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FORT WORTH: HISTORIC AND MODERN

FORT WORTH:  HISTORIC AND MODERN
Thirty years ago, downtown Fort Worth was like most many cities: busy by day; ghost town at night. Then the Bass family invigorated the CBD to create its live, work, and play environment, spanning 42 buildings over 38 blocks, resulting in the creation of its Sundance Square. With the Sundance Film Festival in the rear view, we thought it a good time to look ahead at the area that shares its name.
 
FORT WORTH:  HISTORIC AND MODERN

While Fort Worth CBD office vacancy is 17%, Sundance Square’s 3M SF of commercial office, retail, and residential space boasts more than 90% occupancy. The office product (which includes the 208k SF, 12-story Chase Building above) is 94% occupied and the retail- residential properties are 92%. Sundance Square’s CEO Johnny Campbell tells us its offices comprise 2.5M SF and retail 300k SF. Two new Sundance office buildings opened in 2009, including the 280k-SF Carnegie.

Sundance Square’s CEO Johnny Campbell

So, why is the area growing? Assuring us there’s is no silver  bullet explanation, Johnny says a blend of officeretail and residential is critical. Plus, they've addressed three obstacles: parkingsecurity and cleanliness. Parking is free after 5pm (and validated during the day); Sundance has its own  private security force; and cleanliness programs are in place from the parking garages to the streets.

FORT WORTH:  HISTORIC AND MODERN

A mix of the modern with the historic: City Center towers over a painting commemorating the Fort Worth stop on the Chisholm Trail. Many of the buildings are historic, built from the 1870s to the 1920s. Johnny says it isn’t a town center built to look like a town. It’s a historic city with revitalized or modern buildings mixed in.

Sundance Square’s CEO Johnny Campbell, Robert Gamblin, and Tracy Gilmour

Sundance marketing director Tracy Gilmour—right, with Johnny and
leasing rep Robert Gamblin—says leasing only picked up in 4Q09, with several renewals. “There's a science to having successful merchants downtown. We have to find what's compelling to office workers, downtown residents, day-trippers, and conventioneers or tourists. We try to find a retailer that will service at least two of those four consumers,” Tracy says. It’s strongest retail component?Restaurants. On Jan. 14, the Cowtown Diner opened at 305 Main St. in the Plaza Hotel Building. Anyone else hungry for pot pie?

WASHINGTON DC 03.16.2017

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