Developer plans hotel, apartments, shops and offices just off West Seventh

Posted Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH -- Dallas-based developer Centergy Retail has amassed more than 30 acres west of the Trinity River just off the bustling West Seventh Street corridor, with plans to build a hotel, apartments, shops and offices.

The bulk of the property, about 27 acres, was bought from Chesapeake Land Co., and three parcels were bought from individual landowners, said Centergy President West Miller said. The land is north of Seventh Street between the Fort Worth & Western Railroad tracks and the west bank of the Trinity, up to about Kansas Street.

The project has the potential for as much as 2 million square feet of floor space and will be developed quickly because the area is vibrant and in high demand, Miller said. He and other developers have been eyeing the property for a couple of years.

"We have demand in all four segments," Miller said. "We are in negotiations with retailers, office developers, multifamily developers and a hotel. We're talking to everybody. It's a very important tract. We just know it's a great piece of real estate."

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Miller said it was all cash. He said utility and road work need to be completed before any building can begin, now slated for early 2014.

The development hasn't been named, but Miller said that in the interim he'll refer to it as the Left Bank, the name given to the area by other developers who proposed a similar project there several years ago.

For several years, West Seventh from the river to University Drive has been a hotbed of growth.

The former Montgomery Ward property was redeveloped into the Montgomery Plaza retail and condo project. Shops, restaurants, offices and apartments have sprung up in the So7 and West 7th developments, and warehouses on Foch Street were redeveloped into a trendy shopping area. A big upscale senior living center, The Stayton at Museum Way. opened, and other retailers have renovated shops and restaurants along the street.

This is Centergy's first Fort Worth deal, though Miller said he is not a stranger to the city. He said he spent several years developing for Lincoln Property Co., a Dallas-based apartment builder, and in the Dallas office of Regency Centers, a huge Jacksonville, Fla., company that develops grocery-anchored shopping centers nationwide. Miller said he worked on the construction management team for the retail portion of Montgomery Plaza.

He founded Centergy Retail three years ago. The company is developing a 600,000-square-foot project in El Paso, The Fountains.

Chesapeake acquired the land it's selling in 2007 and 2008, including a tract that was the former location of the Bankston Collision Center. The company has been selling unused land in recent years after natural gas prices became low.

"The new owner is keenly aware that this property is a vital link between downtown Fort Worth and the Cultural District," said Julie Wilson, Chesapeake's vice president of urban development in Fort Worth.

Sandra Baker, (817) 390-7727

Twitter: @SandraBakerFWST

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