Live, work and play in DeSoto – a progressive community with a small-town feeling, rich in diversity and the cultural arts. Located in the “Best Southwest,” (the southwest corner of Dallas County), DeSoto offers fine housing, friendly neighborhoods, a great school system, expanding health facilities, multiple family and sports parks, restaurants and shopping. Nestled in an area sometimes referred to as the Hill Country of North Texas, DeSoto is peacefully sheltered from big-city congestion, but has all the benefits of a “small-town” atmosphere.
The largest of four communities in Southwest Dallas County, DeSoto exemplifies the advantages of living and working in the area with five key attributes: tremendous housing values, shorter commutes, clean air, excellent schools and quality health facilities and services.
With a population of over 50,000, DeSoto is a diverse community of neighborhoods and families where planning for the future is a priority. The city is constantly improving its park system to accommodate many active youth sports programs and family activities. Public safety is a priority in DeSoto as well, evidenced by the state-of-the-art police facility and recent passage of a bond election, which includes renovations and improvements of two fire stations.
DeSoto Town Center exhibits the innovative thinking of city leaders. In the early 1990s, officials converted an abandoned strip center into this unique central business district. The Town Center has become an anchor of the community, housing city administrative offices, the recreation center, civic center, library, a 180-seat theater and an outdoor amphitheater. Renovations were made on Town Center in 2005, adding picture windows in the civic center banquet hall (overlooking Ten Mile Creek), a water fountain and additional parking.
Since 1998, the City of DeSoto has been studying ways to revitalize the Hampton Road Corridor, the main artery through the city’s central business district. Over the years, this corridor has begun to look old and dated. New businesses were moving into other areas and the heart of the city was dying.
In 2005, the city hired RTKL Associates, Inc., an architectural firm, to conduct a study to recommend changes for the future. RTKL’s first recommendation was to talk to the citizens of DeSoto. A series of public input meetings targeting residents, Chamber members, the business community and property owners along Hampton Road were held, and the information gathered at these small group meetings was shared at larger public meetings for the entire community.
Once complete, the RTKL study called for three catalyst projects on Hampton Road, which were intended to spur further development along the corridor. The first project, on the northern end of Hampton Road, called for a mixed use residential/office/retail development in the parking lot of our municipal Town Center complex. Midway on Hampton, RTKL suggested a large greenbelt area that could host festivals and outdoor concerts ringed by townhouses. The third catalyst project is another mixed-use development at the corner of Hampton and Belt Line roads.
After more than a year of meetings, design work, planning and number crunching, the vision of the first catalyst project had become a reality. Trammell Crow’s High Street Residential Division partnered with the City of DeSoto to develop a mixed-use project just west of DeSoto Town Center (the former parking lot for the city complex). The project includes 35,600 square feet of retail space, 135 one- and two-bedroom residential units and a 360-space parking garage. The development embraces the new urbanism trend with a mix of retail and residential units tied to our existing municipal complex. This concept provides consumer traffic for retail establishments both during the day as patrons visit the library, City Hall and recreation center and in the evening as Town Center residents return home to patronize shops and restaurants in the development.
This project is a vision that was created with the help of our citizens and community leaders. Fulfillment of this vision will require continuing involvement by the community, the Chamber and the leadership of the DeSoto Economic Development Corporation. We look forward to our partnership with High Street Residential who shares that vision. The city council and staff stand ready to continue facilitating the economic health and growth of our community.
As the city continues to boom with new businesses, DeSoto maintains its sense of community. Annual events – such as the Christmas Parade, Fantastic Fourth of July Celebration, Creekfest and other events – keep DeSoto’s hometown spirit alive.
A rallying point for the DeSoto community is its dynamic public school system, which has achieved success academically and in a variety of extracurricular activities. The DeSoto Independent School District, which serves students in DeSoto, Glenn Heights and Ovilla, has bonded with the community to develop a system of schooling where all students are expected to graduate with character, intellectual preparedness and personal leadership as outlined in the district’s Portrait of a Graduate. With public and private schools and a vast number of colleges and universities in the area, DeSoto residents take pride in academic achievement.
Great schools, great people and a great location – residents have it all in DeSoto!