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FORT WORTH-With the project already going vertical, the Sidney, NE-based Cabela’s Inc. has withstood a legal challenge against a $32-million bond package for the 50-acre project.

The 67th Judicial District Court decision upholding the creation of a tax increment financing zone by the City of Fort Worth included a permanent injunction barring further actions against the validity to issue the bonds and dismissed all claims. The court ruling is subject to appeal. The 230,000-sf Cabela’s, armed with a $40-million abatement package, is rising at the Interstate 35W interchange with Texas 170.

Cabela’s, expected to open in May, is one of the foundation blocks for Hillwood’s plan to build three million sf inside the 17,000-acre AllianceTexas lines. Cabela’s role is anchor Lone Star Crossing, a 980-acre development planned for six miles west of a 1.6-million-sf retail resort proposal by Chicago-based General Growth Properties Inc. and Hillwood.

“Because of the destination status of our large format stores and the huge traffic they generate, Cabela’s believes communities realize significant incremental economic increases in areas where they are located,” Mike Callahan, Cabela’s senior vice president of retail operations and marketing, says in a press release. “We look forward to resuming our original construction schedule in Fort Worth, which should allow us to open…in May 2005.”

The legal green light came just six days before Hillwood marks the 15th anniversary of the opening of Fort Worth Alliance Airport, the foundation for the AllianceTexas development. Though no celebration is planned, the milestone has been marked with an updated economic impact report by Dallas-based Insight Research. The update reflects a $2 billion increase in the past year in AllianceTexas’ economic impact, taking the total to $23.2 billion since 1990. Of that, $313 million in property taxes have been generated for Fort Worth, Haslet, Roanoke and Westlake in Tarrant and Denton counties and two school districts.

AllianceTexas accounts for 20,000 jobs, of which 1,600 were added in the past year, and 130 companies. To date, the corporations have built 23.5 million sf of office, industrial and flex space in the AllianceTexas corridor.

“Obviously AllianceTexas has made a tremendous economic impact on the area, but the incredible part of the story is what the future holds,” Mike Berry, president of Hillwood Properties, says. “…two of the new facilities opening at AllianceTexas–the Cabela’s store and Bell Helicopter’s customer center and training facility–will attract visitors and even more retail development to the area.” Only 26% or 4,500 acres of the 65-square-mile AllianceTexas has been developed.

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