Alliance says it has topped $50 billion in economic impact

Posted Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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By the numbers

A look at Alliance since 1990

Square footage developed: 33.9 million

Homes completed: 8,150

Hotel rooms completed: 200

Apartment homes completed: 550

Jobs created: 37,032

Source: Hillwood Properties

Wal-Mart drops second e-commerce facility

The Fort Worth City Council learned Tuesday that Wal-Mart is pulling its plans for a second e-commerce facility at Alliance. The giant retailer notified the city staff to remove the agenda item from Tuesday’s meeting.

“Wal-Mart has decided not to pursue the project at this time,” City Manager Tom Higgins said.

The council was scheduled to vote on a $2.9 million incentive package for the project, which was expected to generate 100 jobs by the end of 2019.

Wal-Mart was considering a $32 million, 850,000-square-foot facility at Interstate 35W, north of Alliance Gateway. Annual sales at the facility were to be $150 million to $200 million. It opened a 788,000-square-foot fulfillment center at Alliance this year.

— Sandra Baker

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The sprawling Alliance development in far north Fort Worth this year will surpass $50 billion in economic impact on North Texas since the project began in 1989.

The estimated economic impact for this year is projected at $3.7 billion, bringing the total to $50.6 billion, according to Hillwood Properties, which made its annual economic impact report to the City Council on Tuesday. The report, compiled by Insight Research Corp., measures the impact of total investment and total jobs at the development.

“One of the most encouraging trends in the study includes three straight calendar years where AllianceTexas generated more than $3 billion in economic impact,” said Mike Berry, Hillwood’s president.

Berry said 2013 has been one of the most successful years in the project’s history, noting that more than 5,000 jobs were added and that projects were launched in all real estate asset classes, including industrial, office, residential and retail. That hasn’t happened since 2007, Berry said.

“We didn’t build much between 2008 and the end of last year,” he said.

Most employment came in the manufacturing and e-commerce sectors, but jobs were also created at the growing number of retailers at Alliance Town Center. Opening this year were Flextronics, which makes the Motorola Moto X smartphone and has more than 2,000 workers, and online fulfillment centers for Amazon and Wal-Mart.

“The economy is really back in forward motion now,” Berry said. “We’re really seeing it in many different sectors. It’s a good indicator that we ought to be on a positive, upper slope going forward.”

In other developments, Hillwood partnered with HealthCap in Dallas for a senior living center at Alliance Town Center, started construction on a building for Mooresville, N.C.-based Carolina Beverage Group, and started construction on Hillwood Commons, a speculative multitenant three-story, 158,000-square-foot office building.

In other activity, HCA North Texas started a $71 million, three-story hospital, and a joint venture between Trammell Crow Co. and USAA Real Estate bought 45 acres at the northeast corner of Heritage Trace Parkway and Interstate 35W and has started building the Federal Aviation Administration’s new Southwest Region office.

About 1,600 FAA employees will move there by October 2015.

Alliance will celebrate its 25th anniversary in December 2014. Hillwood says the 18,000-acre development is about 50 percent completed.

Alliance added the 1,150-acre Harvest master-planned residential community in Northlake and Argyle this year. About 80 percent of the 65-square-mile Alliance is in Fort Worth.

Projections show that Alliance will pay $121.2 million in property taxes this year. Since 1990, it has paid $1.3 billion in property taxes to four cities, two counties and two school districts.

Alliance will pay $23 million in property taxes to Fort Worth and $23.6 million to Tarrant County this year, up 2 percent from 2012, the report shows.

Denton County will receive $2.9 million in property taxes, also up 2 percent.

Haslet is projected to receive $685,376; Roanoke, $2.9 million; and Westlake, $677,472. The Keller school district should receive $29 million, and the Northwest school district, $38 million, the report shows.

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727 Twitter: @SandraBakerFWST

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