The vision for a mixed-use 245-acre development along FM 1417 and U.S. Highway 75 became a little more clear after developers submitted early plans for the project to the city of Sherman recently. A preliminary site plan for Terra Perpetua Village as a planned development district has been approved by the Sherman Planning and Zoning Commission.

Terra Perpetua, which was previously called Bel Air by city officials, is planned to be built adjacent to Legacy Village and the site of Schulman’s Movie Bowl Grille and a proposed hotel and convention center. The site plan for Terra Perpetua calls for a mixture of residential uses along with commercial and retail and a proposed elementary school site.

“We will go into greater detail in site plans as each development rolls forward,” said Bryan Klein, managing editor of Ion Design Group. “We cannot come today and tell you the color of the door knobs because a lot of this detail has not been developed.”

Despite the mixed-use plan, representatives said the proposed development will be primarily focused on housing. Terra Perpetua is expected to feature a mixture of apartment- and townhouse- style homes and traditional single-family residential with commercial and retail in an area described as the village center.

City officials previously said there have been talks of dedicating a portion of the development for a new elementary school, however district officials have remained mum on details of any proposed school.

In April, Sherman Independent School District Superintendent David Hicks said it wasn’t uncommon for developers to speak with districts before a major residential development. The district last reevaluated its classroom needs in 2017 along with the bond election for the new Sherman High School.

Klein said the development of the site would likely be phased based on market demand. Among the first areas that are expected to be developer is nearly 64 acres of land designed for mid-rise apartments along the north and eastern border. The proposed apartments would start at three stories, but market demand could increase their height to five stories, Klein said.

A second residential site near the center of the development could feature garden style homes, but Klein said developers wanted to remain flexible about what kind of multi-family component could be built there. More traditional single-family homes are currently slated to be built along the southern side of the development.

Sherman Community and Development Services Manager Nate Strauch said the development could also include public amenities in the form of parks or a lagoon-style swimming facility.

City Council is expected to discuss and give final approval to the development on August 6 and the developer has already expressed that he plans to move forward with architectural designs the very next day, city officials said. The city expects a first-quarter 2020 start for the project.

“PDs are an innovative tool that cities are using to incentivize large-scale developments, so this ordinance puts us on par with other quickly growing cities in and around the Metroplex,” Strauch said. “The Council has done a tremendous job in the last few years working to ensure that Sherman’s future growth won’t compromise the character of our city, and planned developments are a great way to achieve that goal.”

Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at