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Development planned in ‘The Construction Zone’

Herald Banner, 2018/06/02

Local government and business leaders have realized for years that a wave of development is coming toward Greenville and Hunt County from the west.

That wave has passed by Rockwall and Fate and more recently has been lapping at the shores of Royse City and Caddo Mills.

And for about a decade, there have been discussions about a huge industrial/commercial project which would develop just outside the Greenville city limits.

“In the Construction Zone, An Economic Forecast” was the theme of Friday’s Greenville Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Membership Luncheon, a portion of which offered new details about what has come to be known as The Walton Development.

Matt Robinson, the General Manager at Walton Development & Management, told the audience the proposed plan now covers more than 6,700 acres.

“It is like a six mile by four mile swath of land,” Robinson said. “So, it is a huge project.”

The Walton Development, also referred to as Hunt County Municipal Utility District (MUD) No. 1, has been talked about since at least 2009. Some of the development is located within the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) of the City of Greenville, the zone that extends outside of the city limits, in which the city has some limited authority as to how development may proceed.

The Walton Development has been conceived as a “phased generational master planned development,” which means it is expected to take decades to come to fruition, during which the city will be able to apply subdivision standards and land use regulations to help regulate the development within the district.

The focus of the development will be located about three miles west of the city limits on U.S. Highway 380.

“Right now U.S. 380 is big conduit,” Robinson said, adding the currently under construction extension of FM 1570 will also feed into the development.

Robinson described the core of the development as an industrial/intermodal facility, which would include 8.000 feet of frontage on the Kansas City Southern rail line, with the ability to accommodate a 10,000 square foot intermodal facility, rail storage unit and sit-yard and more than 10 million square feet of industrial storage and rail-served industrial park.

Robinson said the project would be approximately 18 miles from the recently developed intermodal facility in Wylie, but would dwarf the site to the west.

“Wylie is only 500 acres in size,” Robinson said, adding the Walton project would be a transfer point for rail and truck carriers taking products from the Gulf Coast to the Metroplex and back. The intermodal facility would encompass up to 3,000 acres of the entire development.

Robinson said Walton Development & Management has been active in the creation of similar projects.

“We’re still buying property and we’re still developing a lot of property in Dallas-Fort Worth,” Robinson said.

During the summer of 2012, the City of Greenville announced it was planning to provide the water and sewer service to the district, which eventually will cover an area of almost 13,000 acres, approximately nine miles west of downtown.

Robinson said the company has been in discussions with a potential industrial partner on the proposal, which would speed up the timing of the project.

“They want to know it is happening right now, right then, today,” Robinson said.

This article originally appeared on Herald Banner.