At first glance, the southern entrance to Alliance Texas will appear as untouched pastures, dotted with grazing longhorns and bison.The block of land at the intersection of North Tarrant Parkway and Interstate Highway 35W is set to become a 130 acre mixed-use village, with nearly half of the development to be preserved as grazing fields and open space. Plans were recently released for Monterra by Hillwood, which will feature a mix of 1,000 townhomes and apartments, live/work office space, neighborhood retail and a medical office park. Open spaces will be incorporated through the use of nature trails, streams and ponds. Ground-breaking for 288 apartment residences, the first phase of the project, is scheduled for December, and it will open in September 2007. The units, designed by Womack + Hampton Architects LLC, will average 1,000 square feet, with one, two- and three-bedroom floor plans. Each apartment will have individual first-floor entry with direct-access garages scattered across three sides of each building. A small percentage of the Phase I residences will have attached “business homes” with separate entry. Units closer to Riverside Drive are designed to sit above ground-floor office and retail space. Upgraded finishes for the homes include granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances. Hillwood is currently looking at wood flooring and products, said Joe Petersen, managing director at LiveWorkLifestyle, Hillwood’s consultant for the project. “It’s a 2000 model home in every way, from design of the space to the fit and finishes and furnishings of that space,” Petersen said. A marketing and recreation center, to be housed in a ranch-style building, also will be a part of Monterra’s first phase. The amenities center will feature a fitness facility, business conference center and swimming pool. As for future office and commercial space, Petersen said market response will determine square footage. The project is scheduled to be finished within five years. Monterra by Hillwood is a part of the 17,000 acre Alliance Texas development, where the Alliance Town Center Phase I opens this fall. The Alliance Texas development includes the Alliance business community, the Heritage residential development and Circle T Ranch, a master-planned community. Alliance encompasses 5,200 single-family homes and 140 companies. Hillwood, the developer of Alliance Texas, is also recognized for its development of the American Airlines Center and the Victory district in Dallas.