December 11, 2006


   Developer and multibillionaire Ross Perot Jr. spoke with confidence about Fort Worth, North Texas, the state of Texas and his Alliance development in north Fort Worth, all of which are seeing tremendous growth which he said is due to optimism, teamwork, culture and great leaders.

In his presentation, Perot pointed out that the Texas economy is larger and growing faster than the Indian economy. "We take all this for granted. We forget what a
powerful economy (we have in Texas),"
he said.

Perot also outlined challenges for the Metroplex and North Texas, such as transportation - roads to keep up with the growth. The air quality is not adequate and critical leaders need to step up and tackle the problem, he said. Lastly, North Texas must have the long term water supply to keep up with the growth. "Roads, air, water: These are the very basic parts of economic development and economic health of a community," Perot said.

He indicated that North Texas has a lot of competition around the world. Perot Systems in India, for example, employs 6,000 people. "They are all hungry, ambitious, all first generation leading their families out of poverty and into prosperity. They are bright, creative, and a big part of the global economy."

As prosperity increases around the world, we have to make sure as a country that we are plugged into it, we understand it, and we work together to manage the growth around the world and do it in a manner that is sustainable and in a very humane manner that will make it better for the planet long term, Perot said.

Perot also spoke about AllianceTexas, a 17,000-acre, mixed-use, master-planned community in north Fort Worth owned and developed by his company, Hillwood Development. Alliance began in December 1989 with a combined effort between the City of Fort Worth, the Federal Aviation Administration and Hillwood for the construction of Fort Worth Alliance Airport, the world's first purely industrial airport.

"When Alliance came to Fort Worth it gave us the ability to a capture a huge piece of (land to) grow toward Denton," said Perot. "(Fort Worth) will be the largest city in North Texas. All we have to do is fill it in."

Perot added that Alliance is just getting started, with only 25% developed and an aggressive building program going on today. "New buildings are breaking ground now and into 2007 that are 97 percent leased, and 90 percent of our clients, when they renew, they stay with us. They like Fort Worth, they like Alliance, they like the labor force, they like the whole environment."

Perot had this advice for students and others in the audience: "North Texas is adding a million people every seven years, so there is no better place to have a career than in North Texas and Fort Worth. When you start your career you want to make sure that you live in an optimistic growing area. Forth Worth (and North Texas) is about the fastest growing region in the country for a market of this size. So please stay here and be in business here and raise your families here because it is a great spot and we need you. If you are young today and working hard, you have a great future because a lot of companies need you."


Elaine Cole
Public Relations Manager
Neeley School of Business at TCU