Live, work and play in DeSoto — a progressive community with a small-town feeling, rich in diversity and the cultural arts. Located in the “Best Southwest,” (the southwest corner of Dallas County), DeSoto offers fine housing, friendly neighborhoods, a great school system, expanding health facilities, multiple family and sports parks and restaurants and shopping. Nestled in an area sometimes referred to as the Hill Country of North Texas, DeSoto is peacefully sheltered from big-city congestion, but has all the benefits of a “small-town” atmosphere.
The largest of four communities in Best Southwest Dallas County, DeSoto exemplifies the advantages of living and working in the area with five key attributes: tremendous housing values, shorter commutes, clean air, excellent schools and quality health facilities and services. With a population of more than 53,000, DeSoto is a diverse community of neighborhoods and families where planning for the future is a priority.
The city is constantly improving its park system to accommodate many active youth sports programs and family activities. Public safety is a priority in DeSoto as well, evidenced by the state-of-the-art police facility and recent passage of a bond election, which includes renovations and improvements of two fire stations. DeSoto was one of the first departments in the state to put body cameras on every officer.
DeSoto Town Center exhibits the innovative thinking of city leaders. In the early 1990s, officials converted an abandoned strip center into The Town Center. It has become an anchor of the community, housing city administrative offices, the recreation center, civic center, library, a “Black Box” Corner Theatre and an outdoor amphitheater.
The City of DeSoto has been studying ways to revitalize the Hampton Road Corridor, the main artery through the city’s central business district that had begun to look old and dated. In 2015, voters passed a bond issue authorizing the purchase of underutilized properties along the corridor. These are being cleared and made available for modern development.
The city council and staff stand ready to continue facilitating the economic health and growth of our community. A national developer partnered with the City of DeSoto to develop a mixed-use project just west of DeSoto Town Center (the former parking lot for the city complex) that features 35,600 square feet of retail space, one- and two-bedroom residential units and a 360-space parking garage. This concept embraces the new urbanism trend with a mix of retail and residential units. It provides consumer traffic for retail establishments both during the day as patrons visit the library, city hall and recreation center and in the evening as Town Center residents return home to patronize shops and restaurants in the development.
As the city continues to boom with new businesses, DeSoto maintains its sense of community. Annual events — such as the DeSoto Living! Festival, Juneteenth and Fourth of July Celebrations, Crawfish Festival and other events — keep DeSoto’s hometown spirit alive.
A rallying point for the DeSoto community is its dynamic public school system, which has achieved success academically and in a variety of extracurricular activities. With public and private schools and a vast number of colleges and universities in the area, DeSoto residents take pride in academic achievement. Great schools, great people and a great location — residents have it all in DeSoto!
DeSoto’s superb location; competitive land prices; beautiful and developed business park; an ethnically diverse, educated and skilled workforce; and pro-business attitude offer a bright future for new, relocating and expanding businesses. Strategically located in the DFW Metroplex at the crossroads of I-20, I-35E and SH 67, less than 20 minutes south of downtown Dallas and 30 miles from DFW International Airport, this city offers companies a strong foundation on which to flourish.
DeSoto still has land available for industrial and commercial development in the Eagle Industrial and Business Park. This area is home to leading companies such as Kohls Fulfilment Center, Walmart Distribution Center, Solar Turbines, ZEP Manufacturing, DIAB, Inc., Kauffman Tire, DW Distribution, Trybus, Sew Eurodrive and Kohler Company.
The DeSoto Economic Development Corporation is funded by economic development sales tax revenue and exists to promote the growth and attraction of businesses that enhance the level of employment, the economic base and the quality of life for all citizens. To achieve these goals, the DEDC works hard to support and attract new and expanding companies and creatively customizes incentive packages based on individual business needs.
A company can find all the business services it needs in DeSoto. The area has many attorneys, accountants, insurance agencies and financial institutions. Nearby major retailers carry supplies, equipment, furniture and services to meet any business need. A variety of printers, copy centers and sign shops can help owners get the word out about their business. Employment agencies are available for those seeking new employees or individuals looking for a new job. Visit the DeSoto Chamber of Commerce website at www.desotochamber.org and click on Member Directory for quick links to member businesses.
Commercial development in DeSoto has remained strong and steady in recent years. However, the city has particularly experienced an abundance of activity in the hotel business. Newly built hotels on the west access road of I-35E include the Home2 Suites by Hilton at Centre Park Boulevard and the Glo by Best Western between Meadows Parkway and Southpointe Drive. In addition, a new Comfort Suites is situated on Wintergreen Road just west of I-35E.
Other key commercial development projects include a potential new retail power center south of Belt Line Road on I-35E, a recently completed shopping center and grand entrance into the city on the southwest corner of I-35E, a new 47,000-square-foot shopping plaza adjacent to the Walmart on Belt Line, a potential mixed-use development at Wintergreen and Cockrell Hill and the mixed-use, commercial/residential project at city hall.
Significant growth is also taking place in the city’s medical area including a $40 million medical office park at U.S. Highway 67 and Wheatland Road by Methodist Charlton Medical Center. At full build-out, this multi-phase development will include a long-term acute care hospital, a medical office building, medical office condos and commercial outlots, which house the extended-stay TownePlace Suites by Marriott, restaurants and other commercial service facilities.
The DeSoto Economic Development Corporation Board and staff work diligently to attract new industrial, commercial, and retail projects. They coordinate incentives on a case by case basis, finance the Small Business Revolving Loan Fund, and offer business retention/expansion and site selection services. The DEDC offices are inside DeSoto Town Center at 211 E. Pleasant Run Rd. For more information, visit www.dedc.org or call (972) 230-9611.
A variety of hotels are available in DeSoto for visitors who want to spend some time touring local and area attractions. DeSoto’s proximity to Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington makes it the ideal location for dining and entertainment without the hassle of big-city traffic.
DeSoto can meet anyone’s dining needs. The city’s superb food choices include name brand eateries and mom-and-pop diners serving Mexican, Asian, Italian, steak, seafood, barbecue or home-style cooking. DeSoto has about a dozen food trucks that regularly sell in the area. So, whether the occasion calls for an elegant or romantic dinner, a casual family restaurant or fast food, DeSoto has plentiful choices.
Boasting an assortment of retailers, DeSoto makes shopping a pleasant and convenient experience. Within the city limits, DeSoto shoppers can take advantage of discount outlets, grocers, hardware and houseware retailers and a number of small specialty shops and boutiques to meet the needs of area residents. Fresh produce and groceries are available at major supermarkets, budget-friendly value stores and a Farmers Market.
DeSoto’s locally owned jewelry store offers the services of a certified gemologist who is a member of the Gemological Institute of America, the American Gem Society and the Independent Jewelers Organization. National chains like Payless Shoe Source, Beall’s Department Store and Walmart Supercenter are located in DeSoto as well.
The neighboring city of Cedar Hill has a variety of restaurants, retail shops (including an upscale clothing boutique for women) and movie theater. Cedar Hill also features Hillside Village, an outdoor shopping mall complex with dozens of national retail stores and eateries.
DeSoto’s location at the intersection of I-35 and I-20 gives shoppers easy access to major malls in Dallas and Arlington. This means that DeSoto residents have a variety of specialty shops, boutiques and malls at their fingertips — from national retailers to one-of-a-kind stores.
Things to Do in DeSoto Texas
Looking for a little culture or just some old-fashioned family entertainment? DeSoto has it all. The city hosts a number of activities, events and festivals throughout the year to provide visitors and residents something to do without a long drive — from dances to fishing tournaments to concerts.
DeSoto also promotes hometown spirit and involvement, offering a range of rich, cultural arts experiences as well, including the monthly Fourth Friday Concert Series, the Crawfish Festival, DeSoto Arts Live, Art and Music Festival and an annual festival celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. These events give residents a chance to mingle with their neighbors while having a great time in their own community.
The Daddy-Daughter Dance is held in early February each year and the Mother-Son Dance takes place on the first Saturday in May. The Easter Bunny also visits DeSoto for the Annual Easter Egg Hunt. The annual BSW Juneteenth Celebration, which rotates among the Best Southwest Cities of DeSoto, Duncanville, Cedar Hill and Lancaster, kicks off the summer with arts and crafts, children’s activities, entertainment and food. Throughout the summer, free concerts are held at the Outdoor Amphitheater and residents and visitors are invited to bring their picnic baskets and lawn chairs to enjoy the performances.
The Fabulous Fourth Fireworks Celebration is hosted by DeSoto and Lancaster in alternating years, allowing visitors to celebrate the nation’s independence with live music and a spectacular fireworks show. As the holidays approach, Santa Claus makes time on the first Saturday in December to attend DeSoto’s Home Town Holiday festivities.
When it’s time to take a break and experience a little community theater, the Corner Theatre in DeSoto Town Center is the place to go. A state-of-the-art performance facility, the Corner Theatre features a 165-seat black box theater with full lighting and sound capabilities. The venue hosts concerts, plays and a variety of other performances throughout the year. The Corner Theatre is also available for rental by citizens, businesses and community groups.
In DeSoto, recreation is part of life and something the city strives to promote. The outstanding recreational facilities available in DeSoto make it the envy of surrounding communities.
With 21 parks and additional improvements on the way, DeSoto’s residents are never far away from taking a nice stroll. Park facilities feature picnic and playground areas as well as nature and walking trails. Free music and entertainment is often available at the DeSoto Amphitheater and the Black Box Corner Theatre.
DeSoto parks support its vast number of recreational sports. Sports fields cater to baseball, football, soccer and softball, and basketball courts are available as well. Organized programs include youth baseball, softball and youth football at Meadow Creek Park — all offered through the nationally accredited DeSoto Parks and Recreation Department.
The Aquatic Center in Mosley Park provides relief from hot summer days and features water slides and fountains.
DeSoto also boasts the first covered track BMX Bicycle racing facility in the United States. The site hosts several international and national competitions each year, and racers use the facility daily. The dirt track consists of carefully constructed hills and sharp turns, and is the only BMX track
south of Dallas.
The DeSoto Recreation Center at Town Center offers residents a variety of opportunities to stay in shape. The center features two full-sized gymnasiums, an indoor walking track, multi-purpose area and a state-of-the-art equipped fitness center. A range of classes are available year-round, including dance, karate, ballet, spin-cycling and Zumba.
The DeSoto Public Library in DeSoto Town Center is fully automated with Internet access, and offers a getaway for book lovers or those who need a place to study. The library is open six days a week and hosts programs throughout the year, including book fairs, Story Time and the Summer Reading Program, which features weekly performances by authors, clowns and magicians.
First-class facilities for golf and tennis are located at Thorntree Country Club, 825 W. Wintergreen Rd. in DeSoto. The club offers 18 holes of challenging golf and private tennis and swimming facilities. Banquet and meeting rooms also are available.
Those who wish to spend a day at the lake need only travel a few minutes to Joe Pool Lake and Cedar Hill State Park, which offer fishing, boating, camping and water sports.
Nance Farm is one of the oldest homes in North Texas. This museum – open by appointment and for special events – celebrates the history of DeSoto and is the site of DeSoto’s veterans memorial.
In addition, families are just minutes away from movie theaters, bowling, miniature golf, roller-skating and ice-skating. For an entire day of fun, Six Flags Over Texas and Hurricane Harbor in nearby Arlington offer roller coasters and water slides. Easy access to I-35 and I-20 also puts DeSoto residents within minutes of clubs and attractions in downtown Dallas and Fort Worth.
With a current enrollment of approximately 9,800 students, the DeSoto Independent School District is a small, suburban district 15 miles south of Dallas. The 23-square-mile district serves students in the communities of DeSoto, Glenn Heights and Ovilla with 12 campuses. The district enjoys small town support of academics and athletics, along with taxpayer support for upgraded facilities, technology and instructional support. For more information about DeSoto ISD, call (972) 223-6666
“The mission of DeSoto ISD is to prepare each student academically and socially to be a problem solver and productive citizen for a 21st century global society.”
The district’s mission, values, goals and objectives are clearly defined. The district and community have bonded to develop a system of schooling where all students are expected to graduate with character, intellectual preparedness and personal leadership as outlined in the district’s Portrait of a Graduate.
All campus, department and district improvement plans provide opportunities for students to achieve academic excellence. Every school provides outstanding academic instruction supported by pyramids of instructional intervention, enrichment, behavior intervention and privileges.
Growth and Facilities
DeSoto ISD continues to grow at a steady pace, adding approximately 300–500 students per year. While DeSoto ISD continues to grow and build new campuses, they also enhance existing schools with current technology and facility improvements for security and energy efficiency. Campuses are maintained at the highest standard for learning to be the top priority.
The district’s campus structure currently includes:
- Early Childhood Academy (PreK):
- Elementary Schools (Grades K–5):
Cockrell Hill, The Meadows, Frank D.
Moates, Northside, Woodridge, Ruby
Young, and Katherine Johnson
Technology Magnet Academy
- Middle Schools (Grades 6–8):
East,Curtistene S. McCowan and West
- Freshman: DHS Freshman Campus
- DeSoto High School includes the main campus and an Alternative Education Program.
State and federal ratings
As of the most recent school year, several DeSoto ISD campuses have earned academic distinctions from the Texas Education Agency, including:
- Three campuses earned Academic Distinctions in mathematics.
- One campus’ scores were in the Top 25 percent Student Achievement.
- One campus received Top 25 percent Student Progress.
- DeSoto ISD met 50 out of 59 safeguards.
- $14 million in scholarships offered to the Class of 2018.
- DHS athletic training programs are “four-peat winners” of the Athletic Training Olympic Champions competition.
- DHS Thespians qualified for the International Thespian Society National Competition.
- State awards received in choir, CTE, track and dance.
- DeSoto ISD received the A2E2 Grant worth $15 million to support magnet education in DeSoto ISD.
Private and charter schools
DeSoto also offers a wide selection of private and charter schools for children in preschool through 12th grade. These educational options generally provide specialized or religious environments
- The Canterbury Episcopal School is a mission-driven, faith-based school. It is a college preparatory school built upon academic excellence, appreciation of diversity, spiritual development and social responsibility. In the most recent class, 98 percent of graduates were accepted to four-year institutions and 2 percent were accepted to two-year colleges.
- The mission of Life School is to develop leaders with life skills through strong academics, character training and partnerships with parents and the community. Launched in 1998, Life School has grown to six campuses serving several thousand students.
- Turning Point Christian Academy is a Bible-governed school serving grades K-4 through 12th grade that seeks to teach discipline, values, beliefs and principles that are consistent with the Word of God. Because these principles are taught first in the home, the vision of Turning Point is largely contingent upon parents educating their children, and teachers and staff members assisting them in this process.
- NV Kids Academy is a licensed child care center preparing children for kindergarten. *Bilingual *CCA/CCMS Accepted *USDA (CACFP) participating sites. *STEAM-based Curriculum.
Other schools serving the area include Cross of Christ Lutheran School, DeSoto Private School, Faith Family Academy, Graduate School of Applied Linguistics, International Leadership Texas, Crossroads Academy, Vista Academy of DeSoto, Golden Rule Wintergreen Campus, Winfree Academy Charter School, and Uplift Gradus Preparatory Charter School.
DeSoto’s location makes it accessible to a number of public and private colleges for students seeking a higher education.
The University of North Texas at Dallas is the only public, accredited four-year university in the City of Dallas. With current on-site enrollment projected to be more than 5,000 students by 2021, the university isn’t just growing from an enrollment standpoint, but its 264-acre campus is evolving physically to accommodate the anticipated growth. The university’s first residence hall is now in place – transforming UNT Dallas into a residential campus – and a new $63 million student center was completed in 2018.
The main University of North Texas Dallas campus is now served by DART light rail, making it more accessible than ever and directly connected to downtown. Now housed in the fully renovated, historic former city hall, the UNT Dallas College of Law provides the only public law school in the city.
Cedar Valley College in neighboring Lancaster, just east of I-35, is one of seven colleges in the Dallas County Community College District. More than 7,000 students benefit from its comprehensive curriculum, which includes four credit academic transfer career programs and non-credit continuing education courses such as real estate, computer technology, foreign language and music.
Cedar Valley’s award-winning architecture and careful attention to landscaping have given the college a reputation for being one of the most scenic business sites in the Dallas area. The campus plan takes advantage of the site’s natural beauty, which includes a gazebo and a pedestrian walk along two sides of a 17-acre lake. Cedar Valley has a 350-seat performance hall, gymnasium, baseball field and a surgery facility and barn for the veterinary technology program. For more information, call (972) 860-8250.
As part of the Dallas County Community College District, Mountain View College is advancing Dallas’s tradition of excellence in education through high-quality programs in teaching, learning and service. Mountain View College, 4849 W. Illinois Ave. in Dallas, offers a diverse learning community. As a Hispanic Serving Institution, the college has created programs geared toward increasing participation in higher learning, specifically in the arena of math, science, teacher preparation and nursing. For more information, call (972) 860-8700.
Northwood University, located at 207 N. Cannady Dr. in Cedar Hill, is THE business school for aspiring business professionals. The Texas campus opened in 1966 and is situated in the heart of Dallas-Fort Worth. Its adult degree program offers a quality business education from a regionally accredited university. Whether students are out to finish a program started years prior or add a BBA degree to their resume, Northwood University has flexible options to fit busy lifestyles. Courses start every eight weeks with 15 different specialty options. Students can obtain up to 30 credit hours for prior experience. Community college partnerships make transferring easy – up to 92 previously earned credit hours.
For more informtion on Northwood University, call (972) 293-5454.
The DeVos Graduate School is where industry-leading faculty facilitate learning through a unique problem-based methodology. Students learn leadership essentials, transforming them into standout thinkers and problem solvers in today’s competitive business landscape. Options include the Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, Master of Science in Finance. For more information, visit www.northwood.edu.
In addition, DeSoto residents enjoy easy access to other Metroplex universities, including Dallas Baptist University, Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University, the University of Dallas and the University of Texas at Dallas and Arlington.
Less than 30 minutes away, the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical School/Children’s Medical Center/Parkland Health & Hospital System complex offers specialized higher education in medical fields.