Almost 2,000 homes are coming to a large property in far north Fort Worth just east of Eagle Mountain Lake, much to the dismay of neighbors.
The Fort Worth City Council approved zoning on June 14 for Dallas-based PMB Capital Investments’ plans for Bonds Ranch, set to be a 700-acre community near the intersection of Bonds Ranch Road and Morris Dido Newark Road. It is about 16 miles north of downtown Fort Worth.
In addition to 1,914 single-family homes, the site will have some commercial space and 27 acres for rental houses, along with more than 220 acres of open space with parks, ponds and trails. Adjacent to the site will be a future Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District high school.
“We’re going to take advantage of the natural topography of the property,” said Matt Mildren, a partner at PMB Capital Investments.
Mildren expects land development to begin in January and builders to begin construction of homes in 2024. The firm has not announced which homebuilders will be on site, but Mildren said the homes will be similar in price to those in the nearby Cibolo Hills master-planned community.
PMB began working on the project with the city of Fort Worth about a year ago and since has been meeting with neighboring homeowner associations, city staff, city councilman Leonard Firestone’s office and the Northwest Fort Worth Alliance.
As part of an agreement with adjacent homeowners associations, the developer reduced the project’s density down by about 150 lots. It will also allow access to trails and amenity centers to residents of the surrounding neighborhoods.
Nearby residents are worried about how the thousands of new homes could affect traffic in the area.
Kevin Ingle, president of the Bonds Ranch Homeowners Association, told council members that the group felt like it signed the memorandum of understanding with the developer on Monday “under duress.”
“We were told this was the best deal we could get,” Ingle said.
Ingle said city staff, the city attorney and his representative told him the homeowners association would have to sign the agreement or get nothing. He added that his frustrations are with the city and not the developer.
“We did sign the memorandum of understanding, but we did so unwillingly,” Ingle said. “All of my neighbors do not want this to happen.”
James Biedenharn, a longtime real estate agent in Fort Worth, told council members that road improvements proposed by the developer aren’t enough. He said traffic along Highway 287 east of the project has led some residents to come to him wanting to move out of the area because of how hard has been to get out of their neighborhoods to shop or go to work.
“There’s a reason that property values are more valuable near 35, near the airport, because there’s access to those things,” Biedenharn said.
The city of Fort Worth and Arizona partnership Rio Claro entered into a development agreement in 2008 on how the property would be developed, annexed and zoned.
Firestone said that long-standing agreement makes it difficult to control development on the property. Additionally, he said part of the property being in Fort Worth’s extraterritorial jurisdiction gives the developer the right to build almost anything, so the city worked to put some controls and boundaries in place.
“It’s a difficult situation; it’s a no-win for me,” Firestone said, adding that the city is focusing on roads and emergency services to manage the growth responsibly.
PMB Capital owns about 12,000 acres of land across the Dallas-Fort Worth area and has 10 projects in development. Last year the firm purchased the historic 3,800-acre Veale Ranch west of Fort Worth for another residential project. It has also been working on The Station, a $500 million mixed-use project along the Bush Turnpike in Sachse.
“We believe there’s a need for housing in D-FW,” Mildren said. “We think that D-FW is going to continue to attract jobs and we’ll see migration into D-FW from other parts of the country.”