More than 15 years after the words “Walsh Ranch development” first appeared in Star-Telegram news stories, the master-planned community officially opened Thursday.

During a low-key ceremony Thursday morning, the barricades on Walsh Ranch Parkway were removed, giving the public access to the new neighborhood and first phase of the massive development that straddles Parker and Tarrant counties, north of Interstate 20.

A more traditional grand opening will be held Saturday, with tours and festival-style fun.

“It has been an incredibly fulfilling and fun project to work on,” said Tony Ruggeri, co-CEO for Republic Property Group. “We truly have a blank slate to be able to create what we think will be best for residents in Fort Worth and the surrounding areas.”

The 7,200-acre development — it’s official name is simply Walsh — is 12 minutes west of downtown Fort Worth and served by the Aledo school district.

“Being in the Aledo school district and city of Fort Worth is a unique and wonderful opportunity,” Ruggeri said.

Co-CEO Jake Wagner welcomed guests, calling the opening of the development a “milestone.”

“As of this day this place will never be the same,” Wagner said. “It’s opening — it’s happening.”

Earlier this week, Walsh officials announced HGC Residential Development as an additional homebuilder for the neighborhood’s initial phase.

The neighborhood at Walsh will showcase a curated selection of architectural styles and floor plans, including modern takes on the Texas Vernacular, Tudor and Craftsman style homes, specifically designed to honor the heritage of Fort Worth’s great neighborhoods and the surrounding natural landscape.

“HGC Residential Development’s artful designs, specifically crafted with a custom flare and style for Walsh, is a great addition to the timeless architecture that will make Walsh the next great neighborhood of Fort Worth,” Wagner said in a news release. “We were impressed with the care and attention to detail that HGC puts into each home.”

Star-Telegram, by Lance Winter | April 27, 2017 | Original article here