More than two years after Dallas-based Criterion Property Co. began buying land above Oakhurst Scenic Drive just northeast of downtown, the developer on Wednesday revealed plans for the 276-unit The Scenic Residences at River East.
City, neighborhood and elected officials joined Criterion representatives, including its president, Pretlow Riddick, for a ceremonial groundbreaking at the 20-acre site on a bluff above the Trinity River and Riverside Park.
The project’s first phase will take in about 13 acres with a view to the west of downtown beyond the river.
“A lot of times in real estate you don’t celebrate until the end of a project,” Riddick said, but The Scenic is an exception.
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Riddick said the high-end project should serve as a catalyst for redevelopment in the Riverside neighborhood. He’s hoping The Scenic will attract residents from the suburbs back to the city.
Now’s an exciting time to be a part of this neighborhood.
Ann Zadeh, Fort Worth City Councilwoman
“We like working to re-energize neighborhoods,” he said. “That’s something we embrace. It will be attractive to a lot of people.”
The development will have 19 buildings and include apartments, boutique manor houses and town homes, Criterion said. The buildings will total 375,000 square feet, with three-story apartment buildings and two-story town homes.
There will be studio, and one- and two-bedroom residences. Rent will range from $950 a month for a studio to $2,150 for a town home.
The project will include a linear park connecting Embrey Place to Bird Street, Criterion said.
The first units will be ready next spring, with all construction completed by the end of 2017, the developer said.
City Councilwoman Ann Zadeh called The Scenic “a valuable asset,” and hopes it will promote a walkable environment to shopping and recreation for its residents.
“Now’s an exciting time to be a part of this neighborhood,” Zadeh said.
Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Brooks echoed Zadeh, saying The Scenic is “a great attempt to revitalize the central core” of Fort Worth. “Developments of this kind provide a variety of housing options,” he said.
The project will receive some incentives from the city, such as fee waivers, because it is being built in a neighborhood empowerment zone.
Dallas-based Thackeray Partners, a real estate investment firm, is a partner on the project.
Brandon Hancock, Criterion’s development manager for Texas, called said The Scenic “an authentic urban lifestyle.”
“And it is only going to get better with the pedestrian and bike friendly improvements coming to nearby Race Street by the time our first residents are moving in,” he said. “They will be minutes from one of the most walkable commercial cores in the DFW area.”