Depending on who you ask, Lake Highlands is either a small community of 1940-50’s traditional ranch homes quietly taking in the sun along the north east border of White Rock Lake. Other people will tell you that Lake Highlands is a huge development that occupies a large portion of East Dallas, neither are really wrong.
“Old” Lake Highlands was originally developed as early as the 1940’s and features homes that are sometimes smaller with beautiful hardwood floors and detailing that just isn’t done on modern homes. This area is full of character and charm and home owners in old Lake Highlands take great pride in the homes they lovingly maintain. Old Lake Highlands is bordered by Buckner Boulevard and E Lake Highlands Dr to the south and NorthWest Hwy to the North, it is the only part of Lake Highlands that is to the south of NW Hwy. The bulk of Lake Highlands lays north of NW Hwy and south of 635 and when most people in Dallas refer to Lake Highlands, for the most part they’re referring to a large portion of East Dallas which is inside the Richardson school district. This is especially important because for a long time, schools in Dallas hadn’t always been reliable. Lake Highlands offers a location inside East Dallas that people want to be a part of and yet offers strong, reputable schools that can be relied on to deliver a good education. In recent years, schools in East Dallas have made strides to improve and are led by strong performers like Lakewood Elementary and we expect that the value of homes in East Dallas will continue to increase as their schools continue to improve.
For East Dallas residents near the corner of Skillman and Walnut Hill, the promised Lake Highlands Town Center is long overdue. The property has sat flat and empty for years while the ownership changed, plans got scratched, and hopes got dashed. Finally, nearly a decade after the land was cleared construction will be complete in 2017 and it should be well worth the wait for nearby residents. Anchored by a large Sprouts grocery store, the area will focus on walkable outdoor spaces with a little something for everyone.
If you drive through East Dallas, you’ll eventually find yourself at the intersection of Northwest Hwy and Skillman Rd at which point, you may have looked to the north side of the road and seen a long abandoned car lot occupying premium real estate in the middle of an area ripe for development. This prime location sat vacant for almost a decade but now there is an exciting project coming in that will give East Dallas residents another reason to be excited about developments in the area! High Point Crossing is promising a 2 level shopping complex which would instantly add more retail opportunities to a corner that is already home to a major shopping complex anchored by Super Target. The developer, Ainbinder, says that development will begin in 2017.
In yet another development in East Dallas, we found out earlier this year that Alamo Drafthouse will soon have a location on the north side of the Skillman Abrams intersection! For the uninitiated, the Alamo Drafthouse is a full service restaurant and bar combined with a top notch movie theater. It’s a great experience and if you’ve never been, it’s another great new project to look forward to in Lake Highlands!
In the future, keep an eye on the intersection at Skillman and 635. This area at the northern point of Lake Highlands is the subject of much scrutiny, it is a messy, clunky intersection to get through and it wastes a lot of prime development area. LBJ and Skillman has been on the table for a long time, the intersection is currently home to an underutilized DART station that could be the centerpiece of a new town center area that would see the highway interchange restructured and more focus on accessibility of the surrounding areas. More than the other developments mentioned here in East Dallas and Lake Highlands, the Skillman LBJ intersection could offer a massive change for the area both in traffic flow and bridging the gap between Dallas and Richardson. An urban planning initiative has been proposed to restructure the area and there has been attention in the local media as well. With any luck this will be the next major development in a part of the city that is exciting to be a part of!
The jewel in the crown of the Dallas parks system is White Rock Lake, a 1,015 acre lake created in 1911 as a reservoir for city residents. Since it’s creation as a reservoir in 1914, White Rock Lake has become a recreational destination and one of the most impressive urban parks we have. The serenity of the lake is preserved by a ban on motorboats which makes sail boats and kayaks extremely prevalent on White Rock Lake and ensures that the scenic lake is desirable for people who have lavish homes around the lake’s shore. Over 9 miles of bike and hike trail surrounds White Rock Lake and connects to a trail system that can get you to Plano, Downtown Dallas and the Katy Trail! At the northern point of the lake is one of Dallas’ most recently renovated dog parks. The White Rock Dog Park offers separate parks for large and small dogs as well as a “dog launch” into the lake for a swim! On the east side of the lake is theDallas Arboretum, a 66 acre garden, 44 acres of which was donated by the DeGolyer family who once used it as a pecan orchard.
Several parks run into Lake Highlands from White Rock Lake, Norbuck Park connects from the lake to Flagpole Hill just north of NW Hwy and from there White Rock Creek Greenbelt runs all the way up to Royal Ln. This green area is a lot larger than most people realize and gives the leafy green character to Lake Highlands that a lot of residents love about the area.
White Rock Lake is truly an amazing place and finding Lake Highlands homes within short distance is not an advantage to be overlooked. People from all over Dallas congregate at the lake and it is truly one of the most beautiful urban parks in Texas.