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Work On Rowlett's Ambitious 'Bayside' To Begin In March


Officials in the city of Rowlett say construction on a sprawling mixed-use development project along the shores of Lake Ray Hubbard will begin in March. 


Also planned are improvements to Interstate-30 between Dallas and Rockwall to accommodate expected traffic to the "Bayside" community south of the highway. 

Bayside is a $1 billion mixed-use development project on 260 acres along the shores of Lake Ray Hubbard, predominantly on the south side of I-30.

Developers are planning 1.5 million square feet of retail and office space along with condominium towers, luxury apartments and homes.

They are also planning an 8-acre manmade lagoon, the first of its kind in Texas. 

The company behind the project is Crystal Lagoons, which has a US headquarters in Miami and is involved in hundreds of projects around the world. 

Bayside is the first such lagoon planned for Texas. Two more have since been announced for the Houston area. 

Mayor Todd Gottel says the Texas Department of Transportation is planning to implement major upgrades to I-30 to accommodate the expected traffic. 

"It’s going to include service roads, and two new bridges that are going to run across the lake. ... So, it’s going to be a much safer entrance/exit," he said. 


An I-30 upgrade plan for two frontage roads.
Credit Texas Department of Transportation
An I-30 upgrade plan for two frontage roads.

He said groundbreaking on the first projects south of I-30 would begin in March.  


"The infrastructure in the north side is already in. And so they already have the roadways in. And they’ll be doing groundbreaking on the first project in March. It will be going vertical in March."


He added: "It’s very much on track. They’re doing a really great job. We’re really pleased with the result so far. And they’re making significant progress."


Marina upgrades


Rowlett's head of economic development said the first phase of construction would include redeveloping a marina that was already on site.


Jim Grabenhorst said the marina that was on the property had been acquired in recent months by Kent Donahue, the developer of the project.


"Kent is currently running it right now and will be doing the improvements," he said. 


A lawsuit dismissed in September sought to freeze work on the development after Bayside terminated the marina's contract on the property. 


Grabenhorst said other near-term development sites included two 250,000-square-foot office buildings facing the lagoon and another 50,000 square feet of restaurants and retail space. 


The areas will open in several phases. Family homes are expected to come online starting in late 2018 to early 2019. The entertainment district opens a year later. 



The Rowlett lagoon is the first of three planned in Texas. Two others at sites in the Houston area will cost a combined $1.5 billion, the company said. 


The lagoons use a patented technology that cleans parts of the pool at a time. That means no massive infusions of chlorine, which irritates skin and eyes.


Santiago-born biochemist Fernando Fischmann invented the technology for use in a development in Chile in the 1990s. Since then, it has spread around the globe.


The current largest pool in the world is one of Crystal’s lagoons in Egypt. A new one in Dubai is set to surpass that record soon. 

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