Welcome to Southlake
What used to be a rural area until the 1970's completion of the DFW International Airport has grown into the current city of Southlake. The town was in the right place at the right time and led by a brilliant City Council that had the foresight to create a zoning plan in the early days of the building boom that set the tone for future development. Developers were eager to take part in the building frenzy and added amenities the city encouraged, and buyers craved, like community pools, tennis courts, greenbelts, and ponds.
Forbes has named Southlake the most affluent neighborhood in the US for a town of its size based on average median household income estimates.
In 1996, the firm of Cooper and Stebbins came to the city with the concept for Town Square
, the unique live/work/shop city center now known throughout the area for its upscale shops and fine dining.
Located between Southlake Blvd. and the extended Highway 114, Phase One of Town Square was completed in 1999 and was immediately studied by other cities and developers as a model of smart design. Two additional phases of Town Square were opened in 2006. Town Square has become a focal point and hub of the city, hosting some of Southlake's most popular events including Home for the Holidays, Oktoberfest, (be sure and see the wiener dog races!) and Art in The Square.
Like many current residents of Southlake, we are Texas-transplants too! We moved our family to Texas from the Midwest in 2007 and Southlake was where we chose to buy our first home. I clearly remember sitting in the Starbucks at Town Square telling Kristin by phone that I had found the perfect place for us to call home. We were attracted by what many people are attracted by - the availability of large lots, well-planned neighborhoods, unsurpassed shopping, and arguably the best schools in the Metroplex.
Sometimes rural (there are still a few large ranches in Southlake, so do not be surprised to see Long Horns grazing inside fenced-in pastures). Southlake is now mostly very well-manicured and nearly always upscale. Our opinion is that it is not too highbrow. Southlake is always family-focused and kid-friendly.
Everyone in Southlake is a Dragon. Southlake is a small town. A one high school town (split into two campuses, a lower and upper-division). Unlike other districts, every student in Carroll from elementary to high school shares one mascot – the Southlake Dragon. Dragon camaraderie is naturally built-in, and the all-for-one spirit breeds unity and loyalty.
Homebuyers considering Southlake will find an outrageous choice of retail venues in town. Over 260 retail stores and 130 dining options are available within the city. And while the area is known for its higher-end choices (you may not find yourself in the Tesla dealership on a regular basis) most of the shopping options are likely already on your list of routine stops. (Think Container Store, Bath & Body Works, Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, and Trader Joe’s.)
There is never a shortage of things to do in Southlake. The city sponsors many events that bring out the small-town charm residents enjoy, even when attendance draws a crowd of 100,000 folks who only call Southlake home for the duration of a weekend festival. Most of these events are held in Town Square.
A sampling of Southlake-worthy events include:
- Oktoberfest - The first weekend of October Southlake's Chamber of Commerce invites an attendance of over 100,000 to the three-day-long Oktoberfest held in Town Square. Handcrafted arts and crafts, live entertainment, and of course great food are features of the event. There's a children's area as well. Do not forget to sign up your four-legged friend for Home for the Holiday - Usher in the season's magic with carriage rides, a snow hill, and the most awaited event, the tree lighting. Of course, Santa will be there for photos as well. And do not forget to bring a canned good for the annual Christmas is for Children food drive.
- Art in the Square - Running Friday through Sunday at the end of April, this annual community event is hosted by the Southlake Women's Club. Entering its 20th year, this world-class art festival raises funds for local charities. There is always a great lineup of performances on two stages featuring continuous entertainment all weekend long.
- Stars & Stripes Celebration - Jump into the celebration as fireworks start at 9:30 July 3rd from Town Square. You can reserve your spot for this coveted event by claiming your spot starting on the Town Square lawn at 7:00 pm the evening before. Bring your blanket and lawn chairs but no tents are allowed. The Southlake Community Band kicks off the evening of fireworks with patriotic music in Family Park at 6:00 PM. Then wait for the 9:30 firework display while enjoying music and activities for all ages.
- MasterWorks Music Series - Every spring through fall the City of Southlake unites with the Arts Council of NorthEast to bring concerts to the Southlake Town Square Family Park and Aria Amphitheater off Shady Oaks Drive. Watch the city website for venue and performer information. Bring your lawn chair and don't forget the bug spray.
Southlake's location off highway 114 is indeed an important factor in the city's appeal to higher-end home buyers. It is a quick 10-minute drive to DFW Airport and freeway access means commuters have a relatively easy drive most anywhere in the Metroplex. Access to the Las Colinas, North Dallas, and the Legacy areas via highway 121 make the town an attractive choice for professionals.
Additionally, strong employment opportunities are available just northwest of Southlake along highway 114. Further to the west, in the Alliance "Golden Corridor" is home to other major corporations and within the nearby southern Denton County area.
The influx of large business hubs like TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab have solidified the town’s credentials as a desirable location for people being relocated from other parts of the country. The future, both near and long term, continues to look great for Southlake property buyers.
Southlake prides itself on providing citizens with award-winning parks and green spaces. Beautiful scenery and opportunity for exercise and enjoyment are high on the list of residents' reasons for moving to Southlake. Miles of trails developed, and open space and outstanding facilities exceed the expectations of park visitors. If you are new to the area, you owe it to yourself to check out the amenities Southlake has to offer.
If you are scoping out homes for sale in Southlake and have spent time in town, there are two park facilities you've no doubt driven by. Bicentennial Park and Bob Jones Park and Nature Center.
Bicentennial Park is the original park in Southlake. Visible from Southlake Blvd. just west of Town Square, the park stretches between White Chapel Blvd. and Shady Oaks Drive. The park is home to Liberty Gardens, the Southlake Tennis Center, a playground, an in-line hockey court, and The Marq Southlake. The Texas Rangers Miracle League Field, 60/90 baseball field, new concession/restroom facility plus enhancements to the original baseball 4-plex were completed in Phase II.
Sitting on nearly 500 acres of Cross Timbers habitat purchased from the Corp of Engineers, Bob Jones Nature Center is visible from N. White Chapel Blvd. across from the Clariden Ranch neighborhood. 13 lighted soccer fields, Girls' Softball Complex, and parking are the first signs you are in the right place. But the park is so much more.
There is a first-class fishing area with a pavilion that overlooks a 6-acre pond. Boo Boo’s Buddies Dog Park offers 2.5 acres of fun with your best 4-legged friend while your small human buddies play on the covered playground. On the north of the park, you will find an equestrian parking lot, corral pens, and hitching posts.
The Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve located in the park opened in 2008 as an educational center offering classes, guided hikes, events, and programs for both children and adults. The Center and Preserve are the perfect places to enjoy the beauty of Southlake's natural habitat.
Perhaps the crown jewel in Southlake's powerhouse lineup of recreation outlets is The Marq. You will see the building on the northwest corner of Shady Oaks Drive and Southlake Blvd behind the strip shopping center. Built-in two phases, the first opened in 2015 and was dedicated to Legends Hall. This first phase features around 23,000 sq. ft. of events hall, meeting space, catering kitchen, senior center, studio, and an outdoor amphitheater.
Champions Club, phase two of The Marq. has added around 82,000 sq. ft. The Club includes the fitness center, indoor/outdoor turf fields, gyms, a jog/walk track, indoor aquatics, indoor playground, and party rooms plus multipurpose classrooms.
As I mentioned before, Southlake's outstanding facilities exceed the expectations of park visitors. If you are new to the area, you owe it to yourself to check out the amenities Southlake has to offer.
Real Estate Facts
In order to get a feel for the types of homes available in Southlake, it's helpful to understand, in a general way, the pattern of folks moving into the town. Many of the first homes in Southlake were built by folks running from the big city. You'll often see those homes on large lots, sometimes gentleman farmer-sized property often built in the early 1980s. These were custom homes. Homebuyers found their lot and brought in an architect and builder.
There are also a few neighborhoods of what today would be called "small" homes, 1700-2000 square foot three-bedroom homes that were also built in the very early 1980s. Sometimes folks are surprised that these older, smaller homes are still starting well above $500,000. A lot of it has to do with the large lots they sit on.
The rest of the world started to discover Southlake real estate in the mid to late 1980s and the rush was on. The first "boom era" homes were custom. For the next 15 years or so, until the mid-1990s, buyers didn't necessarily have to find their lot and bring in their builder. Instead, big developers were creating neighborhoods like South Ridge Lakes, Timber Lake Estates, Chimney Hill, and Monticello. Those developers invited custom builders to build speculation homes. Southlake house hunters could purchase a spec home or have a builder buy and construct on developed lots.
By the early-to-mid 1990s, volume builders found their way to Southlake and created master-planned communities like Stone Lakes
and most of the Timarron
neighborhoods north of Continental Blvd. At that same time, there were several builders who straddled the line between custom and volume builder as they offered a higher finish out and were flexible around making changes to designs. Oak Tree Estates
are examples of these types of neighborhoods.
Once we entered the 21st-century available land was more difficult to find. Large additions were few and far between. There were still a few custom builders, but as available land was harder to come by, land costs allowed new home construction in only the higher end price range.
Like most areas of the country, Southlake's new construction slowed down during the recession of 2008-2011. Since that time, however, developers have pieced together some wonderful collections of property to be able to present new homes following the market rebound. Those new homes
were mostly volume built by well-regarded national homebuilders. Due to the price of the land, however, they generally start over $1,000,000.