Chamber Chairman, Allyson Baumeister, with Howard Walsh III as he accepts the 2017 Legacy Award at the Combined Area Council Luncheon.
Walsh, the largest residential development underway in the United States within close proximity to a major city center, was honored Oct. 19 with the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce 2017 Legacy Award during ceremonies at the annual Combined Area Council Luncheon at Cendera Center.
Since 2012, the Legacy Award has honored a person, place or organization, chosen by the Chamber’s senior management and executive committee, for deep commitment and dedication to Fort Worth.
Last year’s posthumous recipient was Tarrant County College Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley. Past recipients include U.S. House Speaker Jim Wright, Mayor Bob Bolen and former XTO Energy Chairman and Texas Rangers owner Bob Simpson.
Walsh, a master-planned community taking shape 12 minutes west of downtown Fort Worth, is transforming the picturesque 7,200-acre Walsh Ranch, once the home of a ranching family that has long focused its philanthropy on Texas Christian University, the arts, children’s causes and many charities.
More than 40 years in the making, Walsh is a partnership between the Walsh family and Republic Property Group (RPG) of Dallas.
“Walsh is a stunning masterpiece of planning that preserves natural beauty and our heritage,” said Fort Worth Chamber President and CEO Bill Thornton.
“It is a true honor to have the tireless efforts of all those involved in the planning and development of Walsh recognized by the Fort Worth Chamber,” said Howard Walsh III. “Our vision is to create a great Fort Worth neighborhood that 100 years from now still feels like home. Walsh will be a wonderful place to live, work, play and raise a family.”
“Mary D. and Howard Walsh dearly loved their land,” said Walsh Holdings President Malcolm Louden. “Walsh is the legacy of the land, past and present, and the lives of those who will call this extraordinary place home in perpetuity.”
Highly detailed architectural and landscaping plans preserve the Walsh family’s dedication to the land and Fort Worth’s heritage while shaping what one day will be a town of 50,000 with 1,700 acres devoted to residential and 770 acres for retail, corporate campuses and medical facilities.
More than 2,300 acres of land are designated for open space and future parks to encourage children to play outside and to carefully attain balance between futuristic technology and the preservation and celebration of a natural Texas landscape.
Home sales and related development are underway. Plans call for more than 15,000 homes, multiple elementary and middle schools, retail, corporate campuses, medical facilities, a Makerspace, coworking spaces and a host of amenities serving the community.
An extensive fiber infrastructure designed and built by the Walsh team will wire all homes with the fastest residential internet speeds in the U.S.
Trees for the development are grown on the 75-acre Walsh Ranch Tree Farm, established in 2007 with more than 16,000 native Live Oak, Red Oak, Chinese Pistachio, Cedar Elm, and Texas Ash. An additional 3,000 trees were purchased in July, including 4,000 seedlings that will be grown, patented and copyrighted as “Walsh” trees to perfect a drought-tolerant species.
Each Tree is watered and fertilized through a complex computerized fertigation system. Great care is taken in selecting the trees. Only those species that do well in this area were chosen. Trees from the farm are being transplanted throughout the development with 1,700 already planted in the first phase of Walsh.
At full buildout, decades from now, Walsh will be home to more than 50,000 residents, making it one of North Texas’ largest communities.
Milestones in Walsh development
1970s – As I-20 is planned, Howard Walsh works with the City of Fort Worth to have water and sewer sleeves installed under the highway before construction to allow for future development.
A master roadway plan also is designed for the Walsh Ranch property and approved by the Fort Worth City Council as part of the City of Fort Worth Master Thoroughfare Plan.
1999 – Master land planning firm selected to develop a concept plan for the Walsh Ranch development.
January 2001 – Fort Worth City Council approves the Master Concept Plan completed by LDR.
May 2003 – City of Fort Worth approves the Economic Development Agreement for Walsh Ranch, establishing guidelines for how the City and Walsh will partner to develop the 7,200 acres.
2005 – The property is zoned and annexed for limited purposes.
2006 – First phase of water infrastructure completed, including a 30-inch water line and 2.5 million-gallon ground storage tank.
2007 – The 75-acre Walsh Ranch Tree Farm launches on the ranch with over 16,000 Live Oak, Red Oak, Chinese Pistachio, Cedar Elm, and Texas Ash. Each tree is watered and fertilized through a complex computerized fertigation system.
2011 – Construction begins on Walsh Ranch Parkway, a regionally significant, principal arterial from I-30 north to Old Weatherford Road and was completed in 2013.
2012 – Phase one sewer infrastructure completed.
2014 – Completion of construction of the I-30 Interchange at Walsh Ranch Parkway.
2015 – The Walsh Group selects Republic Property Group as master developers of 1,700 residential zoned acres of the project and, as partners, begins work on what is today the largest development in the nation within 12 minutes of a major city center.
April 2017 – Walsh officially opens.
July 2017 – Walsh replenishes the tree farm with 3,000 trees and 4,000 harvested seedlings to be grown, patented and copyrighted as “Walsh” trees to perfect a drought-tolerant species that will thrive in this region.
Drees Model Home at Walsh.