Despite the average age of Forney residents being younger than 35, retirees have made their way to town and Forney is working to accommodate them. A groundbreaking was recently held for Silver Spring Senior Living at FM 548 and Reeder Lane. It will be 80 units of housing for seniors over age 55. Plans are also in the works for an 80 unit assisted living and memory care center to be built at FM 548 and Rogers Parkway. The next big goal for Forney is an Emergency Department with 10 additional physicians. Having access to emergency room care in our own town is essential with the amount of population growth Forney has experienced.
Common amenities are important as well, and the city is expecting a big announcement from Kroger’s grocery store very soon about their plans to build in Forney. The next big event will be the groundbreaking for The Forney Bridge on Highway 80 east of FM 548. The bridge is fully funded and the groundbreaking is scheduled to take place at the end of February or beginning of March 2012. The bridge should take 14 months to build and is scheduled to be completed by the middle of 2013.
The project is in direct correlation to what is currently known as “The Village at Meadow Ridge Farms”, a 65 acre parcel of land planned for retail, restaurants and entertainment. It is owned by the Hunt family, who also funded the Forney Bridge. It will be built not as a mall, but with an “outdoor mall feel”, according to Buttram. The bridge gives direct access to the retail development and will help convince more businesses to open their doors in Forney. By 2014, Buttram anticipates stores to start opening at the location, beginning with what she’ll only describe as “a big box store”.
Surrounding the box stores will be smaller shops as well as restaurants. We may have a hobby store, shoe stores and any number of the types of shops you might find in a bigger city. The Hunt family intends to change the name of the shopping center to something that will better reflect Forney’s history.
A wonderful project is also underway at the Forney Community Park, a new 5,000 seating area amphitheater. It was funded by the Spellman endowment and Buttram believes the grand opening could be as early as May of 2012. The city is still making plans on how to manage the venue, and any input from Forney residents is welcome. You can take a “Re-Brand Forney” survey until February 26, 2012 by clicking here. It’s a chance for all residents in the 75126 zip code to have an input in Forney’s future.
So how can Forney continue its rapid growth and still retain its charm? Kim Buttram says it is up to us. “We sustain our identity by getting to know each other and becoming a part of our community. It is really all about engagement, if the community engages its people, we can retain our charm.”
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