A new waterfront development in the works near downtown Dallas would bring housing, retail and commercial buildings to the banks of the Trinity River.
Developers Forest City Realty and Trademark Properties are teaming up on the mixed-use development proposed on Riverfront Boulevard at the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.
The roughly 42-acre building site is on both sides of the bridge along the banks of the river.
“I believe it as outstanding piece of real estate that will be connective tissue with West Dallas, Uptown, Victory and downtown Dallas,” said Terry Montesi, CEO of Fort Worth-based Trademark. “It’s right in the middle of where the $150 million park on the Trinity River is planned.
“This is where you could have multifamily homes, hotel, office and retail with access to a promenade and the park,” Montesi said. “We think we can do a special mixed-use neighborhood.”
The development team is working on designs for the project and the infrastructure that would be needed to connect the site to the river and the neighborhood.
Developing on Dallas’ long neglected waterfront has long been a goal of city leaders and planners.
Long running plans to construct park and recreation facilities and pedestrian trails in the huge river floodplain between downtown, West Dallas and Oak Cliff have been slowly moving ahead.
The Riverfront Boulevard property Forest City and Trademark are focused on is one of the largest development sites along the riverbanks.
“It’s a really strategic, wonderful piece of real estate we think has real opportunity if we can get the Corps of Engineers, the city and the folks development the park to work together with us,” Montesi said. “It will take a public-private partnership.”
Forest City senior vice president Jim Truitt said the two real estate firms have the land under contract to purchase, but it’s too early to talk about specific details of a development.
“There is tons of due diligence to do but we are 100 percent focused on it,” Truitt said.
Forest City is one of the country’s most experienced commercial property developers.
Founded in Cleveland in 1920, the builder has major projects in New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
In Dallas, Forest City has redeveloped landmark downtown buildings including the Mercantile National Bank tower and Mercantile Continental building.
And in Uptown’s Cityplace project, Forest City is building its second high-rise with apartments, retail and hotel rooms.
Trademark Property has been in business since 1992 and has developed 11.8 million square feet of retail and mixed-use projects valued at $2.5 billion.
Trademark developed the Watters Creek retail and apartment complex on U.S. Highway 75 in Allen. And the firm is part of the team redeveloping the Victory Park project on the northwest edge of downtown Dallas.
At home in Fort Worth, Trademark is building two mixed-use projects on the Trinity River called Westbend and Waterside.
“One of the great futures in Dallas-Fort Worth is greater interaction with the Trinity River and green space,” Montesi said.
The vacant land that Forest City and Trademark have contacted to purchase has been owned by a local investment group since 2012.
The property includes land on both sides of the arched bridge and between Riverfront Boulevard and Stemmons Freeway.
Before the recession, the development site which previously was covered in warehouse buildings was cleared by an apartment builder that hoped to build high-rise housing.
But that deal fell apart during the economic downturn.
Commercial real estate firm CBRE which has marketed the land for sale did design proposals for the land that showed a complex of high-rise buildings.
Kourtny Garrett who heads the economic development group Downtown Dallas Inc. said the river front real estate is prime for building.
“This is connective tissue that will bring downtown, West Dallas and the Trinity all together,” Garrett said. “The whole riverfront area is a blank canvass.
“We are very optimistic and excited about what they could bring to this property.”
Commercial property firm CBRE did designs for a high-rise project on the site as part of its marketing of the land for sale.