Developer seeks $18.5m in incentives for Waterside project

By February 18, 2014Uncategorized

From Fort Worth Star Telegram by Sandra Baker

FORT WORTH — Fort Worth-based Trademark Property Co. has asked the City Council to consider an $18.5 million incentive to help build roads and bridges in the $185 million Waterside project planned for the Lockheed Martin Recreation Association property off Bryant Irvin Road in west Fort Worth.

“There is a tremendous amount of public infrastructure including a bridge, riverfront park and trails and a public area” planned for the project, Jay Chapa, the city’s housing and economic development director, told the council members at a pre-council hearing on Tuesday.

“The main portion of (a financial) gap created by the project is the amount of infrastructure required to make the project work. There’s really no infrastructure on the property,” he said.

The property’s zoning calls for a vehicular bridge over a tributary of the Clear Fork of the Trinity River, Chapa said. The 63-acre development is north of Bellaire Drive and bounded by the Clear Fork of the Trinity River on the north and west and Bryant Irvin Road on the east.

Terry Montesi, Trademark’s CEO, said there’s a possibility of a pedestrian bridge also being built. The development is still early in the design stage and would be completed in three phases. Construction is expected to begin mid-year, after Trademark completes its acquisition of the property, he said.

“Much of the project is still being designed,” Montesi said. “Apartments and a significant first phase of retail and possibly some office” would be included in phase one. A grocery store will be in the mix, but Montesi is not saying which grocer because a lease is not signed.

The incentive is a Chapter 380 grant of 75 percent of the one-cent sales tax revenue generated at the development and 75 percent of the incremental real and personal property tax to be paid out over 15 years. Trademark must also commit a certain percentage of construction costs to be spent with Fort Worth minority and women-owned businesses.

Under terms of the incentive, Trademark must invest $90 million in the first phase with a minimum of 465,000 square feet of space, or 325,000 square feet for 400 apartments, and 140,000 square feet for offices, shops and restaurants. Phase two must have an additional $35 million investment and a minimum 165,000 square feet of commercial or residential space, and phase three another $60 million investment and at least 200,000 square feet of space.

Trademark has been under contract since May to buy the property from the Lockheed Martin Recreation Association. When the project was announced last year, Trademark said it planned 200,000 square feet of retail space, including riverside restaurants, 20 to 30 acres for town homes, up to 200,000 square feet of office space and a hotel.

The Lockheed Martin Recreation Association is retaining about 16 acres on the north end of the site.

The development slowed as zoning changes were made to the property, limiting construction to 800 apartments and buildings no taller than five stories.

Instead of offering affordable workforce apartments, a requirement when an incentive is given, Trademark reduced its incentive by $2.25 million, which is going to the Fort Worth Housing Corp. trust fund for future development.

“It’s going to be a great project. That area is really growing and developing,” said Mayor Betsy Price.

The council will vote on the incentive March 4.

Trademark is also developing Alliance Town Center in north Fort Worth and WestBend on University Drive in Fort Worth.

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