Alcon Laboratories is considering a major $100M expansion of its Fort Worth campus

Alcon Laboratories, already one of the largest employers and taxpayers in Tarrant County, is exploring a major expansion of its Fort Worth campus.

Alcon, which is the world’s largest eye care device company, is looking to invest an estimated $100 million to build a 250,000-square-foot manufacturing facility next to its campus at 6201 South Freeway, off Interstate 35W about eight miles south of downtown.

Records filed with the city Friday show the company will meet with city Development Services staff about the project late this month. Such pre-development meetings are designed to help developers and engineers better understand zoning requirements or any site-specific issues.

The 135-acre site is immediately east of Alcon Laboratories existing campus, along East Altamesa Boulevard. Alcon already owns the vacant land extending to Campus Drive.

Alcon representatives and project engineers did not immediately respond to the Star-Telegram’s requests for comment on Friday.

The company was born in Fort Worth in 1945 with a small pharmacy started by Robert Alexander and William Conner, who combined their names to come up with “Alcon.”

Alcon Laboratories was founded in Fort Worth in 1945.
Alcon Laboratories was founded in Fort Worth in 1945.

The company went public in 1971. Alcon relocated its headquarters to Geneva in 2018, citing an opportunity to “increase Alcon’s global scale and reach to better serve customers.” Today it operates with two complementary businesses — surgical and vision care.

Alcon Laboratories in Fort Worth employs about 4,500 people, making it the eighth largest employer in Tarrant County, and the company is the second largest industrial taxpayer in Tarrant County after General Motors, according to TAD records.

In this 2009 file photo, an Alcon Laboratories employee works on one of its many manufacturing lines at its Fort Worth campus.
In this 2009 file photo, an Alcon Laboratories employee works on one of its many manufacturing lines at its Fort Worth campus.

The possible expansion could significantly increase tax revenue. It’s not clear how many new jobs could be created. Preliminary sketches for the site show space for about 640 parking spots, as well as a new gated employee entrance off Altamesa Boulevard and possibly another future warehouse.

Alcon Laboratories is exploring a $100 million expansion of its Fort Worth campus. In this image, East Altamesa Boulevard is shown at the bottom, and Interstate 35W is immediately to the left of the existing campus, about eight miles south of downtown.
Alcon Laboratories is exploring a $100 million expansion of its Fort Worth campus. In this image, East Altamesa Boulevard is shown at the bottom, and Interstate 35W is immediately to the left of the existing campus, about eight miles south of downtown.

Leaders at Texas A&M expect Alcon to also have a significant presence in downtown as part of the future Texas A&M-Fort Worth campus, which has a $320 million expansion in the works.

Alcon Laboratories is exploring a $100 million expansion of its Fort Worth campus. This image shows a possible configuration of the expansion, to the east of the existing campus at I-35W and East Altamesa Boulevard.
Alcon Laboratories is exploring a $100 million expansion of its Fort Worth campus. This image shows a possible configuration of the expansion, to the east of the existing campus at I-35W and East Altamesa Boulevard.