FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – New businesses are moving into Alliance Town Center almost monthly, making it one of the fastest growing shopping centers in the region. But just seven years ago, the bustling retail area was an empty field.
“There was nothing here!” said Sharon Hutchens, who moved to the Alliance area six years ago.
“Little by little they’ve just been adding these great shops and great restaurants and stuff,” said Hutchen’s daughter Heather Snyder.
The shopping area is just a small part of the 17,000-acre development spread across North Fort Worth. It’s called AllianceTexas and developers believe they’re sitting on an economic gold mine.
“It’s exciting; the area needed it.” said Mike Berry, President of Hillwood Properties, the development company for Alliance. ”You had thousands of rooftops here and no real retail center.”
The planned community started with the nation’s first industrial airport, and will soon include two hospitals, new housing and a 14-screen movie theater that is currently under construction.
“You’ve got a vibrant, integrated economy in place,” Berry added, ”it’s no longer just corporate, industrial users or office or residential, it’s now everything.”
The AllianceTexas project has already brought more than 30,000 jobs to North Texas and contributed more than $40 billion to the economy. It’s also only 40 percent finished.
“Hopefully when we’re built out in the next 10 to 15 years it will be closer to 100 billion,” Berry projected.
When the project is complete there could be a total of 80,000 people working in the Alliance area. But to sustain that type of growth, developers say they desperately need infrastructure and more roads.
Currently, I-35W, the main corridor to Alliance, is being widened and there has been some discussion about adding a rail line, but nothing has been approved.