Dallas-based Cleopatra Inc., owner of the historic Texas & Pacific Warehouse on Lancaster Avenue on the south end of downtown, has one last chance to produce financing documents for the project before it loses funding from a special taxing district.
Cleopatra President Ola Assem met with city officials and attorneys in a daylong mediation session April 21 over a dispute involving the Lancaster Avenue Tax Increment Financing Board. Assistant City Manager Jay Chapa said the sides failed to reach an agreement.
“We could not come to an agreement that staff could take back to the TIF board,” Chapa said.
Assem did not return telephone calls seeking comment.
In January, the board put Assem in default for its public funding because she could not produce financial records that show the project had at least $35 million in construction financing in place in December.
$11.6 million TIF monies earmarked for Texas & Pacific Warehouse redevelopment
Assem was promised $11.6 million in TIF funding for the project in 2007. Under the agreement, Assem was to meet milestones by certain dates. One of those was completing the project by June 2012. She has not received any money.
In hope of getting the vacant, mammoth property redeveloped, the TIF board extended deadlines several times. Assem proposed redeveloping the eight-story, 500,000-square-foot warehouse building into apartments, shops and restaurants, and possibly a hotel and offices.
Recently, the city sent Assem a letter saying she has 30 days to show the financial statements. The board is scheduled to meet May 16.
The property has been vacant since the late 1970s. Cleopatra has owned the 1931 building since 1997.
Last year, the building was named to Preservation Texas Inc.’s Most Endangered Places list. It is also on Historic Fort Worth’s endangered place list.