled to lure residents to this North Arlington enclave just a stone’s throw from River Legacy:  Artist Garden Park (pictured).
The park will feature benches, native plants and circled concrete slabs for artists to set up easels while overlooking prancing birds along the lake, walkers and bikers on trails, and trees and greenery just about everywhere else.
Alongside Artist Garden is Kite Park, built strategically on a small hill so that as the south wind hits the hill, kites will shoot straight up into the air.
“If you’re an artist, you can come out here and paint the lake,  the ducks, geese and wildlife and sunset,” said developer Robert Kembel. “My dad’s an oil painter. He’s always wishing he had a place to go paint. Well, we gave him one, He can’t complain anymore.”
In addition to the 60 home sales, 400 lots are under development with 167 done and another 200 starting paving work. Once finished, Viridian is expected to offer shops, restaurants, offices, an event center for weddings and concerts, pools, a boat dock, and 20 miles of trails leading to River Legacy Park. There are also plans for an elementary school.
Viridian is huge, stretching from State Highway 360 on the east to Collins Street on the west and between Green Oaks Boulevard and the Trinity Railway Express lines on the north.
“This is incredible,” said Arlington City Council Member Kathryn Wilemon, who attended the reception along with a number of other city and county officials. Many also toured a few of the model homes.
“Even though we’ve had high expectations, it’s better than I expected,” said Wilemon. “It’s really starting to look like a community.”
Other amenities will soon follow. Construction on swimming pools will begin early next year and a unique partnership with UT Arlington will allow the school’s rowing team to practice on Viridian Lake.
“This is a good example of what can happen when private-public partnerships work well,” Kembel said. “The college district, the City, the County, the hospital district – we will all enjoy the fruit of their labor.”
(By: Ken Perkins, city release)

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