Texas Wesleyan acquires two strip shopping centers on East Rosedale

Scott Nishimura snishimura@bizpress.net

(Update: Texas Wesleyan University plans to locate a small business incubator and the Glick House Community Counseling Center in one of the two shopping centers. This story has been changed to reflect that.)

Texas Wesleyan University has purchased two strip shopping centers on East Rosedale Street across from its Southeast Fort Worth campus, the university’s president said Friday.

The centers, in the 3000 and 3100 blocks of East Rosedale on the south side of the street, include more than 20,000 square feet of space and are mostly vacant. The Texas Wesleyan University Bookstore and a Subway sandwich shop are tenants in one of the buildings.

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The university will pursue restaurant and retail tenants in the centerthat already has the bookstore and sandwich shop, Frederick G. Slabach, Texas Wesleyan’s president, said Friday in a talk to the Rotary Club of Fort Worth. Slabach said Texas Wesleyan closed on the purchases two weeks ago.

“We’ve already received significant interest by food service providers,” Slabach said.

In the second center, to the east of the one that houses the bookstore, the university plans to launch a small business incubator and relocate the university’s Glick House Community Counseling Center, Slabach said in an interview. Those two could take up 100 percent of the available space, he said.

The seller, Tsc Poly Retail LLC, headed by investor Peter Lyden, began assembling the property 12 years ago. The shopping centers comprise several lots. Lyden and partners, including developer Phillip Poole, revitalized the dilapidated buildings, putting in new roofs and storefronts. Poole subsequently sold his interest.

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“I think it’s going to make a nice gateway for the school,” Lyden said in an interview Friday.

He declined to say what he’d invested in the properties, or sold them for. Ann Davis, a spokeswoman for the university, also said the school was declining to disclose the purchase prices.

The buildings are about 25 percent occupied, Lyden said.

University and city officials expect business interest in the area will continue to pick up, as the city completes a major reconstruction of East Rosedale, now underway into the campus. Texas Wesleyan also is overhauling the entryways to the school with the help of the city.

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The $1.8 million in street improvements are a public-private partnership between Texas Wesleyan, the city of Fort Worth, Tarrant County and the North Central Texas Council of Governments. The funding will support street work adjacent to the campus and a number of pedestrian-friendly amenities including sidewalks, curbing, lights and crosswalks.