City of Fort Worth sources say approval of a deal to move an aviation company into the massive hanger left vacant at Alliance Airport is a “slam dunk” that will add hundreds of jobs to the economy.
When American Airlines took off to Oklahoma with more than 1,200 maintenance jobs in 2013, happy hour was over at nearby bbq restaurant Sonny Bryan’s. It closed its bar.
“It brought a lot of happy hour business,” said Josh Bergerhouse, manager of the restaurant, about the AA workers. “A lot of times people want to have a drink after work. It affected sales tremendously. You go from 1,200 to zero in two years and it definitely puts a drain on the economy in the area.”
But Fort Worth is landing a new employer to help fill the void of Americans’ maintenance workers. GDC Technics wants to expand its San Antonio operation to Fort Worth. The company modifies large aircraft for military, commercial and private customers.
GDC has stated it will hire up to 600 workers and plans on leasing 840,000 square feet of space.
That’s good news for the restaurant where they’re ready to pop a top again.
“We are looking to install another bar,” Bergerhouse said. “The bar and we get some of that nighttime business, the same thing we had before and hopefully bring some more people up this way.”
Of course the expansion will come in an area of Fort Worth already choked by expansion. But people there say the headaches of growth are now just a part of life.
“That’s part of it,” said Steve Cone. “We’re going to have traffic if we have construction, and if we have a building and new businesses and stuff, that’s just part of it.”
“They’re building new roads,” said Donnie Leonardo. “Not as fast as I’d like but they’re getting there. If it gets too congested and I’ll just move a little further west and make my property value go up a little bit more.”