30 Years on, the AllianceTexas Project North of Fort Worth Runs Rings Around Lost Saturn Plant

Sometimes the big deal that gets away proves to be a blessing.During the mid-1980s, Amazon was just a jungle, and all the buzz was about Saturn.No, not the planet.General Motors was scouting the country for a place to build a $5 billion plant for its car of the future.The Saturn manufacturing plant — like Amazon's recent hunt for a second headquarters site — was the economic prize of the decade.For a while, it looked like the project was headed to the prairies north of Fort Worth.Dallas business legend Ross Perot was GM's largest shareholder at the time and sat on the auto giant's board of directors. So when the Perots began buying up acres and acres of land along Interstate 35W in Tarrant County, the North Texas business community was sure that's where the Saturn plant was headed.Instead, in 1985 GM announced that it would build its new car plant in the hills of Tennessee.The Perots disclosed that their land purchases were going to be used for a new commercial airport and big industrial development.At the time, most of us in Dallas-Fort Worth felt like we'd lost the gold medal and were settling for a Cracker Jack prize.  Continue reading...

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