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FT. WORTH-Mimicking a plan that has proved successful once before, Hillwood Development Monday will break ground on a residential project to construct homes for future workers, specifically those who will fill jobs being created within the 16,000-acre AllianceTexas hub.

But, the 350-lot initial phase is sure to attract more than just AllianceTexas workers, as did Hillwood’s Park Glen development, which began nearly a decade ago and now boasts 3,400 homes spanning 1,110 acres.

The ground-breaking will launch a phased development of 2,700 single-family homes in a 2,300-acre project that will ultimately include multifamily, light industrial, retail, commercial, educational and recreational components. All phases are being named to reflect the region’s rich heritage, with the 190-acre first phase, Winfield, taking its name from a historical Ft. Worth general.

Heritage’s full build-out will take about ten years, Fred Balda, Hillwood Residential’s president, tells GlobeSt.com. “The residential pops first and then everything else follows,” he says. Retail development isn’t expected to get under way for at least two years.

Monday’s ground-breaking marks the construction start for 12 model homes, ranging in price from $140,000 to $300,000. The project’s first-phase builders are Sovereign Homes, Highland Homes, HMI/Plantation Homes and Standard Pacific Homes. A second community, West Fork, will feature homes by D.R. Horton, Morrison and Mercedes.

Come first quarter 2001, Hillwood will again break ground, this time on the heart of the community it is building so that there are ample homes to meet the region’s explosive population growth that is being fostered in part by AllianceTexas. The 5.7-acre Heritage Community Center is being designed with four swimming pools, including a wave facility, tennis courts, sand volleyball court, sport court, meeting rooms, fitness center and youth activity center. The center tentatively is set to open in summer 2001.

Some Texas developers prefer to start their own towns, but Hillwood’s goal through the years has been to develop AllianceTexas as a place to live, work and play within the confines of the existing four municipal entities. And those plans haven’t changed despite the magnitude of the projects, officials tell GlobeSt.com.

What will make Heritage stand apart from other communities in the immediate region is that all builders must construct homes that are high-tech wired. About four miles of fiber-optic lines already have been laid for the initial construction phase. “We’re future proofing as best as we can right now,” says Balda.

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