Super center feeds on growth in north Fort Worth

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by CASEY NORTON

WFAA

Posted on January 12, 2011 at 5:57 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 12 at 7:05 PM

New shopping option

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FORT WORTH — It's one of the newest hot spots for shopping in the fastest-growing part of Texas.

Business is booming at the new Kroger Marketplace in Alliance Town Center in north Fort Worth, bringing some retail relief for a booming region where even a post office is hard to come by.

Ten years ago, Fort Worth City Council District 2 served just 68,000 people. New numbers show the population has more than doubled since then.

When the Kroger opened Wednesday morning at Interstate 35W and Heritage Trace Parkway, people were waiting in line to start shopping. Grocery executives say they did their homework, saw the growth, and found out this location would be right in the center of 140,000 — with the potential for another 100,000 in the next decade.

Not many people would walk shoulder-to-shoulder down store aisles for the chance to load up on Frosted Flakes, eggs, and jewelry, but north Fort Worth shoppers have been waiting years for a new grocery store option.

"There's not a lot around here yet, and this is a really nice store," said Meredith Simpson. "Really close to our house."

Less than 10 years ago, there weren't many places that sold fresh vegetables along with love seats and couches. Now, it's all in one store instead of miles away.

"Travel time becomes an issue, so it's nice to have something that is convenient and close by," said Dennis Goodwin.

The area once considered country living is now a sprawling suburbia. Builders are laying the foundation for a quarter million residents by 2020.

Hillwood Development's Michael Berry says even that may not fill all of its 17,000 acres. "Our road construction is critical," he said. "We've got to keep our highway construction and our roadway construction up with the pace of the population growth."

Pat Edwards and her husband moved to north Fort Worth nine years ago and watched the city move to them.

While she picks through a selection of fresh produce, she has a few other items on her shopping list for the burgeoning neighborhood.

"We need a post office, I'll tell you that, because you have to drive so far to mail a letter, so that would be wonderful, too," she said.

The Kroger store highlights milk next to home furnishings. There's a jewelry store at the front. And on the far side, there is produce, a bakery, and a Starbucks coffee shop.

The future looks bright for this area. Hillwood Development says it's working on plans to bring in more restaurants, more shops, entertainment options, and possibly a movie theater.

E-mail cnorton@wfaa.com

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