Cassco Development Co., formed by descendants of 19th-century ranchers who owned Edwards Ranch southwest of Fort Worth, will be honored next week with the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Vandergriff Award.
The award will be presented Sept. 3 at the Chamber’s annual State of the County luncheon, keynoted by Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel. Established in 2011 in memory of the late Tarrant County Judge Tom Vandergriff, the award recognizes an individual, company, organization or event that has permanently and positively impacted Tarrant County. Past recipients are General Motors, Van Cliburn, Sundance Square and Hillwood.
Cassco has opened a new frontier in southwest Fort Worth with Clearfork and Riverhills – unique developments on Edwards Ranch that are transforming the area with long dreamed-of high-end retail, residential, office and green space.
These major developments have been spawned by the new 27.6-mile Chisholm Trail Parkway. Linking downtown Fort Worth with Johnson County, the parkway is a direct result of Cassco’s decision in 1980 to save land for the critical connector envisioned in the 1960s.
“Cassco is honored and humbled to be awarded the Vandergriff Award,” said Cassco President Crawford Edwards. “To be listed among the past honorees and to be the recipient of an award named for such a remarkable individual as Tom Vandergriff is overwhelming.”
“Fort Worth’s growth, prosperity and future owe much to Cassco, their deep love of the land and their wise and prudent planning,” said Chamber President and CEO Bill Thornton. “They and their legacy are models of how to build a great city with exceptional quality of life.”
Fort Worth’s Edwards family has pioneered this area since arriving from Missouri in 1848. Lemuel J. Edwards established his ranch long before Fort Worth was incorporated in 1873. Managed by the family’s sixth generation, the remaining acreage of the ranch is carrying forward a vision sustained by integrity and stewardship.
In 1954, in response to regional growth, the family formed Cassco Land Co. and created a master plan for ranch land that led in developing notable neighborhoods such as Tanglewood, Overton Park and Overton Woods.
“In 1980, Cassco decided to delay development to accommodate the proposed ‘Southwest Parkway,’” said Edwards.
A handshake deal with then-mayor Woodie Woods was honored as Cassco paused large-scale development of the ranch to preserve the land for the corridor.
“If the land was developed before the alignment for the parkway was finalized, adjacent home and business owners could be adversely impacted and there would not be direct access to the project,” said Edwards.
Cassco took a second step in 2005 when it donated and sold 181 acres to the City of Fort Worth for the parkway.
“This coordinated effort by the City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, NTTA and TxDOT, is an example of patience and long-term investing in the land and community,” Edwards noted, “which is another example of why Fort Worth and Tarrant County is one of the best business and living environments in the country.
“The ranch has been in the family for many years and deserves to be developed patiently and thoughtfully to honor past and future generations, while creating a timeless asset for Fort Worth and Tarrant County,” Edwards said.
Clearfork is a 270-acre, multi-phase development that ultimately will incorporate 2 million square feet of office space, 1.2 million square feet of retail, dining and entertainment and 2,500 multi-family residential units at completion.
The first phase of development is under construction. Opening this fall are the 400 luxury apartments known as The Kelton at Clearfork, Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop and Press Café.
Opening February 2017, Neiman Marcus will anchor The Shops at Clearfork that will include 500,000 square feet of open-air shopping, dining and entertainment.
Riverhills is an idyllic neighborhood that will include five phases and approximately 350 estate homes.
Building on the success of Cassco’s previous projects, each project showcases the dedication of the Edwards family’s vision and legacy. With nearly two and a half miles of riverfront, Cassco is developing those projects with utmost care.