Cassco Development Co. was founded in 1956 to manage and develop the family-owned Edwards Ranch that once sprawled over 7,000 acres on the west side of Fort Worth.
The ranch dates to 1848 when Lemuel J. Edwards arrived from Missouri and established his ranch along the Clear Fork of the Trinity River. Ultimately, the ranch would stretch from the present Fort Worth Zoo area to near the City of Benbrook.
Early development of the land included the areas of Tanglewood, Overton Park, Overton Woods, Hulen Mall and Cityview.
In 1980, Cass O. Edwards II decided to pause development of the land to await the construction of what would become the Chisholm Trail Parkway – first envisioned in the 1960s – in a handshake deal with Fort Worth Mayor Woodie Woods.
Edwards died in 2005 and in that year Cassco donated and sold 181 acres to the City of Fort Worth for the parkway. By the way, the O in Edwards’s name stands for Overton.
In the Business Press obituary for Edwards, former Mayor Kenneth Barr said he thinks of Edwards every time he drives along the southern stretch of Hulen Street, near Interstate 20.
“The development that Cass did was extremely well done,” Barr said.
“He was in it for the long haul,” Barr said of the restrictions placed on the Tanglewood and Overton areas. “He felt he had an obligation to do it right. He had an obligation to the whole community and certainly to his family.”
The late Bob Bolen, also a former mayor, said his first memory of Edwards was in the early 1960s when Edwards was in the middle of developing Tanglewood.
“When he put it in, he expected it to last decades, which it has,” Bolen said. “Money on the front wasn’t the issue; he wanted to do it right. The whole area was part of history and he wanted to honor that. He was that way in everything he did.”
Paxton Motheral, vice president of Cassco, says that what differentiates Cassco from other similar businesses is that it is still family-owned, has long-standing history with Fort Worth, exercises stewardship through patient long-term investing in land and community, and partners with best-in-class partners to develop its projects.
Cassco is developing Clearfork, a master-planned, mixed-use development with 270 acres of residential options, miles of riverfront access and a mix of retail, dining, entertainment, office and green spaces in the heart of Fort Worth.
Cassco is partnering with Simon Property Group to develop retail businesses at Clearfork.
Motheral responded to some questions from the Fort Worth Business Press:
All businesses go through some tough times. What was your greatest challenge and how did you respond to it?
A challenge in retail is curating the right tenant mix and amenities to meet shoppers’s needs and demands.
At Clearfork, we sought to create a project that Fort Worth would embrace and be proud of.
Cassco knew that Simon’s expertise in creating successful, dynamic retail centers would ensure that the first phase of retail at Clearfork, The Shops at Clearfork, would bring the right tenant mix to Fort Worth.
Given Simon’s expertise with national retailers, combined with Cassco’s desire to include a local and regional mix at the center, the partnership resulted in a diverse and quality experience that resonates with a wide variety of consumers.
In general, do you see the present business climate as challenging, uncertain or optimistic and why?
Growth, trends and change are constantly evolving in retail and the development world, which can bring
about challenges and cause uncertainty but can also generate optimism for new and better opportunities.
Cassco has embraced that change, and growth can strengthen a project and set it apart from every other project. At Clearfork, we have strived to provide unique complimentary uses to our retail, living and office projects to make the project unique, forward-thinking and authentic.
We also frequently look for ways to reinvent or fine-tune offerings to enhance the project’s relevance and acceptance.
Includes material from Business Press archives.
– Paul K. Harral
Cassco Development Co.
4200 S. Hulen St., Suite 614
Fort Worth, 76109
Number of employees: 20, not including project development partners