IDI Contributes to Real Estate Boom on Vickery

Sleepy to Surging, Chisolm Trail sparks real estate boom on West Vickery 

5/14/2012,, Matthew McGowan reporter

Construction on the 28-mile Chisholm Trail Parkway toll road from downtown Fort Worth to Cleburne has spurred a burst of development in West Fort Worth that could turn a somewhat sleepy area into a bustling district.

A stretch of the $1.4 billion project, which is expected to open in 2014, is slated to slice right through the area just east of Bryant Irvin Road and just south of West Vickery Boulevard. The expected surge in traffic has drawn the attention of local developers and businesses that see the West Vickery corridor as Fort Worth’s next real estate hotspot.

“You’ve got the West Seventh Street corridor. And then you’ve got Sundance Square. And then you’ve got this deal,” said Kyle Poulson, a partner at Transwestern who is brokering several deals in the area. “I don’t know which one is the hottest, but it’s hard to say this isn’t one of the hottest commercial real estate plays in Tarrant County.”

Work on the roadway began earlier this year and already has prompted the green light on the 800-acre, high-end mixed-use commercial and residential development project called Edwards Ranch, named after the original landowner’s 4,000-acre ranch in the area.

The Edwards family acquired the land about 150 years ago and in the 1950s started selling off tracts for various developments, but it held on to the last 1,000 acres or so until the North Texas Tollway Authority and various local governments agreed six years ago on a final plan for the toll road, which had been in the conceptual stages for decades. 

At that point the Edwards family, through Cassco Land Co., the family-owned outfit charged with managing the ranch’s land assets, began looking at proposals for divvying up 800 acres into tracts, both for development and for the road itself.   

Plans for Edwards Ranch, and the West Vickery area in general, stalled in recent years as the financial and real estate markets collapsed during the recession. Then, two years ago, Acme Brick opened its Fort Worth headquarters on a piece of the site, just off Bryant Irvin Boulevard and along the Trinity River.

Today, work on Edwards Ranch is well under way as enthusiasm for the project, and an overall sense of economic well-being, picks up. The development is expected to include big-name retail players along Bryant Irvin Road and the new toll road, and has in turn helped attract other businesses to the area. Altogether, about 270 acres of commercial offerings could begin to come online in the area between Hulen Street and Bryant Irvin in the next few years, particularly once the toll road opens in 2014. Farther south, the parkway will include free lanes as well.

So far, Poulson said, the Edwards family has been uncompromisingly “methodical” about which tenants it brings to the site. It is determined to only bring tony names to the area.

Similar affluence already is spreading to the area immediately surrounding the ranch. For instance, Morrison Supply Co., a plumbing and HVAC supplier, recently opened a deluxe showroom at the corner of Bryant Irvin and West Vickery.

Another business headed to the Edwards Ranch development is Worthington National Bank. The Fort Worth-based institution has acquired a plot of land not far from the Acme headquarters. The site is slated to be home to the bank’s next branch, its fifth.

Worthington’s chief executive, Greg Morse, said he was already eyeing expansion to West Fort Worth, but the proposed toll road made the exact location a no-brainer. He said the boutique retail shops and professional services – doctors, lawyers, etc. – that are expected to open up shop in the area are exactly the clientele his bank markets to.

“We went in and looked at the master plan in regards to the toll road and where the exits will be and the extension of Edwards Ranch Road, and we decided that’s where we wanted to be,” he said.

But Morse won’t be breaking ground for at least a year to 18 months, not until work on the road progresses much further than it has thus far. Once that happens, though, the bank will put a 12,000-square-foot building on the plot it has already purchased. Bank operations will take the first floor while Worthington leases out 
the second.

Not far from Worthington’s future site, and just a stone’s throw from the Morrison showroom, is another new development slated for a medical office building.

The building originally belonged to a Dallas developer whose plans for it faltered as the recession began. Then, not long ago, Glen Hahn, president and CEO of Innovative Developers Inc. (IDI), acquired the property out of foreclosure for a client, a doctor who now owns the building, which is nearly complete.

Hahn said he’s now seeking other tenants for the building and is thrilled with how the acquisition is paying off. He’s unsure how much can be attributed to the Chisholm Trail Parkway, which might have more of an impact closer to Hulen Street, and how much is actually due to the Edwards Ranch development.

“There are a lot of things happening out there right now,” he said. “What we’re seeing is there’s a lot of activity on Bryant Irving. There’s a bunch of stuff that, as a result of the Edwards family now opening their 800 acres … with that happening, there are a lot more people out there looking at things.”

Poulson expects the area to remain one of the city’s premier development sites for decades, though many local residents may not yet realize it.

“I think that’s just going to be a really big deal for Fort Worth,” he said. “Everyone may not realize it’s there yet, but it’s coming.”