Fort Worth Star Telegram, by Sandra Baker | Friday, January 20, 2017 | Original article here
FORT WORTH – In April, the Walsh development in far west Fort Worth will become the first master-planned community in the country to debut a dedicated maker space.
The Makerspace at Walsh will feature a wood shop, computer design software and 3D printers, laser cutters, robotics and an electronics lab. The 2,000-square-foot building will be the first of several planned for a 2-acre village amenity, said the developer, Dallas-based Republic Property Group.
Walsh is located where Interstates 20 and 30 meet, on both sides of the highway. About 1,700 acres are included in the first phase of development of the 7,267-acre Walsh Ranch, owned by the Walsh family.
Presales for an initial 580 home sites will begin this spring. The development will feature 10-gigabit internet speed, the fastest available. Walsh is planned to have more than 15,000 homes and a community of 50,000 residents.
The maker space is designed to encourage children to interact inside the space and spill out to the outside, where a greenhouse, experimental garden and imagination playground are planned, said Tony Ruggeri, co-CEO of Republic Property Group.
It will also be used by adults, he said.
“The area of land we dedicated for the maker village, we call it a village, but it’s a larger area of land,” Ruggeri said. “We want students, hobbyists, tinkerers and entrepreneurs to visit the Makerspace at Walsh, use our creation space, learn from one another, leverage tools and technologies and make things with their hands.”
Maker spaces are described as places where people gather to create and collaborate. The maker movement is being spurred by new technologies and a nation of tinkerers who take things apart and put them back together — only better. Business and government look at the movement as a way to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. Many area schools and libraries have put in maker spaces.
Mark Hatch, a pioneer and leader in the nation’s maker movement who consulted on the project, called the Walsh maker space unique and something that will attract people to live there.
“If you can start a city for the first time in human history with a maker space in the center, you’re going to attract a very interesting group of people to come work, live and play together,” said Hatch, author of The Maker Movement Manifesto. “I don’t think people understand how powerful this is. It’s going to be quite transformational for everyone involved. I think people are going to move to Texas to live there.”