Cleburne may have found the recipe for success, luring Mexico’s largest pasta manufacturer to the city.
“We found good communications, good labor, we’ve had facilities here, so it’s a perfect spot,” said Luis Monroy, La Moderna’s Chairman of the Board.
La Moderna invested $50 million in the company’s U.S. headquarters and production facility in Cleburne, where 100 employees can produce near 4,000 tons of pasta every day.
“We found that this area is actually very well communicated by railroad, by highways, and also by air,” said Monroy. “I think it is not a coincidence that across the street, there is a Walmart distribution center, so the communications there are fantastic.”
Cleburne is growing, in large part driven by increased traffic on the Chisholm Trail Parkway.
“You know, that opened in 2014, and we’re just now starting to reap the benefits from that,” said Grady Easdon, Economic Development Manager for the City Of Cleburne.
“People are seeing it’s a 20-minute drive from downtown Fort Worth to Cleburne and so you can come down here and get the great quality of life and lower cost of living,” said Easdon.
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More than 500 new homes are now under construction in Cleburne, along with a new high school to keep up with the growing population.
A new mixed use development, Cleburne Station, will include restaurants and retail stores.
People are buying up old buildings, and turning them into stores, restaurants and loft apartments.
“I think we’re at the start of something big coming into downtown,” said Brian Peterson, owner of the Red Horse Café, his second restaurant in Cleburne.
“It’s really exciting cause when we started seven years ago it was just dead downtown, there wasn’t a whole lot going on,” said Peterson. "Now you’re seeing shops more open at night, you’re seeing a lot more foot traffic.”