By Stephen Coslik, The Woodmont Company
With Fort Worth poised as one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, the area is seeing rapid growth in retail.
Fort Worth citizens love to eat, which is why the grocery store market has been hot these past 18 months. While HEB is yet to pull the trigger on anything new in Tarrant County and Albertsons and Safeway are holding steady with no new growth, two Fresh Market stores have opened, one on University Drive and the other in Southlake. A new Walmart Neighborhood Market has opened on Old Granbury Road and Centergy’s West Miller has announced there will be a grocery store anchor at the Trinity Left Bank development in the Cultural District. The grocery store drawing the most excitement is the Whole Foods set to open in Waterside in 2016.
Speaking of Waterside, drive down Bryant Irvin near where the Lockheed Martin Recreation Center used to be to observe all the construction going on. This master-planned, 63-acre, mixed-use development will feature a live-work-play environment and is part of Trademark’s “Conscious Places” development style. By combining residential living with access to the Trinity River and Trail system, residents will have everything they need right at their fingertips. Not only will Waterside feature a Whole Foods, but REI, the first in Fort Worth, will open in 2016. Plans for Waterside include 175,000-200,000 square feet of retail space and riverside restaurants, 20 acres of multi-family and townhomes, 200,000 square feet of office space, and a signature hotel site. Trademark has announced a few other retail tenants such as Zoës Kitchen, Blaze Fire’d Pizza, Massage Heights, Amazing Lash, Taco Diner, Mattress Firm and The Pretty Kitty, with more to come.
The other new retail development Fort Worth residents are looking forward to opening is Neiman Marcus in the Clearfork development sometime in 2017. Neiman Marcus will move from Ridgmar Mall to the Edwards Ranch area in southwest Fort Worth to anchor The Shops at Clearfork, a new open-air shopping center. The new store will be two stories and 90,000 square feet, about 25 percent smaller than the Ridgmar location. The store’s interior design has not yet been determined but will most likely feature a restaurant, incorporate lots of technology and offer a broader selection of European luxury brands.
Besides Neiman Marcus, the 500,000-square-foot shopping center will have about 100 high-end specialty stores, a premium luxury theater and restaurants. Shoppers can look forward to finding new shops featuring upscale fashion designers not currently operating in Fort Worth or Tarrant County.
Clearfork is a 270-acre development on the Edwards Ranch between Hulen Street and Bryant Irvin Road. Shoppers will have access to The Shops at Clearfork from the Chisholm Trail Parkway. The Neiman Marcus store will face the parkway just north of the new Forest Park Hospital.
The big question is whether Neiman Marcus’ move from Ridgmar Mall hurts or helps the mall. The customers who shopped at Neiman’s generally didn’t shop in the mall stores and vice versa. Ridgmar finds itself in a nice place, as the new tenant of the current Neiman’s location will be able to connect this location with mall shoppers and make the entire mall more user-friendly to its overall customer-base. Watch for more details on this new tenant and the overall plan for the mall in 2016.
Tired of waiting for these new stores to come on line? Don’t forget to check out University Park that features many new-to-Fort Worth retailers like Michael Kors, Athleta, Sephora, Free People and Kendra Scott. Altar’d State will be opening its doors soon. Across the street in WestBend, near the new Fresh Market, residents will also find Tyler’s is opening in the fall of 2015.
Big box developments, the shopping areas with large space tenants like Target, Lowes or Ross, for example, slowed almost to a halt these past five years. However, two new developments have opened this year featuring these large space users. The first is located on the west side of 121 just south of Glade Road, and the second has Alliance residents happy as it features a Target Super Center. These are the only two big box developments currently being developed in Tarrant County with no others on the horizon.