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Tuesday, July 5, 2022
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Texas A&M Investing $1.5 Billion in DFW

Education, Featured

Mayor Betsy Price introduces Jarratt Watkins as new staff member for the Fort Worth Now economic development nonprofit | Image by Fort Worth Now Meeting

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Downtown Fort Worth is poised to benefit from a significant investment made by the Texas A&M University System. In August 2021, the system’s board of regents endorsed a $4.2 billion capital plan for its university campuses and state agencies. Of that $4.2 billion, $1.5 billion was allotted for investment in the downtown Fort Worth area, as Texas A&M seeks to expand its presence in the city.

On Thursday, May 19, the board of regents voted to add two new buildings to the existing plan. A “law and education building” and a “research and innovation center” will be built at $85 million each. Construction will begin in 2023 and 2024, respectively.

This development is just the latest tangible success for Fort Worth Now, a nonprofit organization dedicated to revitalizing the city’s economy.

Founded in May 2020 by then-mayor Betsy Price and local billionaire businessman John Goff, Fort Worth Now sought to help struggling businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and identify new potential economic development opportunities for the city.

The organization successfully lobbied the Texas A&M University System to redevelop the substantial amount of land it already owned in downtown Fort Worth, convincing regents to build a research campus in a somewhat blighted area.

Per WFAA, Goff said of the project, “I think this is the [single most] impactful thing to Fort Worth that will occur this entire century.”

He added, “I think many corporations will relocate because of having a major Tier One research university like A&M here in the city limits.”

Echoing Goff’s optimism, current mayor Mattie Parker told The Texas Tribune, “Texas A&M is the future of Fort Worth. This is truly the most transformational thing that will happen in Fort Worth that will continue into perpetuity.”

The redevelopment plan calls for the razing of the former Southwestern Bell call switching facility, which currently houses the Texas A&M School of Law. A new law school building will be erected in its place, alongside the two new recently-approved buildings.

An expanded campus would help serve the city’s educational needs and likely yield a more educated workforce, which businesses find attractive.

According to KERA, corporations like Alcon, AT&T, and Lockheed Martin will be partnering with Texas A&M as it develops the campus.

Goff commented, “I would be very surprised if, in five years, all we’re looking at is three buildings. It’s going to be far bigger.”      

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