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3 months ago

$6B Walsh community hopes this feature will attract homebuyers, corporations

Dallas Business Journal, by Evan Hoopfer | Tuesday, January 31, 2017 | Original article here

When construction of the Makerspace is completed at the $6 billion Walsh community located west of Fort Worth, it’ll mark the first time a residential community will be built around this type of community workshop concept.

In fact, the Makerspace complex — which allows children and adults to create things using a wood shop, 3D printers, computer design software, and more — is expected to be a main draw for homebuyers, said Mark Hatch, a consultant on the project.

“I’m pretty convinced there will be people who will move,” said Hatch, who authored the book The Maker Movement Manifesto. “They’ll sell their homes and move and maybe some folks will come out of state to participate in the first-ever project of its kind.”

The first homes in Walsh, named after the historic ranch the development is built on, will be available for sale this spring. That’s also when the Makerspace is slated to be open. The initial phase of Walsh will total 1,700 acres with a projected build-out cost of $1.6 billion.

The move is another Walsh is taking to become cutting-edge technology-wise. The community will also have ultra-fast fiber internet with speeds up to 10 gigabytes.

“Ultimately, we’d like to see large corporations located in Walsh and have their families and employees live in Walsh,” said Tony Ruggeri, co-CEO of Republic Property Group (RPG is developing Walsh).

The Makerspace will be paid for by HOA fees, and Hatch said that in other places where Makerspaces are retrofitted into the community, people donate materials.

Walsh representatives said that developers “are investing millions of dollars into community amenities that will be available from day one, including the Makerspace at Walsh,” but declined to give a specific dollar figure on the Makerspace.