Tarleton State sets FW campus opening date, Chisholm Trail Ranch progresses

Tarleton planned FW campus



Chisholm Trail Ranch


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Tarleton State University plans to open its Fort Worth campus in January 2019 as the school seeks to meet growing Tarrant County demand.

“We have seen enormous numbers of students wanting to participate in Tarleton education in Fort Worth,” said university President Dominic Dottavio, speaking March 8 at a Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Mira Vista Country Club.

The new campus will occupy land just south of the mixed-use Chisholm Trail Ranch development at the southwest corner of the intersection of Chisholm Trail Parkway and Old Granbury Road. More than 2,500 students are expected to take classes, with the campus focusing on those who have completed two or more years of community college and are working toward a four-year degree.

Helping Tarleton realize its Fort Worth vision is Walton Development and Management South USA. Walton donated 80 acres for the campus.

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“It truly is, for us, a dream come true to have the opportunity to talk about this partnership” between his school and Walton, said Dottavio.

“We could not have done this without the 80-acre donation from the Walton Group.”

The campus’ first building is in the design stage, he noted. The building will be complete in the fall of 2018 and be ready for its first students in early 2019.

“That’s our timeline right now. Our hope is that, at some point, this will be a significant piece of what’s happening in Southwest Fort Worth,” Dottavio said.

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Developing the concept plan is Broaddus Planning of Austin, which created the campus development plan for Tarleton’s home campus in Stephenville.

The Fort Worth campus will join a growing number of neighbors along Chisholm Trail Parkway, the 28-mile toll road linking Cleburne and Fort Worth.

Easy access to both communities, and to those in between, has raised demand for homes, as well as shops, businesses and attractions to serve those residents.

Chisholm Trail Ranch is expected to help meet that need by adding rooftops and retail to Southwest Fort Worth.

“There’s going to be a tremendous amount of activity in this corridor over the next 10 years,” said John Vick, president of Walton Development.

Also speaking at the Fort Worth Chamber luncheon, Vick outlined two goals his firm has for this year: building the first homes at Chisholm Trail Ranch and securing zoning and annexation of nearby Rock Creek Ranch.

Both developments are located along Chisholm Trail Parkway.

The firm also plans to rename the Rock Creek property “in deference to Rocky Creek Ranch to the west, to differentiate us,” Vick said.

About 169 of the total 1,031 single-family lots planned for Chisholm Trail Ranch are included in its first phase. Remaining lots will be developed in the next few years, Vick said.

Walton is a privately held real estate investment and development group based in Canada but has its U.S. headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The firm acquired 261 acres and 1,031 lots from Stratford Land in 2014 and will donate land to the Crowley Independent School District for a new elementary school, also part of Chisholm Trail Ranch’s first phase.

“They have started the design on that school and we will dedicate that property to them after this spring,” Vick said.

The development will be part of a hike-and-bike trail system linking existing outdoor parks and school sites. Included in its acreage is Chisholm Trail Park, a 75-acre public park anchored by the newly opened Chisholm Trail Community Center, all adjacent to existing and new development along McPherson Boulevard.

“There’s going to be a lot activity on McPherson over the next couple of years,” Vick said.

Just to the south is Rock Creek Ranch, which awaits development pending annexation by the city of Fort Worth and approval of a rezoning request Walton plans to seek. The firm hopes to have the land rezoned for single-family, multifamily, retail and office uses while asking Fort Worth to annex the part of the property not currently in the city limits.