MINERAL WELLS — A patch of flat acreage on Mineral Wells southeast corner took center stage Wednesday as developers joined city promoters to cheer a first for the town that likes to call itself crazy.
“There hasn’t been substantial homebuilding here in over 40 years,” developer Diane Kessler said, shortly before a ceremonial groundbreaking for The Wells, a 486-lot housing project on 113 acres along the east side of Garrett Morris Parkway.
“We’ll be the first planned development ever in the history of Mineral Wells,” said Kessler, one-half of the team with Cory Murray, DBC Wells Development, which is bringing The Wells to town in four phases.
Murray, also a homebuilder, said Phase 1 is expected to be finished early in 2023, with homes in the $215,000 to $300,000 range.
The son of Mineral Wells resident Bob Murray, the builder said Mineral Wells is primed for expanded housing opportunities.
“This is kind of a hidden gem,” he said of the city. “It’s darn sure growing, that’s for sure.”
Before a gathering that approached 80, City Manager Randy Criswell pointed to birds of prey circling the vast field behind him.
“To me, that’s symbolic — that they aren’t going to see anything dead around here anymore,” Criswell said, echoing a recent assessment he’d made that Mineral Wells has been emerging the last few years from several years of doldrums.
Marty Logan of First Source Realty added an amen to that thought:
“Mineral Wells is on the cusp of a bright, new future,” he told the crowd.
Economic Development Director David Hawes called quality housing the “foundation of economic development.”
“I can tell you, in all honesty, there’s more coming,” he said.
Cody Jordan, CEO of community development at NSC Properties, said The Wells will fill a niche in the city that’s been missing.
“As a former educator, this is huge,” she said. “We have teachers that live in other places because there’s no place for them here to live. This changes Mineral Wells. I put this on par with (downtown restorations of) the Baker (Hotel) and the Crazy (Water) Hotel.”
Kessler told the crowd The Wells eventually will boast a T-ball field, fishing and picnic areas. She even said to expect chicken coops “ …for those fresh eggs.”
The former owner of Nix Store and Hardware in Fort Worth, Kessler said growth and development continue on a westward wave from the Metroplex.
“Well, Weatherford — look at you guys,” she said before the event. “And Mineral Wells is next.”