Fort Worth’s legacy reaches back nearly 150 years. The city looks entirely different from its origins as a sleepy cowtown on the Western frontier. Like the rest of America, Fort Worth experienced several revitalizations and cultural shifts in how people live, work, and play. We’ve been a center for the meatpacking industry, but Fort Worth is also shaped by its experience as wartime training hub during World War I and an aviation center in World War II.
With industrial and economic development arise the communities to support them. The executive neighborhoods around Monticello, River Crest, and North Hi Mount housed titans of commerce. The Arlington Heights area has historical bungalows harking back to the war days.
For decades, these historic communities received the attention and the development. People wanted to be near downtown centers. A cultural shift led to the rise of the suburban lifestyle. Over time, sprawling ranches slowly gave way to the development of suburban areas such as found in Ridglea, Benbrook, and Mira Vista.
Lately, Fort Worth’s development focus has shifted northward with the 76137 and 76131 zip codes especially active for residential and commercial development. What is it about north Fort Worth that is attracting the developer attention?
North Fort Worth: The Scene
The land north of downtown is not all stockyards and historic districts. The revitalization in north Fort Worth is truly something to behold. Houses and new developments are rising from the dust in what seems to be a blink of the eye. Let’s look at why people may be choosing the area.
Different websites try to rank an area’s “livability.” These rankings measure factors like the quality of education, an area’s weather, its crime rate, its access to amenities and similar characteristics, usually based on public records data.
One such source, Area Vibes, ranked the Far North of Fort Worth as number 1 in the city, making it a better place to live than 98 percent of other areas. The “Education” category received especially high marks, with an A+ ranking, followed by “Amenities” with an A. “Crime Rate” and “Weather” received a “B,” and “Employment” a “B-.”
North Fort Worth is probably best known for the Fort Worth Stockyards and its National Historic District, where cattle drives still happen every day. It’s a local attraction capturing the early days of Fort Worth, with a museum, historic dining venues, daily shows, and more entertainment options. For the tourists, there are souvenir shops, art galleries, and jewelry stores. Billy Bob’s Texas is here, as is Cowtown Winery and the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Look beyond the Stockyards and the rodeo and you’ll see more development in delivering sophisticated amenities. Alliance Town Center (ATC) is one example. Over 40 retailers and 38 dining venues call ATC home. A sample of available stores includes Lane Bryant, Ashley Homestore, Diamond Minds, Kirkland’s, and Total Wine. Dining includes casual fare like Jason’s Deli and Zoe’s Kitchen, to dine-in venues like Costa Vida, Houlihan’s, and Piada Italian, or treats like Cold Stone Creamery.
Many communities in the area offer walking trails and other outdoor activities. Arcadia Trail Park along Whites Branch is north Fort Worth’s public park. Across its 217 acres are eight playgrounds, tennis courts, soccer fields, disc golf, and pedestrian trails for walking, biking, or rollerblading.
Fort Worth is no stranger to attracting big names in the business world. We’re a major logistical hub for many brands and a great choice for a corporate center. Near north Fort Worth, you have Amazon, FedEx Freight, DCS Logistics, and BNSF Railway. Walmart.com has a fulfillment center here. A $1 billion Facebook data center came online in 2017 and ultimately could reach 2.5 million sqft.
For more examples, UPS is constructing a second 800,000 sqft sorting facility. Mercedes-Benz is building a 200,000 sqft financial services building at Eagle Parkway and I-35W, and Charles Schwab is opening a 500,000 sqft facility in 2019 near Texas 144 and Texas 170. Dallas developer KDC recently announced a 500-acre office complex to be situated near Champions Circle across from Texas Motor Speedway in the far north of Fort Worth.
AllianceTexas and its 26,000-acre master-planned community is a huge economic driver for the area. AllianceTexas is developed by Hillwood and commercial ventures are anchored by its Alliance Global Logistics Hub, a multi-modal inland port. Altogether, Alliance is home to over 480 companies.
Alliance Town Center, a mixed-use development by AllianceTexas, offers Class A office space in its nearby Hillwood Commons property. AllianceTexas additionally has Class A office space at Heritage Commons and Alliance Commerce Center 14.
A study by Insight Research Corp says AllianceTexas still has 15,000 acres of available land for development. With a $4.7 billion economic impact in 2017, the development arm should continue playing a major role in driving north Fort Worth’s economy.
It’s not a secret the Fort Worth Independent School District has had some struggles. Many of the homes in far north Fort Worth are in different school districts. The Keller Independent School District is highly rated by the independent evaluator Great Schools. Liberty, Willis Lane, and Florence Elementary School rated 10 of 10, while Keller Middle and Bear Creek Middle ranked 9 of 10 and Keller High ranked 9 of 10. Numerous schools, faculty, and students have won awards, and the Keller ISD is recognized for its excellence in financial reporting.
Transportation in north Fort Worth
Fort Worth’s northern residents have complained a long time about the region’s traffic. Infrastructure is struggling to keep up with the development boom. The Texas Department of Transportation is planning to expand the I-35W from near the Alliance Airport to Denton from four to six lanes. There’s also a movement to improve I-35W from I-30W to Eagle Parkway to eight lanes with upgrades to its TEXpress Lanes.
The city is working on constructing roundabouts, including one near Park Vista Boulevard. Roundabouts are safer and reduce traffic crashes according to Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.
The closest TEXrail stations are Northside Station, Mercantile Station, and North Richland Hills. The rail will operate between DFW International and downtown Fort Worth. Daily service begins in early January 2019.
Housing in North Fort Worth
Now we know the area’s amenities, its economic factors, and the lowdown on transportation. The most telling sign of how much people are interested in the area is residential development data. We know from the numbers housing activity is strong in north Fort Worth.
Fort Worth’s Residential Sales
When we pull housing data from Greater Fort Worth, we see some incredible numbers. In October 2018, the greater Fort Worth area reported 990 residential sales at an average price of $244,794. The market carried 2.5 months’ supply of inventory, with 2,672 listings on market. This is down slightly from the previous month, which had 2.6 months’ supply of inventory and an average sold price of $249,615. Note that average sold prices can be influenced by sales at the extreme ends of the spectrum, e.g., a $9M closed sale leads to a higher average price compared to the next month with a top sale of $7M.
When we break down into existing single-family home sales with data from the North Texas Real Estate Information System (NTREIS), we see November 2018 median home prices fell to $238,000, a 0.8 percent decline from October 2018. However, year-over-year, you can see median prices rose almost $11,000, a four percent increase.
Activity in north Fort Worth
The current market data shows housing is clearly in demand across the Fort Worth area. As we dive deeper into the local real estate market with data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, we see some of the most active zip codes lie in the north.
Ranking third of the five most active zip codes is 76131, which includes communities like Blue Mound, Northbrook, and the Crossing of Fossil Creek. The reported median price was $234,156, a year-over-year increase of 6.4 percent. The median price per square foot reached $115.26, an 8.6 year-over-year increase, with a median square foot of 2,099.
Following 76131 is zip code 76244 in the Far North, ranking fifth. Here lie the communities of Heritage, Trace Ridge, the Village of Woodland Springs, plus other developments under the AllianceTexas banner. Homes in this area sold for a median square foot of 2,397 with a reported median price of $268,970. That is a 7.6 percent year-over-year increase, with a median price per sqft of $116.88, a six percent increase.
Compare those two areas to the greater Fort Worth metro area, whose median price rose 6.2 percent year-over-year to $235,750. The report shows only zip code 76063, in the south of Fort Worth, including Mansfield, sold homes with a larger median square foot, median price, and median price per square foot.
What do other sources have to say about these areas in north Fort Worth?
- Popular consumer listing marketplace Zillow says home values in the 76131 area have risen 10.2 percent in the past year and should rise 8.2 percent in the next year.
- Zillow also says the current median price per square foot is $120, which would be above the Fort Worth average.
- The median price of homes currently listed in 76131 is $265,900.
- Ted Wilson, principal at Residential Strategies for Morningstar and Northstar Development Teams, told Fort Worth Business the, “Northwest Fort Worth is one of the most active submarkets in DFW, yielding over 1,500 new home starts and closings per year.”
Of course, for the most accurate data and information, consult with a licensed real estate professional specializing in north Texas real estate.
Under development in north Fort Worth
It seems every month a new announcement is made regarding a new residential or commercial development. Notable mentions include:
Alliance Town Center
Alliance Town Center is more than retail and workspace. It’s an urban living community centered around ATC with a mission to provide residents a work-play-live lifestyle. There are six residential communities within minutes from the ATC. These include Monterra Village, SageStone Village, SageWater Village, and Tallgrass Village. Options in these communities range from 1-to-3 bedroom apartments and townhomes. Tallgrass is next to Bluestem Park with its 14-acre natural prairie and stream.
Alliance Town Center has commercial lots still available for development.
Northstar is a development that will focus on affordability, resident satisfaction, and education. This 750-acre development lies north of Avandale Haslet Road near Aledo. By the end of Q4 2019, over 2,200 lots will be ready for homebuilders.
Residents will have access to greater Fort Worth through the recently approved Northstar Parkway, a new east-west road that will connect the development directly with SH 287.
Amenities will include swimming pools, playgrounds, and nature trails. An indoor resident facility will offer space planned events. Northstar is in the Northwest Independent School District.
“Much like we’ve done with Morningstar, we’re offering a quality option for people who work in and around Fort Worth, who want quality schools, a community derived of thoughtful planning, and home prices that allow families to live comfortably,” Tim Fleet said to the Fort Worth Business Press.
This 364-unit rental community will consist of eight three-story buildings in a contemporary Texas Hill Country style. The 15-acre development on 1000 Lake Ridge Rd will be developed by Leon Capital Group with pre-leasing set for August 2019.
Current north Fort Worth communities
Alliance Texas is one of the nation’s largest master-planned communities. It has a land mass nearly double Manhattan’s size. Its neighborhoods include the 76244 area code, and four cities: Fort Worth, Haslet, Roanake, and Westlake. It’s strategically located near the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is the developer behind Alliance Town Center. Alliance Texas touts its costs of living as 14 percent below the national average with housing prices 20 percent below the national average.
Detailing all the 20+ subdivisions that comprise the 26,000-acre Alliance Texas community would consume the blog, but we’ll highlight a few.
Heritage & Heritage Bluff Hilltops
The 2,300-acre Heritage neighborhood in Alliance Texas offers many traditional or craftsman styled single-family homes. Trails lead to an expansive $5 million clubhouse, which has a kitchen, cafe, weight room, and a library. Outside there are tennis courts and basketball courts. Current homes are listed between $224,900 to $700,000.
The exclusive Heritage Bluff Hilltops created by Village Builders, is new bedroom community offers stunning luxury homes with spectacular views of downtown Fort Worth and the surrounding area. It includes a 10-acre Aquatic Complex designed to beat the heat of Texas summers with children’s water features and cabanas. Models offer 4-5 bedrooms and 3-4.5 bathrooms with square footage between 2710 and 4492.
Public schools are in the Keller Independent School District and Heritage residents are zoned for Freedom Elementary School, Hillwood Middle School, and Central High School.
Villages of Woodland Springs
This luxurious community of over 4,500 single family homes offers miles of beautiful trails, swimming pools, and six amenity centers. The development centers around the family and tries to offer something for everyone. Take a relaxing walk, bicycle ride or rollerblade on the paved trails. Enjoy the picnic areas, take the children to one of the playgrounds, or shoot some hoops at the basketball half-court.
An active HOA offers events all year round, such as goat yoga and Breakfast with Santa.
Home styles here range, with the older homes dating back to 2001. A typical home is on a quarter-acre with four bedrooms and two bathrooms. Square footage ranges from 1,350 to 5,124 with the median sale price at $250,000.
The City of Blue Mound lies in the active Fort Worth 76131. Neighborhood evaluator Best Places said some of the advantages of Blue Mound were its diverse economy and arts and culture. Blue Mound’s unemployment rate is 4.1 percent compared to the United States average of 5.2 percent. Its proposed tax rate was at $0.6968 per $100 of taxable value.
This suburban community carries a population around 3,000. Blue Mound resides in the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District. Great Schools rated Highland Middle School 8 of 10.
Fossil Park & Stoneglen
A moderately priced neighborhood, Fossil Park and Stoneglen lie just east of I-35W, giving residents quick access to the greater metropolitan area. Stoneglen has a community website.
A notable amenity is the Arnold Palmer designed golf course at The Golf Club at Fossil Creek. It was named in 1988 as one of the best new resort golf courses in America. It continues to offer championship service to match its outstanding golf course.
Fossil Park homes range from 3 to 6 bedrooms and 2 to 3 bathrooms. The median sale price over the last twelve months reached $241,000. Current listing prices ranged from $205,000 to $289,900.
Putting it together
Take a look at what we’ve compiled about north Fort Worth and you’ll see an area with a strong economy, reasonably priced new developments, and access to amenities. The area is so close to the airport it’s excellent for those who travel frequently. In the future, there will be more employment opportunities, lifestyle amenities, and residential developments.
The real attraction of north Fort Worth is it’s still being developed. Where other areas draw attention for their historic homes and proximity to downtown, they don’t necessarily have any more room for growth like this section of the city.
For people new to Fort Worth or looking for a larger home at a different price point than central Fort Worth, the northern communities are worth a look. While transportation may be tight now, there are projects underway or planned to ease congestion.
Luxury homeowners shouldn’t be scared away by lower price points here. As evidenced with Heritage at Hilltop Bluffs, north Fort Worth communities do cater to all individuals. Learn more about north Fort Worth residential real estate by consulting an expert real estate professional.