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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Cassco breaks ground on apartments at Clearfork

Cassco Development has broken ground on 392 apartments in its Clearfork development off the Trinity River in west Fort Worth.

Credit: Cassco Development  

Scott Nishimura snishimura@bizpress.net

Cassco Development has broken ground on 392 apartments, the first multifamily phase in the 270-acre project fronting the Trinity River in west Fort Worth, Cassco said.

The first phase includes townhomes, “urban efficiencies,” lofts, and 35,000 square feet of retail space in six to eight buildings connected by walkways and other features in the development’s northwest quadrant off of Bryant Irvin Road and a block from the river. The multifamily will be on Clearfork Main Street and adjacent to the Forest Park Medical Center, which is nearing completion.

Cassco plans to begin pre-leasing in the first quarter next year, with opening in the second quarter, Paxton Motheral, Cassco vice president, said in an interview Tuesday.

Cassco plans later this year to launch construction on another 375,000 square feet of retail north of the multifamily project that will become available within several months of the residential, Motheral said.

“It will follow closely behind,” he said.

The multifamily and retail are parts of what Cassco committed to earlier this year, to secure an incentive agreement with the city. Cassco said it has hired the Dallas-based StreetLights Residential, known for projects such as the Kenzie and the Domain in Austin and Taylor in Uptown Dallas, to plan, design and oversee construction of the residential project.

StreetLights will work for a fee and have no ownership interest, Motheral said.

The rancher Cass Edwards II and his sister Colleen Edwards Geren – namesakes of Cassco Development – were responsible for developing the South Hulen Street corridor from Bellaire Drive to Granbury Road. The family was noted for retaining ownership of most of the commercial piece to maintain consistency and quality over time, and allowing development on long-term ground leases.

“The family has made a decision to take a long-term approach to the (Clearfork) development,” Motheral said.

The total buildout plan for Clearfork includes more than 2 million square feet of upscale office space, 1.2 million square feet of retail, and 2,500 multi-family residences.

Cassco, in a City Council vote in February, obtained up to $30 million in incentives over 15 years on 44 acres of the development, the part that the company is working now.

The total investment on the 44 acres would be $300 million and would occur over three phases, Cassco estimated to the city at the time.

The first phase would include $180 million in investment on about 600,000 square feet of total space. Half would be retail and commercial office, the other half the 392 apartments.

The second and third phases would each include $60 million in additional investment, with at least 200,000 square feet per phases of retail, commercial office, or multifamily.

Cassco also intends to build about 2,000 parking spaces on the 44 acres.

The 392 units of multifamily will be designed to “energize the streetfront” and will include “front-porch stoops,” and an internal parking structure, Motheral said.

The buildings will be two, three and four stories high, with the ground-floor retail in the four-story building, he said.

“We’ve really tried to focus out on the streets, rather than turn our backs on the streets,” he said.

Cassco has not yet set its merchandising plan for the initial retail, he said. Cassco expects to launch construction on the larger retail project north of the multifamily later this year, he said.

Cassco doesn’t have a time horizon for buildout on the 270 acres, he said.

“With this being such a large project, we want to be methodical on how we approach it, and not oversaturate the market,” he said.

Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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