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Weatherford has well-established major employers in industry and manufacturing; retail; commercial, professional and business services; healthcare, trade and transportation; construction; and hospitality sectors. Equine, dairy and cattle ranching, as well as agricultural crop production are still significant economic contributors to the area.

The local industrial and manufacturing sector includes national and international silicone rubber products; automotive fuel additives; a state-wide food distribution company; natural gas drilling and production; plastic pipe extrusions; many smaller machine, molding, welding and fabrication shops; warehouses; truck stops; and several regional second-tier subcontractors to Metroplex aerospace companies. Weatherford has an established rail-served industrial park with over 45 acres “shovel-ready” for sale with city utility services and streets.Weatherford is an emerging Regional Retail center with over 850,000 square feet of new Power Centers constructed since 2005 on the IH20 corridor and S. Main - Exit 408. This development includes national anchor stores - Lowe’s, Target, Kohl’s, JCPenney and Belk; junior-anchor stores that include Best Buy, PetsMart, Ross, Michael’s, Bed, Bath & Beyond, ULTA and others; new chain restaurants including Chili’s, On-the-Border, Cracker Barrel, Chick-Fil-A, Olive Garden, Logan’s Roadhouse, Buffalo Wild Wings, Denny’s and others; and regional franchise restaurants Kincaid’s Burgers and McAlister’s Deli. Weatherford has a long-established Walmart with a Home Depot, Office Max and Applebee’s.

Expanded transportation infrastructure is a major factor in the business growth of Weatherford. The city is now completing major portions of a $65 million transportation project with over 4.5 miles of new interstate frontage roads in the retail corridor, and the county is constructing a 5.5-mile-long new west loop from North Main to west Interstate 20 mile-marker 405 that should be completed about 2014.

The core of the city includes many unique local restaurants, and the Historic Downtown CBD is a Texas “Main Street” program, with retail and commercial growth and revitalization, including active “York Street” and “Downtown Square” retail districts with restaurants, many boutiques, antique stores and specialty shops.

The 2010 Census reports the Weatherford population at 25,250 and 116,900 for Parker County. This is a growth rate of over 33 percent since 2000. This ranks Weatherford and Parker County in the top five or six counties of the DFW Metroplex in growth rates over the past decade. The North Central Texas COG forecast estimates the city population will reach over 35,000 and the county population over 300,000 by 2040. The city has over 3,600 businesses that employ over 12,000. The county has over 6,400 businesses that employ about 28,000 of the total workforce of 55,000. The additional 27,000 local residents/workforce commute to the Fort Worth-Dallas Metroplex for major Fortune 500, national and regional employers.

By Dennis W. Clayton, CEcD, AIA, Executive Director of the Weatherford Economic Development Authority, Inc.

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Weatherford College