Natural Gas Drilling Planned In Mall Parking Lot

Natural Gas Drilling Planned In Mall Parking Lot

For the first time in the City of Fort Worth, owners of a shopping center plan to drill for natural gas in the business parking lot.

The drilling will take place in the parking lot of La Gran Plaza, in front of the theatre. The location is roughly 350-feet from I-35 South at the Seminary exit.

Mall officials say they hope the well will bring in $10 million and they, “need the money”.

In return for city tax breaks, mall owners promised to make the once nearly abandoned mall a showplace, catering to Hispanic shoppers. La Gran Plaza now has a 75-percent occupancy rate.

Contractors are working to upgrade the mall exterior and architects are completing plans for a Mexican rodeo arena.

”Instead of having that investment in five years we are going to be able to bring that money earlier,” said Jose Arellano, La Gran Plaza marketing director.

During the drilling period there will be a 3-story high tower on the property, with bright lights, and making lots of noise.

Workers at a radio station across the street from the mall are concerned. “Hopefully we won’t have any accidents, ” says area worker, Tony Adriann. “If we have any accidents, ya know, it’s gonna be kind of dangerous for us.”

City development director Bob Riley believes the asphalt parking lot will contain any possible hazardous spills. “I think from an accident standpoint (the site) has easy access, whereas if you were out in the field somewhere (that would not be the case.) Everybody knows where it’s at.”

It will take two million gallons of water to get the gas out of a well. There’s no word on how the drilling company deals will deal with that.

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