Fort Worth council approves tax abatement for Sprouts grocery in Ridglea

By Scott Nishimura snishimura@bizpress.net

Fort Worth City Council members on Tuesday approved a five-year tax abatement to a developer that proposes to build a 27,700-square-foot Sprouts Farmers Market store in West Fort Worth’s Ridglea area.

The council voted unanimously on the abatement for VCB Property, LP, which would build the store at 6300 Waverly Way. VCB plans to invest $2.7 million to build the store, the city staff told council members in a report.

Separately, council members unanimously approved a five-year abatement to VCB, which proposes to build a $2.27 million, 8,800-square-foot retail center at 6324 Waverly Way.

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The sites are in the Ridglea Village/Como Neighborhood Empowerment Zone.

Under the abatements, the total assessed value of improvements used for figuring municipal property tax wlll be frozen for five years starting in January.

For the Sprouts building, the staff estimated the tax abatement on the improved value after construction at $23,337.81 per year, for a total $116,689.05 over the five years.

For the strip center, the abatement, post-construction, will be about $19,640 per year for the five years.

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Sprouts’ potential entry into Ridglea has been rumored for months.

In early September, when asked about Ridglea, Eric Stover, the Phoenix retailer’s divisional vice president, told The Business Press in an interview, “I don’t have the official word on that. We’re looking at that, but until we assign a number to it and put it down, it’s just speculation.”

Sprouts, which has about 190 stores and $2.5 billion in annual sales, expects to add three to five stores a year in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Stover said in the interview at the company’s new Arlington store, the chain’s third in Tarrant County.

“We’re having some great success,” he said.

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Asked what Sprouts’ goal for store numbers is in the area, he said, “i don’t know that we have a lid to that. We’re seeing growing north. We’re seeing growth in the Rockwall area, Denton, Mansfield. i think there’s still a lot of opportunity in Tarrant County for us.”

The council also approved a five-year property tax abatement for LMP Realty, which plans to build a $9.1 million, 309,000-square-foot warehouse at 1700 Meacham Blvd. The site is in the 28th Street/Meacham Neighborhood Empowerment Zone.

The abatement would amount to $77,805 per year over the five years.