A mixed-use development in Fort Worth is expected to double in size after council members approved a deal to spur the creation of a new automotive showroom, office and retail space, and apartments.
The Fort Worth City Council approved a $22 million incentives package on Tuesday for Fort Worth-based real estate firm Cassco Land Company. The move was intended to bolster the broader $400 million planned expansion of the Clearfork development in West Fort Worth, according to the economic development agreement.
The planned expansion, which would take place on 25 acres of vacant land on the northeast side of Edwards Ranch Road, would include 200,000 square feet of automobile showroom and service space, 300,000 square feet of new office and retail space, a 1,750-space parking garage, and 350 apartment units.
As part of the deal, Fort Worth’s legacy Autobahn dealership will relocate from its current location at White Settlement Road to the new development site along Chisholm Trail Parkway.
The Autobahn dealership, which includes luxury brands like Porsche, Jaguar, Volvo, and BMW, will serve as the anchor tenant for phase two of the Clearfork expansion. Current retail tenants at the mixed-use development include Neiman Marcus, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry.
The $22 million in tax incentives will be used to cover some of the costs related to the development of a showroom and service center, according to Michael Hennig, economic development manager for Fort Worth.
Cassco Land Company will be responsible for making a minimum $350 million investment in the development project, with $275 million in hard construction costs.
With retail anchor tenants experiencing less consumer demand because of the economy, Hennig underscored the need for developers to get creative with their tenants. The Fort Worth Autobahn dealership is an attractive choice and a creative solution for an anchor tenant, he said during a City Council work session on May 16, prior to the approval of the incentives package.
The goal was to “find something with a large footprint to serve as an anchor tenant — such as the auto dealerships — while also providing opportunities for smaller retail and restaurant growth throughout the rest of the development,” said the Fort Worth Economic Development Department in an email, according to the Fort Worth Report.
“In terms of sales taxes, jobs and property taxes, none of that exists if the development isn’t successful or if it isn’t built in the first place — hence, the imperative need for an anchor,” the department said, noting the City would make up the loss of taxpayer money within five years of the project’s completion.