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21 posts from June 2012


Firm hired to market commercial tracts in Chisholm Trail Ranch in southwest FW

Legacy Capital has hired EDGE Realty Partners to market the commercial land in their new master-planned community, Chisholm Trail Ranch, located along the new Chisholm Trail Parkway in southwest Fort Worth.

Legacy purchased the 625-acre tract from Forestar in December 2010 and has been working with the city to bring additional infrastructure to the site.

"With the construction of the toll way well underway and the extension of Summer Creek Drive from Risinger Road to McPherson also under construction, we felt it was time to begin marketing the commercial corners to retail and commercial users," said Steve Saxon, Legacy Capital president, in a statement.

Chisholm Trail Ranch is at the intersection of McPherson Boulevard and Chisholm Trail Parkway. The tract straddles the east and west side of Chisholm Trail Parkway. Residences and commercial development is planned.

"Preliminary marketing of Chisholm Trail Ranch to a large assortment of national brand retailers has resulted in enthusiastic interest," said Brian Murphy, EDGE Realty Partners managing principal.

Murphy said he expects retailers to begin opening stores in 2014 and 2015.

 _ Sandra Baker






Downtown FW Sundance Square announces tenants for Third and Houston streets

Sundance Square said it has completed the leasing of the former Billy Miner’s space at the corner of Houston and 3rd streets in downtown Fort Worth.

Coyote, a women’s specialty boutique, along with Flowers to Go and Sundance Hairstylist will round out the space. Five Guys Burgers and Fries is a tenant and construction is being done on the future site of LOFT, a national women’s retailer.

Coyote, a new shop owned by Fort Worth resident Brooke Mitchell, will be at 317 Houston St. with about 2,400 square feet. The store should open in September.

Flowers to Go will move to 325 Houston St. in 790 square feet. The store, owned by Marie Holliday, has been in Sundance Square for five years and is moving from its current location on 3rd Street.

Sundance Hairstylist, owned by Joe Guerrero, has done business in Sundance Square for 25 years. The full-service salon is located in the courtyard off Third Street and will move further into the courtyard next to Five Guys Burger and Fries.

"The move increases the size of Flowers to Go and will allow them to be a full-service florist with a much broader range of merchandise," said Johnny CampbellÖ , president and CEO of Sundance Square. "Sundance Hairstylist remains close in size but will have a brand new renovated space. The relocations were necessary to accommodate the addition of LOFT, Coyote, and the expansion of Flowers To Go and to create pedestrian-friendly storefronts along Houston Street."

_ Sandra Baker


Another day in Texas, another record day for electricity use

The state's biggest electricity grid said power demand set another record for June on Tuesday at 66,500 megawatts. Monday's demand was also a record at 65,000 megawatts, said the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which serves about 85 percent of Texans. Temperatures were above 100 degrees for much of the state. Also Tuesday, ERCOT announced a new pilot program, the 30-minute Emergency Response Service, that gives eligible participants a half-hour to respond to ERCOT requests to reduce electric use. "The program is open to electric users -- either as individual customers or as part of an aggregated group of consumers -– who can reduce demand on the ERCOT grid by at least 100 kilowatts, about the amount 20 homes use during peak demand," ERCOT said in a prepared release. ERCOT can "procure up to a total of 150 megawatts for the pilot, which will begin in mid-July. ERCOT will operate the pilot program on a quarterly basis for up to nine months to evaluate its long-term feasibility," it said.

-- Jim Fuquay


UnitedHealth adding 800 Irving jobs

UnitedHealth Group said Tuesday it is adding about 1,500 jobs in Texas, including 800 at an Irving facility. The Minnesota-based health insurer said it expects the Irving operation, part of its Optum Connextions unit, to open in July. Connextions helps insurers enroll, retain and serve their members. The majority of those 800 employees will be licensed and non-licensed insurance agents, the company said.

UnitedHealth said it is also adding 330 positions in an Optum fulfillment center in Sugar Land, along with 250 jobs in San Antonio and 115 in Harlingen for its UnitedHealth Group benefits business.pharmacy benefits management unit, to be fully staffed by the end of 2013. The Minnesota-based health insurer said it is also adding 330 positions in an Optum fulfillment center in Sugar Land, and 250 jobs in San Antonio and 115 in Harlingen for its UnitedHealth Group benefits business. The moves were announced at an Irving event attended by Texas Gov. Rick Perry and United Health CEO Stephen Hemsley. UnitedHealth said it already employs nearly 11,000 in the state. Go to www.jobs.Connextions.com for a list of positions.

-- Jim Fuquay

Dick's Sporting Goods to anchor phase two development at Alliance Town Center

Dick’s Sporting Goods, one of the largest sports and fitness retailers in the U.S., will open a 50,000-square-foot store at Alliance Town Center in north Fort Worth, anchoring the second phase of the retail center, developer Trademark Property Co. said today.

The new building will be 140,000 square feet. No other tenants are announced for the space.

Construction is scheduled to begin on Dick’s in July and the store open in summer 2013, Fort Worth-based Trademark said. Dick’s Sporting Goods has 480 stores in 44 states.

"They have a great track record of success and we look forward to them flourishing at the new location," said Trademark Chairman and CEO Terry Montesi.

Alliance Town Center, currently at 800,000 square feet, is a joint venture of Hillwood and Trademark. It is located on Interstate 35W at Heritage Trace Parkway and is part of the 17,000-acre Alliance master-planned community.

_ Sandra Baker




Texas power grid sets June record, could see another Tuesday

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the operator of the electricity grid that serves most of Texas, said late Monday it set a record for June demand when electricity use from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. averaged 65,047 megawatts. The previous record for June was 63,102 megawatts, on June 17, 2011. ERCOT’s all-time peak demand record occurred on Aug. 3, 2011, at 68,379 megawatts. One megawatt is enough to power about 200 homes during peak demand periods.

Temperatures are forecast to be high this week, so tight conditions are expected to  continue between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., ERCOT said. The forecast for Tuesday, June 26, calls for electric use to exceed 66,000 megawatts, with the possibility of topping out at more than 67,000 megawatts. ERCOT asks that customers take measures to trim power use in those afternoon hours by raising thermostats two or three degrees and delaying the use of appliances like dishwashers, electric dryers and swimming pool pumps until later in the evening.

-- Jim Fuquay




Dallas hail storm producing rental car shortage, insurance group says

 The massive June 13 hailstorm in Dallas -- estimates of damage from insurers run between $1 billion and $2 billion -- is creating a shortage of rental cars at Love Field and elsewhere i the city, says the Insurance Council of Texas. The industry group says about 70,000 vehicles were damaged in storm, "and vehicle owners with rental reimbursement coverage are using rental cars until their vehicles are repaired in local body shops." You might want to confirm that reservation, suggests ICT's Mark Hanna. ICT quotes Ted Maniscalco, a spokesman for Enterprise Rent A Car, saying companies are pulling additional rental vehicles from around the state and outside Texas. Not only that, but "car rental companies, just like Dallas motorists, were hit by the hailstorm, putting many vehicles out of service. "Body shops are telling vehicle owners that they may have to wait six to eight weeks before their vehicles can be repaired," ICT says.. 

ICT estimates insured damages from the hailstorm at more than $1 billion. Earlier this week, Southwest Insurance Information Service, another trade group, said that when you count "tens of thousands" of homeowners' claims for roof damage, insured damages could hit $2 billion. The record for insured damage from hail in the state was $1.1 billion in 1995, according to the ICT.

-- Jim Fuquay


GM to add third shift and 800 jobs at Arlington plant

GM Arlington plant


 General Motors has just announced plans to add a third shift at the Arlington Truck Assembly Plant in 2013 and will begin filling the first of an estimated 800 jobs later this year.

The Arlington plant currently employs about 2,500 hourly and salaried employees -- roughly 2,300 of them on the assembly line -- and operates two production shifts working 50-hours a week and more.

The plant produces GM's top selling  Chevrolet Tahoe and SuburbanGMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade full-sized sport utility vehicles, and built a record 282,000 in 2010. In 2011, the plant produced nearly 270,000 vehicles and GE said demand for the full-size SUVs remains stable.

GM, in a press release, said the third shift will enable Arlington to meet market demand for the current generation of full-size SUVs and provide relief for employees who have worked extensive overtime since the fourth quarter of 2009.

The installation of new tooling and equipment required to build GM’s new line of SUVs will limit vehicle production in 2013. A third shift will provide the plant needed production capacity during this transition time.

GM is already adding to the Arlington plant to add equipment for stamping body parts for the 2014 model vehicles.

- Bob Cox



Final Texas health insurance rebates: $167 million

The federal government today said 1.5 million Texans will share $167 million in rebates from health insurers under the terms of the 2010 health reform legislation. That's a bit less than the $186 million that was estimated earlier, but still the largest for any state. A total of $1.1 billion will be returned to individuals and employers nationwide under the terms of the measure, which requires at least 80 percent of premium to be paid out for medical benefits. The rebates can be paid either with a check or a reduction in future premiums, and employers can also decide how to pass on the money to covered workers. Most of the refunds are for policies sold in the individual market. In Texas that amounts to $134.5 million, or an average of $356 per household, or more than twice the national average per household of $152 for individual policies. The average household rebate for small group and large group policies are just over $60 each. The full results by state can be found here.

-- Jim Fuquay


Fort Worth health firm plans $60 million expansion

Healthpoint Biotherapeutics, a Fort Worth-based company focused on skin and wound care, said Wednesday it will spend $60 million on its research and manufacturing facility here in the next few years to support development of new treatments. Healthpoint said it expects to hire 31 new workers this year and would add another 20 over time. The first phase should be in operation by year's end. It will include 25,000 square feet of manufacturing infrastructure, labs and clean room space "for the production of cell-based therapies." The company's lead effort, now in clinical trials, applies living human cells to ulcers that develop in patients with poorly functioning leg veins. "We are very pleased to be embarking on this important and innovative initiative at our headquarters here in Fort Worth," said President Travis Baugh.

-- Jim Fuquay


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