Mesquite City leaders and Huffines Communities held a groundbreaking ceremony on a tract of land destined to host 3,900 homes with resort-like amenities. Project Solterra, the most extensive development in the city’s southern district, will sit on 1,530 acres of the Lucas Farms site.

The project results from a collective vision among city leaders who have had the idea for twenty years. Leading the plan is the Lucas family and the Huffines group. According to city leaders, they had been courting developers and making plans for two decades.

Phillip Huffines, founder and co-owner of Huffines Communities, spoke about the project to a crowd on Wednesday afternoon. Huffines lauded the efforts of the city’s staff, referring to Mesquite as “the best city I have ever worked with.”

According to Huffines, the parties had attempted to develop the land in the past. However, they did not work well as partners and could not agree on the economics. “Whether it be the sales price of the land or the entitlements from the city. You know, timing is everything,” Huffines said.

The Huffines family discovered the tract of land about two years ago and reached out to the Lucas family. According to Elvio Bruni, president of Huffines Communities, a large part of landing the deal resulted from developing a relationship with the Lucas family, who did not want anyone to create a subdivision out of the piece of property they have owned for 100 years.

Solterra will be filled with resort-like amenities like a pool complex, biking and hiking trails, a fitness facility, a dog park, a beer garden, and access to a 30-acre lake. The plans for the community also include an event lawn, a restaurant, and space for a farmers market and food truck.

Huffines Communities also shared plans to preserve the native pecan groves, orchards, and pastures with 560 acres of open space. In addition, a 54-inch-wide red oak tree will anchor a custom-designed treehouse.