Tyler native Will Hersey was looking forward to bringing high-quality housing to downtown Tyler as he hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Friday for an 18-unit townhome development at the former site of King Chevrolet.
Hersey, founder of TD Land Management, said it feels great to be breaking ground on the development, noting it’s been about a year since coming to city officials about his interest in purchasing the land.
Titled the West Oak Townhomes, Hersey said it will be one of the safest places in Tyler, featuring a dog park and BBQ park. It’s also a brief, six-minute walk to places like Rick’s On The Square.
The dog park will be named Lady’s Park in honor of his dog, Lady.
The gated community will consist of 18 three-story units ranging from 1,691 to 1,777 square feet.
He said the first nine townhouses will be built in the next seven months and the literal breaking of ground will begin next week.
Hersey, a Grace Community School graduate, said he became interested in the lot located at southwest corner of West Erwin and South Bonner Avenue because he wanted to help his hometown and use the knowledge he gained in Dallas real estate.
“All of downtown Tyler is an opportunity zone,” he said. “That was one of the first reasons that attracted us.”
Hersey said an opportunity zone is an area where tax law incentivizes private companies to invest in certain areas.
“It feels good. I grew up in a modest house in Flint,” he said. “Being able to bring something from the Dallas and Houston area to Tyler, it’s a dream come true.”
He also hopes to get together with the city of Tyler for a private-public partnership to help renovate the streets of downtown.
Don Warren, former Tyler city councilman and current mayoral candidate, said it was a great day to see the project moving forward with the groundbreaking ceremony.
And he wasn’t surprised that Hersey was able to reach this accomplishment.
“This is a guy who can make it happen,” Warren said. “Over the last five years, our downtown has become better because of investors like Will.”
Hersey thanked Andy Bergfeld and his partners for their work to revitalize downtown through the development of Plaza Tower.
Austin Luce, who serves as broker for the homes, said he’s looking forward to living in one of the homes in downtown Tyler.
“I can’t wait to move in and be connected to the downtown Tyler community,” Luce said.
He said six of the 18 homes have been pre-sold to people. The new addition will continue downtown’s live, work and play environment.
Luce added that the homes will have brand new, high-quality construction from a world-class builder who has created similar work in the Dallas area.
“To live in a brand new, high-quality home that is walking distance from bars, restaurants and museums is something that downtown living needs to be,” Luce said.
People interested in purchasing any of the homes or who want more information regarding the project can visit westoaktownhomes.com.