Private developers have built a new road in the southern part of the city connecting the Hollytree subdivision with Cumberland Road to make way for development on more than 400 acres.
The new road extends Hollytree Drive south to Maple Lane, which runs to Cumberland Road. The road is already striped but has not yet been taken over by the city of Tyler, according to Karl Seydler, who does engineering plan review for the city.
Hollytree is an upscale subdivision in a rapidly growing area in Tyler and shares its name with the nearby Hollytree Country Club. The subdivision sits south of West Grande Boulevard, west of South Broadway Avenue and north of Faulkner Park.
“It’s common for developers to build a new street and then turn it over to the city,” Seydler said. “They submit plans here for review, which we review. They have to build it according to city standards, and then when it’s completed and accepted then the city will take it over.
“There’s a little bit of utility infrastructure that is still under construction that I’m aware of, and so we won’t accept all that until the water and sewer has been completed,” Seydler said. “Unfortunately, people are driving through it, but they’re not supposed to.”
Genecov West Mud Creek LLC and Roosth Properties LLC are planning to develop a vacant piece of property between Hollytree Drive and Cumberland Road that housing developers have eyed for years. A spokesperson for Genecov was unavailable for comment this week.
Steve Roosth, president of Roosth Properties, said the future development has not been finalized, but will be mixed-use with residential development, office space, commercial development and multifamily housing.
Roosth said his company and Genecov own approximately 430 acres in the area south of Hollytree. He said about 75 acres are in either a flood plain or a floodway. It’s not possible to build in a floodway, but it is possible to build in a flood plain, he said.
“We’re building it in phases, so this is the first phase,” Roosth said of the new road connecting Hollytree Drive to Cumberland Road. “Eventually Hollytree Drive will go all the way through to Old Jacksonville Highway.”
Sharon Guthrie, president of the Hollytree Homeowners Association, said some of the homeowners are worried that the new road will become a cut-through for people trying to get from West Grande Boulevard to Cumberland Road.
“And then others are delighted that it gives us another street to take besides Broadway to Cumberland,” Guthrie said. “Progress is going to happen, and that’s just going to be part of it, so I think we just need to embrace it and keep it.”
In terms of future development, Guthrie said the Homeowners Association is not likely to oppose what Genecov and Roosth are planning unless it would have a detrimental effect on property values within the subdivision.
“That is a huge piece of land that is going to be developed in south Tyler, so why wouldn’t we expect it to be developed?” Guthrie said. “You’re going to have people who don’t want change and want it left alone. I don’t think that’s an option.
"Tyler continues to grow south, and I think that’s just going to be part of — that’s going to continue," she said. "I don’t think anyone’s going to stop that, and I don’t see why we would want to."
John Tindel, the president of the Hollytree Place Homeowners Association, which represents a small portion of homeowners in the Hollytree subdivision, also said development has been moving south in the subdivision over the years.
Tindel said he would want to make sure the speed limit on the new portion of the road remains at 30 mph to maintain safety in the neighborhood and prevent the road from being used as a cut-through.
In the future, Seydler said there are also plans to extend Dueling Oaks Drive east to connect with Hollytree Drive. That would essentially extend Hollytree Drive to Old Jacksonville Highway.
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