Wednesday, October 15, 2008

$45 million project planned for Fort Worth Avenue

Developers have tied up a prime tract on Fort Worth Avenue west of downtown Dallas where they plan to construct a retail and residential project.

The 6.5-acre site, which includes frontage on busy Interstate 30, is across the street from the popular Belmont Hotel.

Real estate investor Brent Jackson has teamed up with shopping center developer Drexel Realty Partners to work on the project, which is to be anchored by a specialty grocer.

"Fort Worth Avenue is emerging as the gateway to this area of Dallas," Mr. Jackson said Tuesday. "I live over there, and I saw a void for a grocer and other retail.

"This site provides that opportunity."

The $45 million project will include about 100,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

"On top of that, we will have a minimum of 60 to 70 lofts," said Mr. Jackson, who previously worked with P.O'B Montgomery & Co. and Swearingen Realty Group.

San Antonio's award-winning Lake/Flato Architects and Good Fulton & Farrell of Dallas will design the development, which is planned to be environmentally friendly. Washington, D.C.-based Food Partners is helping to secure an organic grocer for the project.

Mr. Jackson said he plans to close land purchases by the end of the year.

"We don't want to make a commitment on something we can't deliver on," he said. "We feel this is an opportunity to really transform this entire corridor."

Neighborhood groups that have been pushing to revitalize the area just across the Trinity River from downtown are enthusiastic about the proposal.

Scott Griggs of Fort Worth Avenue Development Group said the project will help with "a long-held community vision by bringing retail and increased residential density in a manner that connects our community."

"We couldn't have asked for a better project," Mr. Griggs said. "Now we all need to work together to make it happen."