Director Kim Buttram pointed out that Forney has been in the news frequently in the last month. D magazine ranked Forney as # 31 of 63 best suburbs in the DFW area and included a large pictorial about Forney in their magazines July issue. Former EDC board member and current City Councilmen Ray Stephens was recently featured by the Terrell Tribune on July 1. The former Marine is a bronze star recipient and he is currently helping Trinity Valley Community College develop courses in Homeland Security. Forney's new Gateway Bridge and Meadow Ridge Farm development by W. Herbert Hunt was featured in the Dallas Morning News.
Kroger's has submitted their building plans and the community eagerly awaits the groundbreaking for the new Kroger Marketplace. Kroger's will be the anchor for the new development on the north side of Highway 80, to the west of FM 548. There will eventually be three junior anchor retail/restaurant establishments connected to the Kroger location. See site plans here.
Brady's Burgers has to vacate their current premises through no fault of their own and the EDC has vowed to assist the local family owned business. Buttram told board members that they have reached out to the Brady's Burgers owners and put them in contact with a number of building owners, including Kickapoo Trace, in hopes that the business will re-open in another Forney location. They are also directing them to the business center at the Trinity Valley Community College which helps small businesses for free.
Pending retail additions to Forney include a Quik Trip, a 7-11, and an Applebee's.
City Manager Brian Brooks spoke at the meeting about short-term and long-term plans for Forney. He said the City Council has a key goal of improving downtown Forney and attracting new businesses to downtown. The Highway 80 growth has somewhat take away from downtown, but Brooks knows that in a community like Forney, a thriving downtown area is important. The City Council and the EDC will be researching funding options for downtown development, including finding a dedicated funding mechanism. They intend to again address the possibility of installing a railroad quiet zone and Brooks noted that technology has improved and there are safer ways to potentially address the problem. In just the first hour of the EDC meeting, three trains came through downtown with horns blaring.