Southlake Town Square

1400 Main Street
Southlake, TX

Submitted by: Jayashree Narayana

This mixed-use town center is the center of community life.

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Why It Works

Southlake Town Square is a 130-acre, mixed-use development comprising retail, office, restaurant, entertainment, residential, and governmental uses. Internationally recognized, Southlake Town Square has become the downtown for the City of Southlake, a central business district for Northeast Tarrant County, and the community’s gathering place. Opened in March, 1999, Town Square currently encompasses 10 city blocks covering 54 acres.

Southlake Town Square demonstrates the successful application of key smart growth principles including a mix of land uses, compact building design, creation of a walkable environment with a distinct sense of place, and involving citizen and stakeholder participation in development decisions. The concept for Southlake Town Square grew from the community’s desire to create a “village center” as the heart of the community. Since its opening in 1999, Southlake Town Square has created community traditions with key events and festivals including Art in the Square, 4th of July Celebration, and Oktoberfest.

The project’s historic downtown grid pattern embodies the traditions of a Texas courthouse downtown. An interconnected network of streets, short blocks, and buildings at the sidewalk all create a compact, pedestrian-scaled public realm. Interior streets are designed as traditional downtown shopping streets, with on-street parking and pedestrian amenities. Public squares, plazas, and parks are located to add value to development and create a sense of place. To this end, Southlake Town Square includes a fountain, pond, pavilion and park that provide various public gathering spaces. Each of these public spaces contributes to the personality of the downtown, as does the Town Hall, which provides the ultimate backdrop to Town Square.

What Makes Southlake Town Square a Great Place?

Southlake Town Square is accessible primarily by automobile and is currently in the process of adding residential uses which will be accessible by foot. However, it is a "park-once" environment where people park and walk from retail uses to restaurants to the public gathering places. All streets are pedestrian friendly with street trees, sidewalks, etc.

Yes, in the midst of conventional sprawl, Southlake Town Square stands out due to its public open spaces and civic uses. The park attracts employees and families alike. Evenings attract families with children playing in the park and fountain. The park and rest of Town Square is regularly maintained by the city and the developer and is a safe place.

From shoppers taking a break to mothers with baby strollers to teenagers hanging out at the local cafe, Town Square attracts a range of users and activities.

Southlake is a third-tier suburban community with most of its retail and residential development in an auto-oriented urban form. Southlake was faced by the placemaking challenges facing most suburban communities. These challenges included rapid expansion, lack of a sense of place, single-use zoning, and large-format suburban retail and office uses.

The challenge was to create a new compact, mixed-use, downtown given this suburban context and the lack of any urban precedent in the city. To that end, Southlake Town Square has become the center of community life in Southlake. From informal meetings at the local café to children playing in the square’s fountain, Southlake Town Square has become more than a place to shop. It is where people meet their neighbors, teenagers hang-out at the square, and moms take their children to play in the park. The key social benefit of Southlake Town Square has been the creation of the community gathering place, where the city established new traditions that are critical in building a sustainable and vibrant Southlake.

Contact Info:

Southlake Management office: 817-329-5566

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