By Bob Francis
A high-profile location on the Trinity River that has sat vacant for years may soon see development.
The 9.5-acre site is located at 1500 Merrimac Circle, just north of and abutting Trademark’s WestBend development. At the Jan. 12 Fort Worth Zoning Commission meeting, Carriage House Development LLC requested and received approval for a change from intensive commercial/light industrial to MU-2 for high-intensity mixed-use sites. The change was approved 9-0.
Speaking at the meeting for the Carriage House group was Christopher Nash, development partner for Houston-based Hanover Company, the real estate developers leading the project.
Nash told the commission that the first phase of the project was expected to include 35,000 square feet of retail space and about 400 apartment units.
The second phase would include about 25,000 square feet of retail space and an additional 400 units. The Dallas-Fort Worth area has been a leader in apartment demand for the past several years.
There could be an office component, but that has not been decided, according to Nash.
Nash did not show any renderings at the meeting or provide a time frame on the project. No one spoke against the project at the meeting.
Zoning Commission member for District 9 Kimberly Miller asked that the developer maintain views of the river in the design of the project.
“As the developer moves into the next phase, I’d ask you to continue to maintain the visibility and open access in a way that is more pedestrian friendly and community engaged with the waterfront instead of creating this large wall that prohibits those views to one of the most exciting new developments in the city,” she said. Miller then moved for approval of the project.
The zoning change should go before the City Council at the Feb. 8 meeting.
Hanover Company recently opened The George at Clearfork, an upscale luxury apartment property in Clearfork. WestBend is a 278,000-square-foot mixed-use development from Trademark Property Co. just south of the Merrimac Circle location.
Bob Francis, a former editor of the Business Press, is business editor of Fort Worth Report. His articles continue to appear in the Business Press.