It would not be a year in Southlake without some media attention, Carroll Dragons football, massive construction projects and controversial issues. 2010 was no different. Garnering local and national attention, Southlake continued to command the highest home values in the area, hosted a series of record-setting events, and welcomed the new 206,000 square foot Gateway Church. From start to finish, 2010 gave us something to talk about all year long.
The year was ushered in with a grand opening celebration of Southlake’s new, state-of-the-art Department of Safety (DPS) Headquarters, located on the site of Southlake’s former, much smaller city hall. After many years of planning and two years of construction, the long-awaited facility opened January 8 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house attended by city officials, employees and citizens. The 87,000 square foot DPS Headquarters houses police and fire administration, the City’s Municipal Court, and Metroport Teen Court. Like Southlake Town Hall, DPS Headquarters is a mix of Old World charm and modern amenities. The new building fulfills that vision, right down to the brass fire pole, a symbol of fire house tradition that is accessed by doors that open via state-of-the-art technology allowing firefighters to slide from their meeting room down to the engine room in an instant.
In February, another much anticipated project was just beginning. The DFW Connector, a$1.02 billion, 8.4-mile project running directly through Southlake and Grapevine, will double roadway capacity with the addition of new general purpose lanes, toll managed lanes and continuous frontage roads. As the name implies, the massive road improvements are designed to shorten the travel time between Dallas and Fort Worth, and will transform the area around Interstate 635 and state highways 114, 121 and 360. When completed (by 2014), The DFW Connector will have rebuilt portions of four highways, two interchanges and five bridges.
The City of Southlake received its first gas well drilling application in 2010, setting off one of the most controversial topics of the year. Submitted by XTO Energy, which filed another request later in the year to place wells on the Milner Ranch, neither application received approval by year’s end. Both requests are still under consideration by City Council.
In October, the Southlake Chamber of Commerce hosted the 9th Annual Oktoberfest, which due to a combination of great weather, new additions (e.g. beer tent and Jumbo-tron) and aggressive marketing, turned out to be the most successful in its history. According to Dana Davis, Southlake Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, Oktoberfest 2010 exceeded the previous best in 2008 by more than 37 percent (in sales). In addition, nearly 200 wiener dogs from throughout the metroplex competed in the popular wiener dog races this year, beating the previous record of 128 dachshunds in 2008.
2010 was a banner year for many other Southlake events including Art in the Square in April, Stars & Stripes in July and Home for the Holidays in December, which featured the city’s first “Deck the Windows” competition.
The construction of medians and 14 deceleration lanes along Southlake Boulevard began in November, starting at Pearson Lane at the Keller border. Construction of the median’s first two sections, Pearson Lane to West Jellico Circle, was finished late year. The project, being done by TxDOT, is expected to be completed in 2011.
Two other notable, and much talked about, road improvements in 2010 were the opening of roundabouts at White Chapel Boulevard and Dove Road and White Chapel Boulevard and Continental Boulevard. The city now has four roundabouts.
These are just a few of the top stories of 2010. As usual, there is much going on in Southlake and we should anticipate much of the same in 2011 – stay tuned! What community news or event got your attention in 2010? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.