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A mixed-use development that is expected to transform 63 acres in west Fort Worth will embrace its natural surroundings as Trademark Property Co. fulfills its latest vision. “We believe, like the [Fort Worth] Chamber does, that business should be more than about just making money. It’s also about enhancing the community,” said Terry Montesi, chairman and CEO of Fort Worth-based Trademark, speaking at the Aug. 29 Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Cendera Center. Providing details of a project first announced in May, Montesi described the Waterside development as boasting 1.15 million square feet of retail, office, hotel and residential space, including about 300 or 400 residential units.
Consumer demand will determine whether some or all of those are apartments or townhomes, said Montesi, who discovered the property while driving his children to and from nearby Fort Worth Country Day School. “It’s got just beautiful trees, I mean just one-of-a-kind heritage trees, great stuff,” Montesi said. The property, purchased from Lockheed Martin Recreation Association, features about a mile and a half of Trinity River frontage. Plans call for a trail system and access for canoeing and kayaking, outdoor dining and the Trinity trails. Lockheed Martin is keeping about 16 acres, which contain two softball fields, a fitness center and sand volleyball play areas.
Convair Aircraft, which later became Lockheed Martin, leased the property for its employees in the 1950s. It was purchased by General Dynamics-Fort Worth Recreation Association in 1963 and company employees paid to use the facilities. The property is north of Bellaire Drive, with the Clear Fork of the Trinity River to the north and west and Bryant Irvin Road to the east. The Chisholm Trail Parkway is expected to make the property more accessible when it opens in 2014. Construction on Waterside is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2014 and the development’s first phase is planned to open in early 2015. The purchase agreement is expected to close by year’s end for property that now is worth “almost nothing,” Montesi said, because it’s owned by a nonprofit association. When the property is fully developed, Trademark expects it to be worth about $175 million. Montesi envisions a mixed-used development “that’s socially, financially and environmentally sustainable. That’s our goal, and I think we’re going to do that.”
Providing input on that vision were the Tarrant Regional Water District, Streams & Valleys Inc. and the city of Fort Worth. They made sure Trademark’s plans were consistent with their respective vision for the area, Montesi said. Trademark is no stranger to sprawling developments. The company, which has developed or invested in 10 million square feet valued at $1.4 billion, developed Alliance Town Center in North Fort Worth, Trinity Commons at Hulen Street and Bellaire Avenue and Watters Creek in Allen, among others. And a Fort Worth project that some thought was abandoned is about to resurface as the WestBend development. “We are about to restart this project,” Montesi said of the planned 275,000-square-foot mixed-use development along the east side of University Drive just north of the Fort Worth Zoo. The 2008 recession put the project on the back burner the following year. “We stopped so we could sustain it and keep owning it,” Montesi said. An on-site parking garage had been partly built when developers put the brakes on construction. When it opens in spring 2015, the property will have 95,000 square feet of retail and restaurants and 180,000 square feet of office space.