What is Mark Cuban doing with the minuscule ghost town he bought about an hour and a half drive from downtown Fort Worth?
Well, he doesn’t really know yet. The town is Mustang (insert a joke here about Cuban and horses, ‘cause he’s also the owner of the Dallas Mavericks), in Navarro County.
He talked about it in March on “The Drew Barrymore Show” (an episode that was posted online July 26) and pitched the idea of turning it into “Dinosaur, Texas.”
But, Star-Telegram news partner WFAA-TV reported Thursday, that’s not going to happen.
“I told Drew it was something we were looking at ... but it’s not going happen,” Cuban told WFAA in an email. “That show was taped a long time ago.”
The idea was to turn the 79-acre town, about 0.1 square miles, into a sort of theme town with animatronic dinosaurs. He’d already invested in Dino Don, an entrepreneur who works to create robotic, life-sized dinosaurs, on an episode of “Shark Tank.”
Mustang is home to 0 people and two buildings including an abandoned adult entertainment venue once known as Whispers Cabaret and now listed (by all appearances as a joke) on Google Maps as “Whispers Cabaret aka Mark Cubarets.”
Despite its size and lack of residents, it is a real town, at least on paper. It’s even listed as a possible destination on the Exit 225 sign on Intestate 45, heading south from Dallas or north from Richland.
The town was incorporated in 1973 as a sort of adults-only town. Navarro County was dry at the time, and the little almost-rectangle between I-45 and Southeast County Road 1010/1020 was established as a place to sell alcohol to folks in the area.
Cuban bought Mustang to help a friend’s family.
“One of my buddies I’ve played pickup basketball with got cancer and was close to dying and his only real asset was this town, Mustang, Texas,” Cuban told Barrymore. “I was like, ‘Well, I can help Marty. I could buy this town.’ And so I bought this town. It was a cool concept right? It’s the only town in all of the state of Texas that is available for sale.”
The town hasn’t always been empty. According to the Texas State History Association, Mustang was the site to several liquor stores and that adult entertainment venue in the 1990s, with a population of 35. That was up from 1987, when it had 12 people living there.
Almost all signs of the community that once populated the ghost town is gone now. There are three short roads, Furrh Street, Regan Street and Circle Drive, branching off from County Road 739. Regan Street and Furrh Street are both no outlet, while Circle Drive (true to its name) loops a very short distance down County Road 739.
It borders the comparatively-massive Angus, Texas (population of 414 in the 2010 census) and has no town council, police force, fire department or other city services. Probably (and this should be obvious, but just in case it’s not) because not a single soul calls Mustang home.
In his interview with Barrymore, Cuban said he’s hired a friend to be the “mayor” of the town. That friend’s duties? Picking up trash.
And that’s really the extent of the plans Cuban has right now, at least that he’s shared.
“[We’re] just cleaning [the town] up right now,” Cuban told WFAA. “No plans yet.”