Thu. Jul 25th, 2024
alert-–-from-texas’-‘antiques-capital’-to-america’s-fastest-growing-city:-the-dallas-exurb-exploding-by-51%Alert – From Texas’ ‘antiques capital’ to America’s fastest-growing city: The Dallas exurb exploding by 51%

Until recently, Forney was described as a ‘sleepy bedroom community’ in north Texas.

That’s all changed, thanks to breakneck construction outwards from the sprawling Dallas-Fort Worth metro area.

According to Census Bureau estimates, Forney, located in Kaufman County east of Dallas, has seen its population grow a staggering 51 percent to 35,470 between 2020 and 2023.

That makes it the fastest-growing city in America, says the Dallas Business Journal.

Texas realtor Mike Harrison says the city, which covers just 13 square miles, is ‘growing fast.’

That’s because it’s ‘one of the top providers of new construction homes within the DFW metroplex,’ says Harrison.

Dallas-Fort Worth is among the fastest growing regions in the country, with much of the people flows to emerging hubs in the South.

With some 8.1 million residents, it has become the nation’s fourth-largest metropolitan area, behind only New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Much of Dallas’ expansion is now concentrated in its surrounding ‘exurbs,’ of which Forney is growing fastest at present.

According to Harrison, this has much to do with the affordability of new-build homes there.

Spacious and modern three-bedrooms with two bathrooms can still be bought in Forney for less than $250,000.

Similar properties in Frisco, Proposer and other nearby Texas cities cost much more, says Harrison.

The city also enjoys relatively low crime rates, decent schools, and has maintained a ‘friendly attitude throughout the city,’ says the realtor.

‘Although Forney’s population has nearly doubled in the last decade, there’s still a vibe where many of your neighbors know each other, and you have a chance to build relationships with people across the town,’ adds Harrison. 

Residents are spoiled for choices in shopping for antiques at the warehouses in the east of the city, which earned Forney official recognition as the ‘antique capital of Texas’ in 1987.

For some locals, however, the town can feel isolated and lacking in restaurants, shopping and other distractions.

Forney mayor Jason Roberson in February trumpeted a planned new supermarket, the popular Texas H-E-B chain, as a ‘defining moment’ for the city.

Roberson complained of the ‘retail leakage’ from Forney residents driving to other cities to shop because of the limited options nearby.

Locals also complain about the higher-than-average property taxes and snarling traffic to and from Dallas.

One southern city has become a boomer boomtown thanks to an influx of older Americans flocking to its age-restricted, bustling community.

Georgetown, Texas is officially the fastest-growing city in the country in part due to its wealthy 55-and-older community called Sun City Texas.

An analysis of Census Bureau data for cities with populations of at least 50,000 by The Wall Street Journal found Georgetown has now been the top city for population growth for three years in a row.

Georgetown grew 11 percent in 2023, 14 percent in 2022 and 11 percent in 2021. The median age in the boomer-rich city is 44 – and approximately 27 percent of its residents are 65 or older.

Driving the massive population growth are vivacious seniors who move to Sun City because of its lively social scene, which includes community theater, game nights, fitness classes, sports teams and so much more.

‘I didn’t want to just move to an old community,’ resident Betty Schleder told the Wall Street Journal.

Schleder, who is a keen skydiver at the age of 80, moved to the city two decades ago. Since then, she’s met her new 72-year-old boyfriend and is thriving in the community.

‘We’re not dead yet,’ said Suzanne Herndon, 70, who moved to Sun City in 2021.

Home to some 15,000 residents across nearly 5,000 acres of land, the community was launched in 1994 when the Del Webb Company purchased the land.

Construction began in October 1995 and by spring of 1996 residents were moving into the town.

The community association offers activities for residents, ranging from dance clubs, karaoke, arts and crafts, gardening, pickleball, cooking and poker.

There are also activity groups for singles and couples – and the environment has been described as akin to a college experience, without having to go to class.

Unlike their Gen Z counterparts studying at college, the groups of elderly Americans reaping the benefits of all Georgetown has to offer have hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank to spend at their leisure.

Across the country, Americans over the age of 55 hold 70 percent of all household wealth. Sun City’s median age is 73, compared to the US average of 39.

Photos from the community’s social media page show swathes of baby boomers engaging in fun dance competitions, games nights, as well as holiday parties.

Among the Georgetown population, many have taken up renovating homes and classic cars as hobbies – while others have joined the computer club to fine-tune their technology skills later in life.

The community also puts on pickleball tournaments, as well as lively entertainment including a recent sold-out concert by a Beach Boys tribute band.

Almost a fifth of Sun City’s residents are veterans, the WSJ found, and most served during the Korean or Vietnam wars. Around 90 percent are white.

Maria and Ottavio Arena moved from New York to be closer to their family, but remains connected to their home town when they meet with Sun City’s New York club.

‘We have more fun than our daughter,’ said Ottavio.

Jim Ancmon, 67, who moved from the Chicago suburbs in 2016, said he was drawn to Texas for its lower taxes.

‘I don’t think we were getting much more for our money in Illinois,’ said Ancmon.

Georgetown Mayor Josh Schroeder, who at the age of 47 is not old enough to live in Sun City, said he is thrilled about the influx of new residents.

‘It’s like they’re at college except they don’t have to go to class and they have $3 million in the bank. It’s almost like a cruise ship on land,’ said Schroder.

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