Behind the Deal: Neiman Marcus Move to Clearfork
For 12 years, Cassco Development had been planning its Clearfork mixed-use development on the family ranch, just west of downtown Fort Worth. When NTTA plotted the Chisholm Trail Parkway right next to the 270-acre Edwards Ranch, Cassco president Crawford Edwards knew the time was right to develop The Shops at Clearfork. Crawford tells us Cassco has been trying to persuade Neiman Marcus to anchor this project for years and got a LOI inked last spring. On Thursday, the partners in the deal made the announcement that the luxury retailer will anchor the 500k SF shopping center with a two-story 90k SF store.
The Shops at Clearfork will be an open-air development with more than 100 high-end specialty stores, a luxury theater and restaurants. Cassco is the managing partner for the project, Simon Malls was selected to handle retail leasing, JLL will do office leasing, and Streetlights Residential is building a multifamily component (Clearfork Residences with 392 units), which will open in the summer. Construction start on the retail development is slated for spring with a planned opening of February '17.
Neiman Marcus president and CEO Karen Katz, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Crawford, and Simon Malls president David Contis at the press conference Thursday announcing the partnership. The mayor tells us she has a history with Neiman Marcus going back to her college days when she worked at the Fort Worth store. Earlier this year, the City Council approved a $30M economic incentive package for Clearfork, whicll will bring much-needed high-end retail to the community, the Mayor says. At build-out, the Clearfork project will include 2M SF of office space, 1.2M SF of retail and 2,500 multifamily units.
Karen (with the Neiman Marcus Ridgmar store manager Scott Mitchell) tells us the 107-year-old company has had a Fort Worth location for more than 50 years. The new store, she tells us, will be embedded with more technology and more efficient use of space (being a little smaller than the existing Ridgmar location at about 120k SF). The design process will begin next summer, but she anticipates more European brands being added to the product line. Neiman Marcus is in growth mode with a Long Island, NY, location opening in March '16 in Roosevelt Field. The Fort Worth store will follow in '17, and the store’s first-ever Manhattan location will open later in '17 in Hudson Yards, she tells us.