Council also approves Siemens, DrinkPak agreements
What does the future of economic development in West Fort Worth look like? The answer just might be Veale Ranch.
The City Council approved this week special taxing districts to fund infrastructure improvements on the 5,300-acre parcel of ranch land.
Under the ordinance, according to city documents, Fort Worth would contribute 65% of taxes received to the Veale Ranch taxing district for each year of the district’s lifespan. Those taxing districts, known as Tax Increment Financing districts and Public Improvement Districts would be used to fund improvements, such as water, sewer and roads, that could aid the city in attracting large industrial or manufacturing plants to the area.
“As Fort Worth continues to grow, we’re working closely with partners on the western side of the city to set the area up for long-term success when it comes to attracting major employers and well-paying jobs,” said Robert Sturns, director of the city of Fort Worth’s Economic Development Department. “The establishment of the TIF and the PID at Veale Ranch is an important step to help create and fund infrastructure, which will be needed in the coming years to support the area’s long-term development.”
The Veale Ranch taxing district comprises about 5,200 acres of land located north of Bear Creek Drive, east of Farm Market 1187, south of Aledo Road, and west of Highway 377 South. The area is known collectively as Veale Ranch, but includes Team Ranch, Rolling V South, Rockbrook and Ventana South. It is about 11 miles west of downtown Fort Worth and just south of the 7,200-acre Walsh development.
The area gives the city of Fort Worth a large area of land for future development of large projects. In 2021, the loss of an economic development deal with electric carmaker Rivian forced the city to realize the importance of having infrastructure and land ready for manufacturers to start construction immediately, according to city officials.
Rivian had considered an area around Walsh, which is just north of Veale Ranch, for a new plant, but ultimately the company decided to build on a site in Georgia.
In March, PMB Veale Land Investors I, a group associated with Dallas-based PMB Capital Investments, entered into an agreement with the city to develop the Veale Ranch area.
The development agreement calls for the creation of special tax districts to raise public funds for infrastructure improvements, according to Michael Henning, economic development manager for the city of Fort Worth.
The taxing districts could remain in effect for 25 to 30 years after the acreage is annexed to Fort Worth, according to a report on the project from city staff. Much of the land, which is in both Tarrant and Parker counties, is currently in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, an area outside the city limits where cities can regulate some activities through agreements with the county.
The city could also issue bonds to fund improvements to the area, according to Henning.
The Veale Ranch had been in the Veale family since 1935. When put up for sale in 2017, the ranch was listed at $95 million, though the sale price to PMB was not released.
Siemens, DrinkPak incentives approved
Also at the Sept. 12 meeting, the city council approved incentives for projects by Siemens and DrinkPak. The projects are expected to result in a total investment of $585 million and create about 1,700 jobs.
Siemens Industry Inc., a branch of Siemens AG, plans to build an advanced manufacturing plant at 7200 Harris Legacy Drive at Carter Park East to produce low-voltage switchgear and switchboards. Switchgear and switchboards are used in the transmission of electricity.
The city of Fort Worth approved a 10-year tax abatement of up to 70% of incremental real and business personal property — an estimated total value of $6 million. If the company is unable to meet the minimum average annual salary requirement of $63,000, the annual abatement would be forfeited. If approved, the project would generate a net of $2.6 million in new taxes for Fort Worth. For the Fort Worth plant, Siemens is proposing a capital investment of $125 million. DrinkPak, a beverage manufacturer based in Santa Clarita, California, intends to expand in North Texas with two new sites. Phase I of the project would be located at the Trammel Crow development in Denton County, while Phase II would be located in southeast Fort Worth.
The company plans to invest $452 million, potentially creating 1,000 jobs by December 2027, with average salaries above $70,000. The council approved a 10-year tax abatement valued at $21 million. The project could generate $8.9 million in new taxes for Fort Worth and recover the incentives in less than seven years.
Both projects await further approval from Tarrant County. The proposals will be reviewed by Tarrant County Commissioners Court on Sept. 19. The DrinkPak project also needs approval from Denton County for Phase I.
Bob Francis is business editor for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at email@example.com. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.