...can, what’s viable at the moment. We started with housing and a school and are now building retail in neighborhoods.”

A planned 90-acre Uptown District with retail, restaurants and offices will be located within walking distance of a proposed Austin-San Antonio Lone Star Rail commuter rail stop. Mitchell does not expect construction of the town center to begin for three or four years.

“Twenty-years from now, we’ll change the way cities develop,” Mitchell says. “We will create work-live-play communities and make us less dependent on vehicles to take care of daily needs.”

In Northern Texas, Encore Multi-Family will begin construction this winter on the $20-million Encore at Alsbury, a 200-unit residential, Housing and Urban Development-supported rental complex. It is part of a Burleson’s transit-oriented-development district South of Fort Worth.

“We look [to locate developments] in areas that have strong employment growth,” says Steve Mentesana, president of Encore Multi-Family. “The hot thing is TOD, but projects are on hold. We’re not on hold. We’re moving forward. We have the financing.”

Mentesana estimates it might be 10 years before the rail line connecting downtown Fort Worth to its neighboring cities to the south is operational. However, Encore’s property is just off of Interstate 35, making it convenient for people to reach their destination.

JHP Architecture of Dallas designed Encore at Alsbury. Encore will serve as its own general contractor.

“Transit-oriented drives mixed use, but it is not the only indicator for mixed use,” says Manskey, adding that access to freeways is also important. “We’re also trying to create a mixed-use environment that is pedestrian friendly. That’s one of the intricacies of mixed use, to create the right balance between the car and the pedestrian.”