While most developers seek property for topography, location and appeal, prominent developer John Zouzelka also had sentimental reasons for purchasing a sprawling 333-acre swath of land situated on one of the highest points in Frisco: He raised his children just five miles down the road in the Enclave at Stonebriar Creek Estates. His daughters, avid horse riders, had stumbled upon the acreage and suggested he take a look. “They told me it was gorgeous and that I needed to see it,” he says.
With one tour, he fell in love. It took several years and some chasing for Zouzelka to nab the property, but he did. And, after contemplation, he says: “I decided I would create a highend community. The land is so special, I didn’t want to ruin it.” The result of his vision is the luxury residential development The Hills of Kingswood. Originally slated to hold 1,400 homes, Zouzelka fought for a gated community and lowered the total to a mere 500 homesites, to preserve the surrounding environment as much as possible.
The setting is worth the conservation: In a prime location on a wooded greenbelt bordering Lake Lewisville (just minutes from Legacy Business Park, Toyota’s corporate headquarters, and the new Dallas Cowboys Facility at the Star in Frisco), the grounds offer hiking and biking trails, a private preserve park along crystal-clear Stewart Creek, a stunning 3-acre pond with a fountain, plus a gated and guarded entry and exit. What’s more, the development is adjacent to Grand Park, the city of Frisco’s forthcoming 350- acre, master-planned regional park, which is set to break ground this year.
It is the ideal backdrop for Zouzelka’s concept: He enables prospective residents to choose from among four varying home sizes before selecting the builder of their choice. Options begin with estate homes, with homesites that average more than 40,000 square feet in size and abut Corps of Engineers’ property surrounding Lake Lewisville. Then there are mansions, with lots that average nearly 21,000 square feet and are adjacent to the greenbelt while affording views of the rolling terrain. Manor properties, meanwhile, are available to a limited 13 homeowners, with homesites that average 13,500 square feet. Lastly, chateau properties sit on lots that average 10,250 square feet and overlook the hillsides.
“When planning out the community, we wanted to make it feel like Park Cities and Preston Hollow in Dallas,” Zouzelka says. So much so, that he even measured the center island at the neighborhood’s entry to the exact width of the center island on Armstrong Parkway in Highland Park.
Zouzelka has been equally conscientious of each home’s design. While prospective homeowners can select their own architect and builder, he offers an impressive roster of established area builders, including Bella Custom Homes, C. Michael Jones Design-Build, Monaco Homes Ltd., Ventura Custom Homes, and Ron Davis Custom Homes. “We are prioritizing quality,” Zouzelka says, adding that designs are reviewed by an architectural control committee. “People bring their own dreams and wishes, so we accede to that as much as we can.”
Craftsmanship and details are paramount in each of the homes, which boast elements such as intricate ironwork in multi-floor spiraling staircases, sliding barn doors, large wood beams, floor-to-ceiling windows, stone facades, and open floor plans.
Zouzelka, alongside business partner Nick DiGiuseppe, are seasoned international developers, who have collaborated since the late 1960s when the two met while living in Toronto. The duo is behind many prominent Dallas developments, including Valley Ranch in Irving (they spearheaded the Dallas Cowboys’ headquarters move there), the popular Flower Mound development in Wellington, Dallas’ Oakdale and Oak Tree, Plano’s Kingsgate, and Fairview’s Provine Farm and Kings Lake.
Zouzelka is an experienced developer who also holds an appreciation for land and prioritizes privacy. “This community will never happen again—the zoning would never allow us to do what we’ve done with a gated community,” he says. “That’s why it’s so unique to Frisco. Our ultimate goal has always been to create a place for people to feel safe and at home. Security is excellent, and it is in a beautiful natural environment.”
And, at the rate homes are selling—he has already moved on to his fifth development phase—there’s no doubt his daughters are proud.
Jessica Elliott is a Dallas-based freelance writer and can be reached at email@example.com.