Developer seeks $18.5 million in incentives for Waterside project

02/18/2014 3:00 PM

02/18/2014 3:01 PM

Fort Worth-based Trademark Property Co. has asked the City Council to consider an $18.5 million incentive to help build roads and bridges in the $185 million Waterside project planned for the Lockheed Martin Recreation Association property off Bryant Irvin Road in west Fort Worth.

“There is a tremendous amount of public infrastructure, including a bridge, riverfront park and trails, and a public area” planned for the project, Jay Chapa, the city’s housing and economic development director, told council members at a pre-council hearing Tuesday.

Chapa said the primary financial obstacle to making the project work is the amount of infrastructure required. “There’s really no infrastructure on the property,” he said.

The property’s zoning calls for a vehicular bridge to be built over a tributary of the Clear Fork of the Trinity River, Chapa said. The 63-acre development would be north of Bellaire Drive, bounded by the river on the north and west and Bryant Irvin Road on the east.

Trademark CEO Terry Montesi said a pedestrian bridge might also be built. The development is still early in the design stage and would be completed in three phases. Construction is expected to begin midyear after Trademark completes its property acquisition, he said.

“Much of the project is still being designed,” he said. “Apartments and a significant first phase of retail and possibly some office” would be included in phase one. A grocery store will be in the mix, but Montesi is not saying which grocer because no lease is signed.

The incentive package includes a Chapter 380 grant of 75 percent of the 1-cent sales tax revenue generated at the development and 75 percent of the incremental real and personal property tax to be paid out over 15 years. Trademark must also commit a certain percentage of construction spending to minority- and women-owned businesses in Fort Worth.

Under the deal, Trademark must invest $90 million in the first phase, with at least 465,000 square feet, or 325,000 square feet for 400 apartments and 140,000 square feet for offices, shops and restaurants.

Phase two must have an additional $35 million investment and a minimum 165,000 square feet of commercial or residential space, and phase three another $60 million investment and at least 200,000 square feet of space.

Trademark has been under contract since May to buy the property from the Lockheed Martin Recreation Association. When the project was announced last year, Trademark said it planned 200,000 square feet for retail, including riverside restaurants; 20 to 30 acres for town homes; up to 200,000 square feet of office space; and a hotel.

The recreation association, a nonprofit employee group, is retaining about 16 acres on the north end of the site.

The development slowed as zoning changes were made to the property, limiting construction to 800 apartments and buildings no taller than five stories.

Instead of offering affordable workforce apartments, a requirement when an incentive is given, Trademark reduced its incentive by $2.25 million, which is going to the Fort Worth Housing Corp. trust fund for future development.

“It’s going to be a great project. That area is really growing and developing,” Mayor Betsy Price said.

The council will vote on the incentive March 4.

Trademark is also developing Alliance Town Center in far north Fort Worth and WestBend on University Drive in Fort Worth.

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