Study Suggests Fort Worth Becoming ‘Dallas Suburb'; City Working to Change Course

Fort Worth is the 16th largest city in the US and it makes up one-half of the DFW Metroplex.

But a new study the city commissioned came to a sobering conclusion — if it doesn't make significant changes on the economic front, Cowtown is on the path to becoming a Dallas suburb.

According to that $350,000 study, which was presented to city leaders this month, one of the big challenges Fort Worth faces is that its residential development is outpacing its business development.

The city simply isn't attracting the major corporations and high-wage jobs that are going to the east side of the Metroplex.

Bud Kennedy, columnist with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, joined NBC 5 Today to discuss a Dallas Morning News opinion piece that warned Cowtown should "embrace its junior status."

That's why leaders are now working on what they describe as an aggressive five year plan to change course.

"Fort Worth has to be top of mind in that decision making process early on," said Robert Sturns, Economic Development Manager for the City of Fort Worth. "And so from the standpoint of our getting out and telling that story, we just have to be more proactive."

The city has set several bold benchmarks as part of that plan.

Currently, there are two Fortune 1000 headquarters that call Fort Worth home — American Airlines and Pier 1 Imports. By 2022, they want to increase that number to seven.

They also believe there is an opportunity to attract high-growth startups and tech companies.

Many of those businesses are on a list known as the "Inc 5000". Of the 160 Inc 5000 companies in North Texas, only 11 are currently in Fort Worth. The city wants to add 25 more over the next five years.

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