In an unusual show of support for one another, five developers and real estate investors said Thursday that they will band together and market their soon-to-start west-side residential and commercial projects under the umbrella The River District.
The River District, newly coined, encompasses 276 acres on the north and south sides of White Settlement Road, and between Priddy Lane on the east, just past the Monticello neighborhood, and Westfork Drive on the west, just before the Westover Village city limit.
Fort Capital, James R. Harris Partners and Village Homes, all in Fort Worth, Dallas-based LVG Investments, and Charleston, S.C.-based Greystar, have projects planned for the area.
Louis Generelli, managing partner at LVG Investments, acknowledged that the developers will be competing with one another, but said that in this case, it made more sense to “work for the greater good.”
In 2006, LVG Investments bought the land on the north side of White Settlement known as Crystal Springs, the site of the dance hall where Texas swing music was invented.
In December, the City Council approved a $4.3 million, 15-year economic development incentive for the $86.5 million project. Generelli said Thursday that the project will have 75,000 square feet for an amphitheater, shops, restaurants and offices. Construction on 263 apartments will start in about 90 days, he said.
Chris Powers, CEO of Fort Capital, which owns about 36 acres in the district and is buying more land, fueled the creation of The River District. It is partnering with Village Homes on one residential project there but also has plans for an office building, shops and restaurants, and possibly a hotel.
Powers said the idea for The River District is to create a unique neighborhood on a bend of the Trinity River that embraces natural outdoor settings. The developers want to attract “uncommon” restaurants and build entertainment venues.
“We saw potential in the land and knew it would be the place for Fort Worth enthusiasts, music lovers, foodies and more,” Powers said. “Fort Worth doesn’t need just another build project. We need more neighborhoods surrounding our river, more social spots, more unique restaurants and businesses and more walkable areas in our city.”
Councilman Dennis Shingleton, whose district includes The River District, said the development and branding of the area will have a significant impact on the west side.
“Immediate significant impact,” Shingleton said. “This is going to regenerate some of that west side. The timing is excellent. It has my undying support. This is going to be a real revitalization of that corridor.”
Village Homes was first to build in the area with the Idlewild gated community in 2007. It has two projects underway on the south side of White Settlement Road.
Michael Dike, president of Village Homes, said 37 homes are planned for a section called Rivercrest Bluffs, where 10 of the home sites are on the riverfront. Construction should start this month on those, he said. Home prices will start at $750,000.
And Village Homes has started construction on 10 homes in Rivercrest Heights, where 67 homes are planned. Of those, 15 will be on the riverfront. Town homes will start at $300,000 and houses at $400,000.
Village Homes is partnering with Fort Capital on a planned 75-unit town home project.
Greystar has 325 apartments and some town homes planned for the south side of White Settlement Road called Elan at River District. Greystar has developed several apartment communities in Fort Worth, including Elan West 7th, near Montgomery Plaza. It also appears to be involved in a possible residential project on University Drive in the Cultural District.