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River District to add homes, retail, entertainment to West Side

🕐 3 min read

The River District

www.riverdistrictfw.com

Riverfront development continues as The River District becomes Fort Worth’s next mixed-use project along the Trinity River.

“We feel like we’re incorporating the river into this development,” said Chris Powers Jr., of Fort Capital LP, a Fort Worth-based development and investment firm spearheading the 276-acre residential and commercial community planned north and south of White Settlement Road.

Located mostly between Roberts Cutoff and Priddy Lane along White Settlement Road, the project is expected to feature homes, townhomes and apartments, as well as commercial, entertainment and retail space.

Other project developers and builders include Greystar, James R. Harris Partners, LVG Investments and Village Homes.

From single-family homes starting in the $300,000 range and topping off near $1 million to townhomes, the development promises residences within walking distance of entertainment destinations also part of the property, creating a mixed-use community not unlike the Clearfork development on a more southern point of the river.

The River District will be privately funded — at least initially — mostly from local investors, Powers said. Total taxable land value is about $30 million for a project expected to reach $500 million within a decade, he said.

“At the moment, it’s privately funded, but there likely could be more institutional and other investors as the project progresses,” Powers told Fort Worth Business minutes before real estate professionals and elected officials learned about the project at na April 14 breakfast presentation at Shady Oaks Country Club.

Inspiring the city’s next major development was a desire for a simple office building.

“I was looking for land for an office building, and as we moved into the area, I had an ‘aha’ moment. A light bulb went off,” Powers said.

That revelation inspired a development whose first residential homes already are under construction.

“This is going to have a significant impact on the west side of this city,” said District 7 Councilman Dennis Shingleton, whose district includes the area.

“I tell you this is going to be a real revitalization of the corridor,” Shingleton said.

Some homes already are under construction, with others expected to begin later this year before reaching completion in summer 2017. Some apartments are expected to welcome their first residents as early as spring 2017.

Also expected to begin construction later this year is Crystal Springs on the River, an outdoor amphitheater and entertainment center promising restaurants, live music venues, shops and riverside access.

“It’s a beautiful location,” said Louis Gennarelli, managing director of Dallas-based LVG Investments LLC, which also has developed Stonegate Crossing in Fort Worth and North Park Plaza in North Richland Hills, among other retail, residential and mixed-use centers.

Late last year, the project received Fort Worth City Council approval for an economic development grant that could total $4.3 million over a 15-year period. Serving as project architect is Lake Flato Architects Inc. of San Antonio.

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.

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.

Residents of the newly announced community can expect similar entertainment options and home selection when River District opens, a prospect that has a Greystar official excited.

“We could not be more excited about being part of the team,” said Laird Sparks, managing director of development and investments for of Greystar, an apartment developer and manager.

Powers agrees.

“When someone like Greystar with a worldwide presence comes into an area, I call that de-risking,” Powers said of a development he considers strong and in demand.

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