West is the Future or Walsh Ranch Revisited

Amon Carter didn’t actually christen Fort Worth as the place “where the west begins”  — it was a visiting mayor from the small town of Munday who came up with the moniker that Carter placed on the front page of his newspaper, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, where it has remained to this day.

West certainly seems to be the direction Fort Worth is marching — think Montserrat and Mira Vista, all built on former ranch land. And then there is Walsh Ranch. We’ve been watching Walsh from the beginning. Barely more than one years old, with Phase 1 still to be completed, I thought it was worth another look.

And Walsh Ranch has to be seen to be believed. Vast, over eleven square miles, straddling two counties, Walsh seems like remote, rolling country, though (as has been frequently noted) it is a straight 15 minute shot on the West Freeway, (aka Interstate Highway 30) from downtown.

Eventually, over 50,000 people are expected to live here requiring substantial infrastructure building, including the rather beautiful Westside Water Treatment Plant which I toured. Aledo schools are an additional draw though 12 more schools are slated for construction.

I caught up with Kati Story with the Story Group, who has made Walsh Ranch her specialty and chief focus. Amenities are crazy, including things I’ve never heard of.

“The current amenities include a market where you can grab a quick bite, a gas station, a state of the art fitness center with exercise class space that takes your breath away, a Junior Olympic swimming pool, a family pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, a volleyball court, a pond stocked with fish (the lagoon), the makers space, and a co-working space.” says Kati.

And what, you may ask,  is a makers space?

“It is an area with a 3D printer, woodworking tools, an engraving/etching machine and much more! It is a space where you can go and create whatever you can imagine.”

The co-working space is a welcome alternative to Starbucks — office space with printers, fax and a reservable conference room.

“So, with access to all of that, you would think the HOA bill each month would be crazy high, right? It is only $199 for the smallest lot size and $208 for the largest lot size, call it $200 a month! Wow, so affordable! ” she enthuses. And that includes the ‘highest speed internet in Texas’ and cutting the grass of the front lawns.

 

Predictably, all of the major builders — David Weekly, Toll Brothers, and Highland Homes — have a presence in the development.

 “I have worked with all of the different builders and I have had clients build with multiple builders. That being said, I have found Highland to be the best. They always do the right thing. Designs include Mediterranean, Texas Vernacular, and Tudor style homes.” opines Kati.

“If someone is interested in building or buying in Walsh, they should contact us. I can tell them the pros and cons of each builder, walk them through the process, and represent them. The best news? The builder pays our fees. It comes out of their marketing budget. A buyer can’t get a better price if they go directly to the builder. ” she adds.

I found one listing, to be completed in August, 13845 Green Hook Road. The 3,600 square foot house will feature a two story dining room, sweeping spiral staircase, with a downstairs master suite.

 

“Walsh prices have gone up by $40,000 since they first opened. It is  going up quickly, is extremely popular and you can see why. There is no reason to ever leave this sweet community. They have over 200 events planned for kids and the community this year, ” she observes though she tells me the feeling of community and security is attracting many older buyers.

Eric Prokesh is an interior designer whose work has appeared on HGTV, and in books and publications including D Home, Southern Accents, House Beautiful, and House and Garden. In January 2005, HG named Eric one of the 50 tastemakers in America and D Home has included him as one of Dallas’ Best Designers for 10 years. Having lived most of his life in Dallas, he now calls Fort Worth home and is one of our experts on beautiful Fort Worth Dirt.