In what used to be empty fields, construction crews are busy at work, laying the groundwork for what will soon be North Fort Worth's newest neighborhood.
The Wellington subdivision will add 3,200 homes to the area around Interstate 35 and Highway 287 – the region near Alliance Airport that already has seen massive growth.
"It used to take 10 minutes to get down to Lake Worth. Now it takes 30 minutes on a good day,” said Mitch Bell, who lives nearby and is one of the regulars at the Circle S Catfish Grill.
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"It's this whole area between here and Alliance. It’s like the old, 'build an airport and they will come,’” said Bell’s lunch companion, Troy Stimson. “And that's exactly what happened here."
Stimson said he appreciates the conveniences that the big city offers – but not the headaches.
"We were out in the country and now we're almost in the middle of the city again,” he said.
The sleepy nearby town of Haslet, population 1,700, is surrounded by the city of Fort Worth. It's bracing to triple in size in the next seven years.
"This is where the school district is planning a future high school and middle school," said Haslet's economic development director, Thad Chambers, pointing to a map at City Hall.
His concern -- putting in new streets fast enough.
"The only way to pay for roads is to have tax revenue and typically it's a chicken and egg -- you need the rooftops and the commercial growth to pay for those roads,” Chambers said.
He said Haslet requires developers to have bigger lots than Fort Worth, so new home prices are higher there.
The look and feel of the entire area has already changed, Chambers added.
"A lot of people moved up here many years ago when it was rural North Tarrant County. And now, we're a nice suburb of North Fort Worth,” he said. “It's changed, and there's no going back once the houses are here.”