Will Tarrant County, Texas, keep up its torrid pace of growth? If you're betting on it, a 7,275-acre property just nine miles west out I-30 and I-20 from downtown Fort Worth may pop on your radars, as the city finishes its water and sewer phase on the tract and owners open for down home partnering over the next few months. Once the headquarters of the Howard Walsh family's ranching operations, Walsh Ranch is slated to become the “finest mixed-use, master planned community in all of the Southwest.” For more than 60 years, the parcel has been known for the quality of its cattle. Now, only a few head graze the land, and descendants of rancher-oilman F. Howard Walsh have turned to other interests.

The family intends to turn the property into a family legacy. “We want to uphold the prestige of the Walsh name,” Whitney Modlinski, spokesperson for the Walsh Ranches Limited Partnership says of the Walshes, who were well-known arts' patrons and supporters of childrens' causes, Texas Christian University, and countless charities.

The partnership hired a planning and design team that includes Dunaway Associates, a North Texas planning and architectural firm, and LDR International, a division of the Kansas City-based HNTB urban design and planning agency, to create a master plan for the property, which sits in both Tarrant and Parker counties, close to Ft. Worth's future outer loop. Now they need builder-developers to turn the team's concept into reality. “We could do it ourselves,” says Modlinski. “But our expertise is in oil and gas. We want someone with real estate expertise.”

As envisioned, Walsh Ranch's architecture and landscaping will reflect the “quiet dignity” of the property with an overall theme that's mindful of the region's ranching heritage. However, each of the five planned neighborhoods will have its own distinctive but compatible “sub-theme.”

At the Ranch's heart will be a main street–like town center featuring high-image corporate, retail and entertainment uses plus high-density residential with a pedestrian focus. At the same time, a third of the old ranch will be left as permanent open space, including at least one 18-hole golf course, a 133-acre community park, and five-acre parks at each of the 11 school sites that are planned.

Overall, the plan calls for a total of 18,157 residential units, including 10,297 single-family houses, 2,582 townhouses, and 5,278 apartments. The city has agreed to annex the property as it is developed and provide police and fire services and the necessary sewer and water infrastructure to Walsh Ranch. But by ERA's estimate, the development would pump enough revenue into the city's treasury to be cash-positive by the second year.


Learn more about markets featured in this article: Dallas, TX.