The momentum is building and excitement on the rise as luncheon goers listened to the latest plans for the anticipated Walsh Development located in western Tarrant County and eastern Parker County.
Landry Burdine, of Land Advisors Organization, a land broker for the development; and Bexie Nobles, Director of Community Relations at Republic Property Group - (RPG), spoke at the East Parker County Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Wednesday to discuss the progress being made in the area.
“This ranch has been a part of the Walsh family for the better part of 100 years,” Burdine said. “It’s the single largest contiguous tract of land within 10 minutes of an essential business district anywhere in the country. So it’s a massive blank canvass with a lot of opportunity.”
Nobles said the opening of the first phase at Walsh will begin this April which includes 587 lots to be sold. That’s 1,700 acres that will be developed which already includes roads, water and sewer lines. By the time school opens in the fall a $12.1 million amenities center is also expected to open.
“This is not a master planned community,” Nobles said. “There’s not going to be any labels. You’re just going to drive into a well landscaped, nature rich neighborhood, everything functioning and working together.”
Part of that functioning includes two gigabit internet speeds in every home and school as the minimum connectivity standard. Residents at Walsh won’t see an internet bill for the service as costs will be covered by their homeowners association dues. Ten gigabit service plans are available to future corporate campuses, or any resident that wishes to upgrade their two gigabit bandwidth, at the nation’s most affordable rates.
Among the first to benefit from technological advances at Walsh will be students attending a new Aledo ISD elementary school, set to open for the 2017-2018 academic school year. The award-winning school district intends to support a STEAM curriculum at what will be the first of as many as eight future elementary schools located in Walsh neighborhoods.
Burdine said roughly 15,000 single family homes will encompass the area when totally “built-out.”
“You’re talking about 50,000 people and a value of more than $6 billion in valuation over the life of the project,” Burdine said. “We have roughly 1,000 acres of commercial land we’ll be methodically developing and working through in the next 50 years.”
He said the challenge with building a 15,000 lot community over that time frame is not “screwing it up” to begin with.
“If your home’s built in the beginning it must stand the test of time. You have to do it right, do it well...try to have it exceptional, otherwise you’re going to have lot of problems maintaining that value moving forward,” Burdine added. “It’s a problem all developers deal with over time.”
He said the way they accomplish that is through architectural style and an anti-monotony standard.
“Every lot will be unique,” Burdine added.
The ranch itself is 7,200 acres in its entirety. The Walsh’s vision for the development was to have open spaces and a nature rich community, Burdine said.
“So they dedicated in their development agreement with the City of Fort Worth - and this is a part of the City of Fort Worth located in the extraterritorial jurisdiction today - 2,300 acres of Walsh to open space.”
Burdine said it’s a substantial opportunity to do something nobody else has done in the country.