Topgolf looking at Fort Worth site near Trinity River

At Topgolf, players win points by hitting golf balls at targets while enjoying food and drinks from a bar and restuarant.
At Topgolf, players win points by hitting golf balls at targets while enjoying food and drinks from a bar and restuarant. Handout

Topgolf, a fast-growing entertainment venue that combines a high-tech driving range with a bar and restaurant, is headed to Fort Worth, possibly to a site near downtown.

The Dallas-based company is looking at three Fort Worth locations, including one off 4th Street east of Interstate 35W and close to the Trinity River levee, Zach Shor, Topgolf’s vice president of real estate, confirmed Monday. A decision should be made soon, he said.

“We love the site. It would be a really unique opportunity,” Shor said. “We love Fort Worth as a market. We’re going to be west of the airport somewhere.”

Getting Topgolf to a downtown site would be a coup, marking the first upscale entertainment development that planners have been seeking along the Trinity River. The 4th Street site would be a little south of the $910 million Trinity River Vision/Panther Island Project.

Shor said Topgolf is “close to a transaction,” and has started filing for some permits as part of its due-diligence review.

The facility features a number of games using golf balls with embedded microchips. Players compete by hitting shots at targets and winning points.

The company has 13 locations in six states, including North Texas complexes in Allen, Dallas and The Colony. Another 10 locations are scheduled to open this year and 11 are under construction, Shor said. A Topgolf will open in Oklahoma City next month and the company has announced plans for a site in Las Vegas.

In Fort Worth, the 4th Street location is owned by Chesapeake Energy. The company has been shedding much of its undeveloped Fort Worth land as it has pulled back on drilling in the Barnett Shale. A year ago, Chesapeake sold the 20-story office building on the west edge of downtown that served as its Barnett Shale headquarters.

Chesapeake spokesman Gordon Pennoyer declined to comment on a possible deal with Topgolf.

Shor said the company began looking for a Fort Worth location three years ago.

When it opened in The Colony in 2013, the company hoped to draw from the Fort Worth area, but that hasn’t happened, Shor said. That makes Fort Worth still “an untapped market for us right now,” he said.

Once construction begins, a Topgolf location takes up to 10 months to complete, Shor said.

A permit filing for the 4th Street location shows construction on an $11 million, 65,000-square-foot complex starting in August and being completed in next May.

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727

Twitter: @SandraBakerFWST