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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Crystal Springs development planned for west Fort Worth

Clearfork claims one part of the Trinity River, but another mixed-use development could transform riverfront property in west Fort Worth.

Crystal Springs on the River promises apartments, retail and restaurant space on 13 acres at the northwest corner of White Settlement Road and Roberts Cutoff.

“You have a throwback to a different era here. We think that’s very Fort Worth,” said Louis Gennarelli, managing principal of Dallas-based LVG Investments LLC, which has developed Stonegate Crossing in Fort Worth and North Park Plaza in North Richland Hills, among other retail, residential and mixed-use centers.

Speaking at real estate group CREW Fort Worth’s Aug. 5 luncheon, Gennarelli outlined plans for at least 240 upscale apartments, 60,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space and a 10,000-square-foot live music venue along the Trinity River between Westover Hills and River Oaks.

Tenants are being sought for a project planned to include a farmer’s market beneath one of two buildings in the first phase. The structure’s pier design allows space for such activity on ground level.

What Gennarelli described as an entertainment-based project will feature Truck Yard, a Dallas-based restaurant concept featuring grilled hamburgers on an upper patio, and Nourish, what he called a “lifestyle concept” promising a health-conscious restaurant.

“What is germinating in this project is building an environment where people can live, be near trails and have a connection to the outdoors, Gennarelli said.

Live music also will play a role, with a venue expected to draw national acts. That makes sense, considering that a dance hall known as the Crystal Palace drew visitors to near the location in its 1920s heyday while serving as a hotbed of Western swing music, drawing Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, among other performers.

Setting a new stage almost a century later proved a tall order as Gennarelli faced zoning challenges, as well as how to plan the development while preserving existing trees and river features. So he worked with the Trinity River Water District in ensuring that the development would not impede water flow during a major storm. Other measures made after Gennarrelli’s group bought the land in 2006 was securing MU-1 zoning, which allows for low-intensity mixed uses.

Serving as architect for the project is San Antonio-based Lake Flato Architects Inc. A general contractor has not been named for a project expected to cost $100 million, or $50 million for each phase. Funding sources were not specified, but multiple phases hinge on whether the initial phase is successful.

“Phase two is with the city for approval, as well, but if we don’t lease up, we don’t do phase two. It has to be successful to do a second phase,” Gennarelli said.

The City Council is expected to consider approve the project’s general plat later this month, with construction expected to begin in late September.

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