March 2014 Featured Project: Palisades Master Plan, Richardson, Texas

Palisades is a 58-acre tract of land in the heart of Richardson across U.S. 75 from the Galatyn Park DART Station, owned by a partnership of JP Partners, KBS and GE Capital. Zoning entitlements for the tract created in 2006 proved to be ineffective and impractical, and no subsequent development occurred for the next seven years. GFF’s assignment was to create a new Form Based Code for a mixed use development that was more flexible for prospective developers and potential corporate campus users, yet delivered a predictable high quality of public space for the city.

Hundreds of community stakeholders participated first in planning charettes to discuss objectives and preferences in the features and design of the development, then later in public meetings and public hearings before the City Planning Commission and City Council. The result is a plan and ordinance that had significant community input and reasonable compromise to achieve passage.

A two-story single-family residential buffer was designed along Collins Boulevard to protect the Prairie Creek neighborhood to the west. Four-to-six-story multi-family and office buildings with ground floor activated uses will face a publicly accessed 4-acre central park. High rise corporate office sites along U.S. 75 are capped in height to match Palisades 2, the tallest existing office tower on the site. Retail, restaurant and hotel uses are also permitted on the site. The proximity of the nearby Galatyn Park Station (currently accessed by shuttle) encourages an efficient, compact, land use pattern, promotes pedestrian activity, reduces the reliance on private automobiles and provides a more functional and attractive community through the use of recognized principles of urban design.