One of Fort Worth's newest and most ambitious residential developments is growing at a brisk pace.
In just a little more than one year, 211 homes have been sold at the Walsh development, which is about 14 miles from downtown on the city's west side. The sprawling, 11-square-mile piece of land straddles Interstates 20 and 30 (near where the two highways merge) and is in the Aledo school district.
About 320 people now call Walsh home, according to Republic Property Group, which is overseeing construction by a dozen home builders.
The master-planned residential area is expected to eventually have about 50,000 residents — making it a focal point of the city's future — although the growth probably will play out over several decades.
"We’re finishing a new home almost every single day and currently have 74 spec homes on the ground," Tony Ruggeri, Republic Property Group co-chief executive officer, said in an email. "The initial phase is close to being half sold."
The vast expanse of land used to be part of the family-owned Walsh Ranch.
The master plan calls for each home to be a short walk from green space. Also, the 12 builders taking part in the project offer a wide range of homes priced from the upper $200,000s to nearly $800,000, with multiple builders on each block to diversify the architecture of the neighborhood.
Other amenities at Walsh include a "Makerspace" building that includes woodworking tools and 3D printers, a soon-to-be-added resort pool and a Walsh Village Market convenience store on the property.
"More than anything, I think residents enjoy walking from home to hubs of neighborhood activity — weekend classes at the Makerspace, breakfast tacos or a glass of wine with a neighbor at the Village Market or yoga at the athletic club," Jake Wagner, Republic's other co-CEO, said.
Walsh Elementary School is already open in the neighborhood, and eventually the area will also have its own middle and high schools.
A fitness center recently opened in the area, giving residents access to a variety of exercise machines, free weights and an enormous area for Pilates, yoga and cardio workouts.
"In 10 years, this will be a city in itself," Caroline Revard, one of the first home buyers in the area, said before she moved into her home earlier this year.
As Fort Worth prepares for an influx of new residents — with today’s population of about 850,000 expected to swell to nearly 1.5 million by 2040 — Walsh is expected to be a bell cow for neighborhoods wishing to lure upper-middle income and wealthy residents.
Walsh was designed to preserve the rolling hills native to the area, and is organized so that residents have easy walking access to one of three parks.
Also, the entire area is being wired for 2 gigabit Internet speed — faster than surrounding areas — and residents and businesses will have an option to tap into 10 gigabit service. A company known as Frog is installing the fiber optics.
This report includes information from the Star-Telegram archives.