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Trademark closes on 63-acre Waterside site in Fort Worth

Construction begins Oct. 20 on the development, to be anchored by a Whole Foods Market.

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UPDATE: $215M hotel, indoor ski project planned for Grand Prairie

Officials in Grand Prairie are expected later today to announce a $215 million project that will include a Hard Rock Hotel and an indoor ski facility.

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Two Fort Worth council members propose temporary single-family moratorium around TCU

The moratorium would apply to new permits for single-family homes around TCU, and give the city time to figure out what to do with a controversial proposed overlay in several neighborhoods around the university.

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Fresh Ebola fears hit airline stocks

DALLAS (AP) — News that a nurse diagnosed with Ebola flew on a plane full of passengers raised fear among airline investors that the scare over the virus could cause travelers to avoid flying.

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Landscape architect behind several TCU landmarks acquired

The Dallas design firm behind several Texas Christian University projects, as well as Globe Life Park in Arlington and AT&T Stadium, has been acquired by Rvi Planning + Landscape Architecture.

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F-35's operating cost estimate to decline, Kendall says

Tony Capaccio
(c) 2014, Bloomberg News


WASHINGTON — The Pentagon will decrease its $1.1 trillion estimate for the cost of supporting Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter jet over a 55-year lifespan, the top U.S. weapons buyer said Thursday.

"It will drop to a number that's not trivial but is not as much" a reduction "as I would like," Frank Kendall, the Defense Department's undersecretary for acquisition, said at a Bloomberg Government breakfast in Washington.

While debate over the aircraft, the costliest U.S. weapons system, has focused mostly on the price to develop and build the fighter, Pentagon agencies also have disputed its longterm operating costs, from spare parts to repairs.

Kendall declined to elaborate on the reduced 55-year estimate by the department's independent cost-assessment office, which will be released later this month in its next unclassified Selected Acquisition Report. Until then, the official projection is the $1.1 trillion formulated by that office three years ago.

By contrast, the Pentagon's F-35 program office estimates that the fleet will cost $857 billion to operate and support over its lifetime.

On the separate cost of developing and producing a planned fleet of 2,443 F-35s, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in February that its projection is $390.4 billion, as adjusted for inflation over the years the plane is produced. The Pentagon's latest estimate by the same measure is $391.2 billion, about a 1.1 percent reduction from an earlier calculation.

That's still a 68 percent increase from a 2001 estimate the included 409 more planes.

"It's frustrating to me that eight years into production we still have a fair amount of development to go, and I don't want people to lose focus on that," Kendall said today. Kendall has previously described the simultaneous development and production of the F-35 as "acquisition malpractice."

Kendall said that his focus is on insuring that Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed, the biggest U.S. contractor, continues to lower production costs.

Before the award of an eighth production contract, "I want to see specific progress," working with the F-35 program office to identify some milestones "that will give us an indicator of where we are."

Kendall said he also wants to see "active progress" on the next version of software the Marine Corps needs to declare operational its first F-35 models by July 2015 as well as a final version of war-fighting software. "We still have a lot of work to do," he said.

Progress on software testing and structural durability for the Marines' F-35B model "will factor into the details" on the eighth contract, which may include actions that Lockheed must complete in order to received increased orders, he said.

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