Sprouts in West Fort Worth? City Council considering tax abatement

By Scott Nishimura snishimura@bizpress.net

The prospect of a Sprouts Farmers Market grocery store in Fort Worth’s West Side Ridglea area continues to inch forward.

The Fort Worth City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a five-year tax abatement for VCB Property, LP, which would build a a 27,700-square-foot Sprouts at 6300 Waverly Way, according to a city staff report to council members Friday afternoon.

VCB plans to invest $2.7 million to build the store, the report said.

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The site is in the Ridglea Village/Como Neighborhood Empowerment Zone. The city’s Housing and Economic Development Department has certified the proposed project is eligible for a municipal property tax abatement, according to the staff report.

If approved by the council, the total assessed value of improvements used for figuring municipal property tax would be frozen for five years starting in January, the report said.

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.

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

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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.

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.”

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VCB is also on the council agenda seeking a five-year abatement to build an 8,800-square-foot retail center at 6324 Waverly Way. It would invest $2.27 million. The abatement, post-construction, would be about $19,640 per year for the five years.

In one other agenda item, the council will consider a five-year property tax abatement for LMP Realty, which proposes 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.

LMP is eligible for the abatement, the city staff said in a report to council members Friday. The abatement, if granted, would freeze the valuation on the improvements for city taxing purposes for five years starting in January.  The abatement would amount to $77,805 per year over the five years.