AllianceTexas celebrated its silver anniversary in 2014 with one of its best years of job creation and economic impact, an annual report says.
Last year “was one of the most successful years in the history of AllianceTexas,” said Mike Berry, president of Hillwood Properties, the developer of the industrial, retail and residential development in far north Fort Worth. “Last year alone, the project’s economic impact to the North Texas region was nearly $5 billion. This is best illustrated by the nearly 3,000 jobs created during the year, which includes a growing workforce in the ever-expanding medical district at Alliance Town Center.”
The 18,000-acre development, started in 1989 with the opening of the industrial airport, was estimated to have a $4.75 billion economic impact for 2014, bringing the total economic impact to $55.3 billion over the life of the development, according to Hillwood’s annual report to the City Council, submitted Tuesday.
Alliance Airport, operated by Hillwood, is owned by the city of Fort Worth. Hillwood has been presenting an informal annual report to the city for about a decade.
The report, compiled by Insight Research Corp., measures the impact of total investment and total jobs at the development. Presenting the findings, Berry said Alliance has evolved from a thriving industrial community into a diverse job center and a full-service community. About 400 companies are now located there.
“It took a lot of vision,” Berry said. “We’ve been in a great market for 25 years. It’s a place to live, a place to recreate, a place to enjoy with your family. It’s continuing to evolve and grow and is unique in ways we never really envisioned.”
Insight Research compiled its first report on Alliance after the development was open 10 years and has produced a report annually. The development has industrial, Class A office, aviation, retail, residential, medical and multifamily real estate projects. The majority of AllianceTexas is located in Fort Worth.
The study is based upon economic activity since the development’s inception and includes more than $1.4 billion in taxes paid to eight public entities, Hillwood said. The most money has gone to two school districts — $505.4 million to the Northwest district and $312.1 million to the Keller district.
Fort Worth has received $276.4 million in property taxes and Tarrant County $257.1 million, the report says.
In 2014, the total property tax bill to be paid by Alliance is forecast to reach $129 million.
In the past 25 years, an estimated $8.2 billion has been invested at Alliance, with 94.5 percent, or $7.7 billion, coming from the private sector and the remainder in public money.
In all, 36.8 million square feet of space has been developed, 39,783 jobs have been created and more than 8,200 homes built, the report says.
“This type of growth surpasses any of our early goals for the development, and we look forward to even more success in the future,” Berry said.
Among its larger deals in 2014, Heritage Bag Co. opened a 330,000-square-foot headquarters and Southwest division facility, Tarrant County College opened an aviation and logistics learning center in a former Bell Helicopter building at Alliance Airport, and UPS moved into a nearly 500,000-square-foot distribution facility, formerly leased by LG Electronics.
Later this year, the Federal Aviation Administration is scheduled to open its new Southwest Region office on 45 acres at Heritage Trace Parkway and Interstate 35W. About 1,600 FAA employees will relocate to the new facility.
And FedEx Ground will open a 300,000-square-foot distribution center on World Wide Drive, off Heritage Parkway, near its Southwest Regional Sort Hub. That facility will employ about 375 workers.
Hillwood says the development is about 50 percent completed.
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727
Hillwood hired to lease former American base
The Fort Worth City Council, acting Tuesday as the Alliance Airport Authority Board, approved hiring two Hillwood-related entities to market, lease and maintain the former American Airlines maintenance facility at the airport.
American closed the 1.8-million-square-foot facility in early 2013 as part of its bankruptcy reorganization. American had leased the property from the city since opening the facility in 1991. The city will take over the property Feb. 1.
The council will enter into 12-month agreements with Hillwood Realty Services to lease the facility and with Alliance Air Services to manage the property. Alliance Air Services will receive a management fee of 3 percent of monthly gross revenue. Hillwood Realty Services will receive a commission of at least 4.5 percent based on projected rents.
For several months, Hillwood Properties has been helping the city find a new tenant for the vacantfacility. Tuesday’s action formalizes that process.
American Airlines merged with US Airways in late 2013. Its lease with the city was to run through August 2028.
— Caty Hirst