Despite major delays, town leaders and developers in Flower Mound say their much anticipated River Walk development is taking form.
The project was originally planned in 2007 and effectively ended when the Great Recession of 2008 hit. It wasn't until 2013 that a new developer picked up the project and again got on track to create a new centerpiece residential and entertainment district for the growing town.
Three years later though, much of that development remains undeveloped dirt.
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Several pieces, including the medical district, Market Street grocery area and apartments along Morris Road, have already taken shape, but to those driving by on Farm-to-Market Road 2499, the rest of River Walk has long looked like little work has even been done.
Flower Mound Mayor Tom Hayden said the project has fallen behind, and the main reason is right in the name: the river.
Flower Mound didn't actually have a naturally occurring river on the spot when the development was designed, so one had to be built specifically for the project.
It turns out that is easier said than done.
"You are rerouting water, and so in rerouting water you have to get FEMA involved," said Hayden.
Hayden said the federal intervention in the project likely added about a year to the time line as developer Centurion American, which he said generally would work on several different aspects all at once, was focused to put all effort into properly creating the river.
"It's taken longer than any of us wished it had," Hayden said.
However, the river is now flowing through the district, and Mehrdad Moayedi from Centurion American said progress has really started to ramp back up.
He expects beams on several developments, including the restaurant district and the amphitheater, to start going up in the next six months.
Hayden said the town's first hotel, which sits near the medical district, is also expected to be completed in the year, and they are hopeful to see the entertainment aspects ready for use by 2018.