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"Sierra Vista" project on South Riverside


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#1 DrkLts

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 02:42 AM

2/10/06

A big step for southeast side

Project gears up to rebuild blighted area
By SANDRA BAKERSTAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER

FORT WORTH -- Northbound drivers on South Riverside Drive can see the large vacant field that once held Oakbrook Mall, once a vibrant retail hub just north of East Berry Street in this southeast-side neighborhood.
Next door, a large building offers no sign that it was a bustling Montgomery Ward store a little more than a decade ago. The metal-parts manufacturer that has occupied it is now moving out, its machinery still on the parking lot.

All of that may soon change. Developers plan almost 110 single-family homes, retail and other projects in one of the biggest redevelopment efforts in the area in decades.
Vertex Asset Partners, a development company of Fort Worth real-estate investor Michael Mallick and his business partner, Robbie Baker, are moving along with plans for Sierra Vista in this mostly African-American neighborhood aided by some public monies.

It has taken three years of planning and negotiating, but when it's all done, Vertex will have developed 95 acres along Berry Street and Riverside Drive, which carries more than 27,000 cars a day through the mostly low-income neighborhood.
Councilwoman Kathleen Hicks, who represents the area, said Riverside Drive could become the Hulen Street of east Fort Worth, referring to the thoroughfare that bisects some high-end residential and popular retail corridors on the city's southwest side.
The city has already committed $3.5 million toward the Sierra Vista project for water, sewer and storm-drainage work.

Because the area is designated an urban village, it could receive up to $1 million to help with landscaping and intersection-improvements costs, and there's a proposal to create a special tax district for the area that would pump dollars back into the neighborhood for more development.
This week, City Council members began discussing creating a tax increment financing district to spur development in the Riverside/Berry area.
During a committee meeting Tuesday, most council members appeared to favor the idea of creating a district that would also cover the site of the Masonic Home, a 206-acre charitable institute and school that is up for sale nearby.
The Masonic Home site is off the tax rolls because it is a nonprofit organization. Adding it to the tax district would be a boon because of the way the district works. Taxable property values in the district are frozen, and revenue from property-value increases or new development is funneled into a fund to pay for projects inside the district.
If the district is created before the Masonic Home is sold, the district would have a windfall when the home's land becomes taxable.
Hicks said the city is "at a crucial moment to really transform that area."
"This would be the first TIF that's wholly within southeast Fort Worth," she said.
In its latest step, Vertex Asset Partners recently completed the purchase of 13.25 acres at the site, which includes the 167,000-square-foot warehouse -- the former Montgomery Ward site -- and the 11,268-square-foot building to the south that now houses a parole office for the Texas Department of Corrections. The state office will be relocated and the two structures will be torn down, Mallick said.
The property was bought from Michael Pastusek, who in the early 1990s moved his company there. At the time, that deal was expected to bring 500 jobs to the Morningside neighborhood. But by the middle of the decade, the company filed for bankruptcy and was involved in some lawsuits. Those cases are now closed, according to court records.

In April, Vertex plans to close the purchase of the 6.6-acre former Towne Plaza Shopping Center on the southwest corner of Berry Street and Riverside Drive, property it's had under contract for two years. By the end of the year, Vertex will also close on nearly 33 acres, owned by the city, that was the former Oakbrook Mall site.

The buildings at the former Towne Plaza Shopping Center will be demolished.
The idea for Sierra Vista was hatched in February 2004 when Vertex bought three apartment buildings with more than 1,000 units on 42.45 acres on the west side of Riverside Drive and north of Berry Street. The apartments, once known as Riverside Village, had been vacant for nearly a decade and were a blight.
Demolition was recently completed.
Mallick said street and utility improvements will begin on that parcel next month, and by summer the first 50 lots of a planned 232 lots will be sold to History Maker Homes. It plans to build single-family houses ranging in size from 1,200 square feet to 3,400 square feet.
Mallick, whose family has long been involved in developing Fort Worth real estate, calls the project one of the "most challenging" he's ever been involved in.
"This is a coming-home project on a large scale," Mallick said. "It's something we wanted to do. It's good real estate."

Mallick said his company had to meet some performance hurdles before the contract with the city was approved, with the most significant point being that the land will again house shops to bring badly needed services to the community.
It will have a grocery store, as well as pad sites for national and regional retailers, he said.
The project has also been challenging for the city. Hicks said she held weekly meetings with city staff and the developers to shepherd the project.
"It was madness," Hicks said. "We want to do this right. It will be a catalyst for redevelopment for this area. This community deserves this."
Taking down the apartment complex has already made a difference in the neighborhood's appearance, she said.
Mallick said he is producing a documentary on the development and hopes the city can use the film to show developers that public-private partnerships in Fort Worth can work.
"My motto is, 'I want to see as many developers over here as possible,'" Mallick said.

Staff writer Mike Lee contributed to this report.


#2 RD Milhollin

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 02:58 PM

While I appreciate the investment and planning effort being made in this neighborhood, the name of the planned development is just goofy. "Sierra Vista" (literally "Mountain View") is nonsense for this area, there are no mountains to see. This sort of continues the trend in silly place names being invented out of the blue for developments in Fort Worth. At least this wasn't named "The Sierra Vista at EastBerry". Geeze Looeze!

#3 cjyoung

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 11:02 AM

QUOTE(Prairie Pup @ Feb 11 2006, 02:58 PM) View Post

While I appreciate the investment and planning effort being made in this neighborhood, the name of the planned development is just goofy. "Sierra Vista" (literally "Mountain View") is nonsense for this area, there are no mountains to see. This sort of continues the trend in silly place names being invented out of the blue for developments in Fort Worth. At least this wasn't named "The Sierra Vista at EastBerry". Geeze Looeze!


At least it's not another "Fossil*" development.



#4 AdamB

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 07:22 PM

mad.gif But we HAVE fossils. We DONT HAVE mountains.

They should name it... Ciudad de Vacas Vista!

#5 RogerH

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 06:02 PM

Personally, when it comes to naming subdivisions and streets, I like the historical approach. It's in a predominately african-american part of town. I'd like to the see the development reflect that by honoring some of the early african-american community leaders with street names and such. It would give the place more character that the same old generic names everyone else uses.

#6 cjyoung

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 09:51 AM

QUOTE(RogerH @ Aug 20 2006, 07:02 PM) View Post

Personally, when it comes to naming subdivisions and streets, I like the historical approach. It's in a predominately african-american part of town. I'd like to the see the development reflect that by honoring some of the early african-american community leaders with street names and such. It would give the place more character that the same old generic names everyone else uses.


I would love to see that. Fort Worth has had many great black community leaders that deserve to be honored.

#7 stgo2019

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 03:29 PM

Actually that part of town wasn't traditionally black until about the mid 70's. It was white middle class originally. But that's besides the point...

I don't care what they put there or what they call it. Anything is better than the thousand or so vacant apartments that sat there for 10 years.

I will make an educated guess and say that the name reflects the buyers that the developer hopes to attract.

#8 RD Milhollin

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 04:53 PM

QUOTE (stgo2019 @ Jul 3 2009, 03:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I will make an educated guess and say that the name reflects the buyers that the developer hopes to attract.


Skiers? Mountain Climbers? Coloradoans? Landscape painters? Spanish speakers?

(edit: sp Skiers)

#9 stgo2019

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 06:28 PM

Yes, skiers.... The demographic on the east side has changed quite a bit over the past 10 years.

#10 RD Milhollin

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 09:42 AM

The T opens a new transit center for the Berry Street/Riverside Drive intersection:

 

http://www.star-tele...a-catalyst.html

 

I don't know much about the design of this sort of transit center, but it seems sort of spread out if part of the plan is to stimulate an "urban" village. The shelters are a good thing, people need to be able to be protected against the elements while waiting to change buses, and I like the "stained glass" aspect, although I assume it is a high-impact plastic. How many buses will meet at the same time here? Do the several shelters need to be so spread out? Who is going to be watching this place to deter crime (assault, robbery, vandalism)? Too bad a retail store or some sort of community resource (police sub-station) couldn't have been co-located so people might feel a little more secure while going about their business here. 

 

The bus routes that will serve the transit center seem reasonable. They provide residents of the SE access to a lot of places people might like or need to be. I can't find route 8 on the T route maps though; is it new? What other stops does it connect to? Is there a way to "straighten out" route 3 to get a little faster access to the ITC? Are there plans for express service to major employment areas, or to other bus route hubs? Is there a direct route from here to the jobs in the hospital district? If yes, I don't see it (route 8?) Is this a center that could be incorporated into a future rail-line providing even faster access to downtown or other centers? 



#11 Tacoma

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 03:12 PM

Apparently El Paso has a similar program that has been fairly successful.  They have multiple transit centers that are mostly bus based throughout the city and from what I have heard, the surrounding areas generally do pretty well.  But the idea of adding a sub-police station seems like a really good idea.  Plus it would give the bus drivers a safe place to stop and use the restroom instead of stopping at a stop in the middle of the street and running into a nearby CVS.



#12 Fort Worthology

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 03:46 PM

I don't see any "transit oriented development" happening here, as much as The T likes to (mis)use the term.


- Writer, musician, photographer, general nerd.

 


#13 lcbrownz

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 05:07 AM

2/10/06

A big step for southeast side

Project gears up to rebuild blighted area
By SANDRA BAKERSTAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER

FORT WORTH -- Northbound drivers on South Riverside Drive can see the large vacant field that once held Oakbrook Mall, once a vibrant retail hub just north of East Berry Street in this southeast-side neighborhood.
Next door, a large building offers no sign that it was a bustling Montgomery Ward store a little more than a decade ago. The metal-parts manufacturer that has occupied it is now moving out, its machinery still on the parking lot.

All of that may soon change. Developers plan almost 110 single-family homes, retail and other projects in one of the biggest redevelopment efforts in the area in decades.
Vertex Asset Partners, a development company of Fort Worth real-estate investor Michael Mallick and his business partner, Robbie Baker, are moving along with plans for Sierra Vista in this mostly African-American neighborhood aided by some public monies.

It has taken three years of planning and negotiating, but when it's all done, Vertex will have developed 95 acres along Berry Street and Riverside Drive, which carries more than 27,000 cars a day through the mostly low-income neighborhood.
Councilwoman Kathleen Hicks, who represents the area, said Riverside Drive could become the Hulen Street of east Fort Worth, referring to the thoroughfare that bisects some high-end residential and popular retail corridors on the city's southwest side.
The city has already committed $3.5 million toward the Sierra Vista project for water, sewer and storm-drainage work.

Because the area is designated an urban village, it could receive up to $1 million to help with landscaping and intersection-improvements costs, and there's a proposal to create a special tax district for the area that would pump dollars back into the neighborhood for more development.
This week, City Council members began discussing creating a tax increment financing district to spur development in the Riverside/Berry area.
During a committee meeting Tuesday, most council members appeared to favor the idea of creating a district that would also cover the site of the Masonic Home, a 206-acre charitable institute and school that is up for sale nearby.
The Masonic Home site is off the tax rolls because it is a nonprofit organization. Adding it to the tax district would be a boon because of the way the district works. Taxable property values in the district are frozen, and revenue from property-value increases or new development is funneled into a fund to pay for projects inside the district.
If the district is created before the Masonic Home is sold, the district would have a windfall when the home's land becomes taxable.
Hicks said the city is "at a crucial moment to really transform that area."
"This would be the first TIF that's wholly within southeast Fort Worth," she said.
In its latest step, Vertex Asset Partners recently completed the purchase of 13.25 acres at the site, which includes the 167,000-square-foot warehouse -- the former Montgomery Ward site -- and the 11,268-square-foot building to the south that now houses a parole office for the Texas Department of Corrections. The state office will be relocated and the two structures will be torn down, Mallick said.
The property was bought from Michael Pastusek, who in the early 1990s moved his company there. At the time, that deal was expected to bring 500 jobs to the Morningside neighborhood. But by the middle of the decade, the company filed for bankruptcy and was involved in some lawsuits. Those cases are now closed, according to court records.

In April, Vertex plans to close the purchase of the 6.6-acre former Towne Plaza Shopping Center on the southwest corner of Berry Street and Riverside Drive, property it's had under contract for two years. By the end of the year, Vertex will also close on nearly 33 acres, owned by the city, that was the former Oakbrook Mall site.

The buildings at the former Towne Plaza Shopping Center will be demolished.
The idea for Sierra Vista was hatched in February 2004 when Vertex bought three apartment buildings with more than 1,000 units on 42.45 acres on the west side of Riverside Drive and north of Berry Street. The apartments, once known as Riverside Village, had been vacant for nearly a decade and were a blight.
Demolition was recently completed.
Mallick said street and utility improvements will begin on that parcel next month, and by summer the first 50 lots of a planned 232 lots will be sold to History Maker Homes. It plans to build single-family houses ranging in size from 1,200 square feet to 3,400 square feet.
Mallick, whose family has long been involved in developing Fort Worth real estate, calls the project one of the "most challenging" he's ever been involved in.
"This is a coming-home project on a large scale," Mallick said. "It's something we wanted to do. It's good real estate."

Mallick said his company had to meet some performance hurdles before the contract with the city was approved, with the most significant point being that the land will again house shops to bring badly needed services to the community.
It will have a grocery store, as well as pad sites for national and regional retailers, he said.
The project has also been challenging for the city. Hicks said she held weekly meetings with city staff and the developers to shepherd the project.
"It was madness," Hicks said. "We want to do this right. It will be a catalyst for redevelopment for this area. This community deserves this."
Taking down the apartment complex has already made a difference in the neighborhood's appearance, she said.
Mallick said he is producing a documentary on the development and hopes the city can use the film to show developers that public-private partnerships in Fort Worth can work.
"My motto is, 'I want to see as many developers over here as possible,'" Mallick said.

Staff writer Mike Lee contributed to this report.

 

2/10/06

A big step for southeast side

Project gears up to rebuild blighted area
By SANDRA BAKERSTAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER

FORT WORTH -- Northbound drivers on South Riverside Drive can see the large vacant field that once held Oakbrook Mall, once a vibrant retail hub just north of East Berry Street in this southeast-side neighborhood.
Next door, a large building offers no sign that it was a bustling Montgomery Ward store a little more than a decade ago. The metal-parts manufacturer that has occupied it is now moving out, its machinery still on the parking lot.

All of that may soon change. Developers plan almost 110 single-family homes, retail and other projects in one of the biggest redevelopment efforts in the area in decades.
Vertex Asset Partners, a development company of Fort Worth real-estate investor Michael Mallick and his business partner, Robbie Baker, are moving along with plans for Sierra Vista in this mostly African-American neighborhood aided by some public monies.

It has taken three years of planning and negotiating, but when it's all done, Vertex will have developed 95 acres along Berry Street and Riverside Drive, which carries more than 27,000 cars a day through the mostly low-income neighborhood.
Councilwoman Kathleen Hicks, who represents the area, said Riverside Drive could become the Hulen Street of east Fort Worth, referring to the thoroughfare that bisects some high-end residential and popular retail corridors on the city's southwest side.
The city has already committed $3.5 million toward the Sierra Vista project for water, sewer and storm-drainage work.

Because the area is designated an urban village, it could receive up to $1 million to help with landscaping and intersection-improvements costs, and there's a proposal to create a special tax district for the area that would pump dollars back into the neighborhood for more development.
This week, City Council members began discussing creating a tax increment financing district to spur development in the Riverside/Berry area.
During a committee meeting Tuesday, most council members appeared to favor the idea of creating a district that would also cover the site of the Masonic Home, a 206-acre charitable institute and school that is up for sale nearby.
The Masonic Home site is off the tax rolls because it is a nonprofit organization. Adding it to the tax district would be a boon because of the way the district works. Taxable property values in the district are frozen, and revenue from property-value increases or new development is funneled into a fund to pay for projects inside the district.
If the district is created before the Masonic Home is sold, the district would have a windfall when the home's land becomes taxable.
Hicks said the city is "at a crucial moment to really transform that area."
"This would be the first TIF that's wholly within southeast Fort Worth," she said.
In its latest step, Vertex Asset Partners recently completed the purchase of 13.25 acres at the site, which includes the 167,000-square-foot warehouse -- the former Montgomery Ward site -- and the 11,268-square-foot building to the south that now houses a parole office for the Texas Department of Corrections. The state office will be relocated and the two structures will be torn down, Mallick said.
The property was bought from Michael Pastusek, who in the early 1990s moved his company there. At the time, that deal was expected to bring 500 jobs to the Morningside neighborhood. But by the middle of the decade, the company filed for bankruptcy and was involved in some lawsuits. Those cases are now closed, according to court records.

In April, Vertex plans to close the purchase of the 6.6-acre former Towne Plaza Shopping Center on the southwest corner of Berry Street and Riverside Drive, property it's had under contract for two years. By the end of the year, Vertex will also close on nearly 33 acres, owned by the city, that was the former Oakbrook Mall site.

The buildings at the former Towne Plaza Shopping Center will be demolished.
The idea for Sierra Vista was hatched in February 2004 when Vertex bought three apartment buildings with more than 1,000 units on 42.45 acres on the west side of Riverside Drive and north of Berry Street. The apartments, once known as Riverside Village, had been vacant for nearly a decade and were a blight.
Demolition was recently completed.
Mallick said street and utility improvements will begin on that parcel next month, and by summer the first 50 lots of a planned 232 lots will be sold to History Maker Homes. It plans to build single-family houses ranging in size from 1,200 square feet to 3,400 square feet.
Mallick, whose family has long been involved in developing Fort Worth real estate, calls the project one of the "most challenging" he's ever been involved in.
"This is a coming-home project on a large scale," Mallick said. "It's something we wanted to do. It's good real estate."

Mallick said his company had to meet some performance hurdles before the contract with the city was approved, with the most significant point being that the land will again house shops to bring badly needed services to the community.
It will have a grocery store, as well as pad sites for national and regional retailers, he said.
The project has also been challenging for the city. Hicks said she held weekly meetings with city staff and the developers to shepherd the project.
"It was madness," Hicks said. "We want to do this right. It will be a catalyst for redevelopment for this area. This community deserves this."
Taking down the apartment complex has already made a difference in the neighborhood's appearance, she said.
Mallick said he is producing a documentary on the development and hopes the city can use the film to show developers that public-private partnerships in Fort Worth can work.
"My motto is, 'I want to see as many developers over here as possible,'" Mallick said.

Staff writer Mike Lee contributed to this report.

 

Based on the article, Sandra Baker did not really dig deep into the historical background of the shopping center. It was originally called Riverside Plaza, then Ward's Plaza. Then it was sold and renovated, then it was called Oakbrook Mall. The famed pool player, Minnesota Fats, even made an appearance at Ward's to promote Ward's pool tables. My family went to the original grand opening when Ward's opened.






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