Rowlett needs “rebranding.” The city is a modest sized suburb to a major American city, but still retains its own identity and charm. It has accumulated some assets over the years, and of course had a major water facility coursing thru the town since 1972. Rowlett has never utilized Lake Ray Hubbard as it could have. However, in fairness, the City of Dallas has posed some major development constraints. Rowlett has never had a free hand to enhance the lake’s presence.
However, over the past 10 years, some good things have happened. The alignment of the stars regarding some good events might be in place for a major re-invention of Rowlett. First, Rowlett worked a deal with Dallas to have a little more control over Rowlett’s shoreline with Lake Ray Hubbard. In addition, Rowlett found PGWB tollway running right thru town. The DART terminal station appeared. Rowlett worked a complicated deal whereby the City of Dallas could sell the old Robertson Park (now Bayside and Sapphire Bay} to the City of Rowlett who, almost simultaneously, sold the land on to developers. In so doing, Rowlett then had access to the “deep water” of Lake Ray Hubbard and Interstate 30 ran right thru the middle of the property. By annexing the property, Rowlett now had unbelievably valuable land available for development, as well as increasing the shoreline into the more desirable lake access.
Rowlett now has the best transportation abilities in the metroplex, based on its size and charm as a small town. Rowlett seems destined to maintain this identity. Not only transportation assets, but Rowlett has another excellent asset, a 24,000-acre lake running right thru town. What a deal!!
I think the proposed lakeside development is the first step in noticeably “rebranding” Rowlett. It can even be seen from the Lakeside Drive bridge over the lake……even better. It becomes a road sign or billboard that you are in Rowlett, a good place to be.
I believe Rowlett should be an upscale retirement area. Everything needed is available. I have lived in Rowlett for 45 years. Soon after arriving, I had occasion to visit Granbury, Texas. The two towns reminded me of one another. Both were about the same size and both had a lake running thru the middle of town. Have you been to Granbury lately? They have beaches, boardwalks, lakeside condos and apartments. The city has parks everywhere and the downtown is bustling. Granbury has become a retirement village. There is a lot of disposable income that has moved to Granbury. Of course, everybody wins. Real estate values in the whole town are excellent.
A word about increasing real estate values and taxes. There is a often repeated lament that “If my real estate values go up, my taxes go up, too.” That is not the whole story. Its only what your real estate values do IN RELATION TO other real estate values in the town that effect your actual tax bill. If your home value goes up 5% and everyone else’s go up 10%, and the city’s budget remains the same, your taxes will GO DOWN, even with the 5% increase. Now, if there is new valuable real estate developed in town, whether residential or commercial, and the cost of city administration does not exceed the added ad valorem taxes paid by the new development, your taxes should remain the same, even thou real estate values across the board increased. Much still depends on what city leaders spend each year vs. growth in the city. Of course, if real estate values go up, but taxes remain the same due to new growth, the increase in value goes straight to your balance sheet.
Admittedly, the above is a vision. However, it is a vision that is good for Rowlett. It will take city leaders with a vision to lead Rowlett to this new position of desirability. Whatever makes Rowlett desirable, puts value on your balance sheet, plus provides a good place to live. Leadership with vision is absolutely required. Seat warmers with bobbing heads do not get there.