Office building planned for new Edwards Ranch development in southwest Fort Worth

01/16/2014 10:47 AM

11/12/2014 3:42 PM

Nearly a year after the Clearfork Main Street Bridge opened, providing access into the last undeveloped portion of the legendary Edwards Ranch, developers unveiled plans for a 100,000-square-foot office building.

The four-story, multi-tenant building, with retail on the first floor, will be built by the fall of 2015 in the Clearfork development. It will be located just west of Edwards Ranch Road and north of Clearfork Main Street, in the northwest quadrant of 270 acres of undeveloped ranchland owned by Cassco Development Co., the family-owned business set up in 1954 to develop the ranch.

The building is not pre-leased, but brokers are talking with several prospective tenants who would lease half of the building, said Paxton Motheral, Cassco’s vice president.

“It’s a great time to be building office space in Fort Worth, especially with the opening of the Chisholm Trail Parkway in the very near future,” Motheral said. “The southwest Fort Worth submarket is around 98 percent occupied with only a few projects on the drawing boards. And as parking demands continue to increase downtown, we will be a very attractive alternative only a few minutes from the central business district.”

The first phase of development involves about 50 acres. Developers had been waiting for the bridge across the Trinity River to be completed to move forward with the project. Until now, there was little access to the property.

“Our development will have everything a company could ask for to create an unparalleled work environment, walking access to specialty restaurants, retail and the incredible Trinity River trail system,” Cassco said in a statement.

The first development phase will include 475,000-square-feet of retail space and 392 town homes, urban efficiencies and lofts above shops and restaurants. When completed, Clearfork will have 2 million square feet of office space, 1 million square feet of retail space and about 2,500 multi-family residences.

Jones Lang LaSalle will handle leasing for the initial 100,000 square feet of office space. “Opportunities like this don’t come along very often,” said Whit Kelly, a senior vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle.

Clearfork Main Street bisects about 270 acres that is divided into four quadrants for development purposes. Cassco sold 8.5 acres for construction of the Forest Park Medical Center, a $140 million hospital that will open this summer in the Clearfork section.

Nine years ago, Cassco donated and sold 181 acres to the city for the Texas 121 tollway project, now known as the Chisholm Trail Parkway. The project of the North Texas Tollway Authority, the Texas Department of Transportation and Fort Worth will open this year. As part of the deal, the city agreed to build the bridge and Edwards Ranch Road and Clearfork Main Street. All of that work began in 2007.

The city has spent $23 million on infrastructure improvements on the Edwards Ranch, including $9.8 million for the bridge. Projections call for 20,000 cars a day to cross the bridge by 2025.

Cassco has partnered with Rosewood Property Co., owned by the Caroline Rose Hunt family, as an equity partner on the first phase of Clearfork. Woodbine Development Corp. in Dallas, a real estate company controlled by Ray Hunt, will oversee the retail development and UCR Urban will handle leasing of the retail space.

In 2006, Cassco said it would develop the remaining 1,000 acres of the ranch. That included the 320-acre residential development called Riverhills.

Over the decades, other portions of the Edwards Ranch have been sold to commercial users and developers for projects including Hulen Mall and Trinity Commons shopping centers, as well as the Tanglewood, Overton Park, Overton Crest and Overton Woods neighborhoods.

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