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$22 Million in Tax Incentives Asked for La Gran Plaza

Southside Malls Renovation Fort Worth Town Center Seminary South

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#1 John T Roberts

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Posted 06 February 2005 - 08:49 AM

The new owners of the former Fort Worth Town Center, now named La Gran Plaza de Fort Worth, are asking the City of Fort Worth for $22 Million in tax incentives. They plan to spend $42 Million to redevelop the mall into a Mexican Mercado. Mitchell Schnurman explores the project and the requested tax incentives in this column: http://www.dfw.com/m...ss/10825520.htm



#2 mosteijn

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Posted 06 February 2005 - 11:12 AM

The renderings in the paper looked very intriguing. I hope they can compromise on something, it would be great to see the mall performing well again.

And as long as they're going for hispanic customers, why not go more broad rather than just focusing on Mexican-Americans? I would love it if there were some South American retail places in Fort Worth. It sucks having to go to Irving just to get some top-quality tapas! :)

#3 Sam Stone

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Posted 06 February 2005 - 01:59 PM

$22 million sure is a lot of money. . . Hey, how much are we giving to Cabela's?

#4 redhead

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Posted 08 February 2005 - 03:10 PM

Sam, as of tonight's city council meeting, the number may increase...ta da...to 41.5 MILLION dollars. I for one, support a formula-based approach not to exceed a percentage of value. In other parts of the country, that percentage is usually capped around 15%. Here in Fort Worth, depending on the mood of the council or the strength of the hired consultant, there does not seem to be an upper limit!

#5 JBB

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 07:15 PM

Plan for mall clears hurdle

By Anna M. Tinsley

Star-Telegram Staff Writer


A proposal that the city provide up to $22 million in incentives to renovate the old Fort Worth Town Center mall into a festival-style mercado passed a hurdle Tuesday at City Hall.

The City Council's economic development committee voted unanimously to forward the proposal to the council for consideration.

Jesus Legaspi and his partners plan to spend $42 million to turn the 1962 mall into a "town hall" and redo the exterior in a Spanish colonial theme, with sweeping archways and bold colors.

"This is not just an Hispanic development, it's something the entire community can enjoy going to," said Robert Sturns, the city's business-development coordinator, in presenting the plan to the committee.

Sturns outlined the proposal to revamp the mall known as La Gran Plaza -- and refund millions in taxes to the development group if sales increase.

The nearly 1 million-square-foot site at Interstate 35W and Seminary Drive will become a one-stop location where families can go for everything from entertainment and dental care to groceries and clothes, officials said.

Under the proposal, developers would receive as much as $21.8 million divided into annual grants over 20 years.

The amount they receive would be based on how much sales increase.

The mall now has about $89 in sales per square foot. If that amount jumps to $150 per square foot, developers could see $9.8 million in refunded taxes.

If it hits $200, developers would see $13.7 million refunded. And if sales reach $300 per square foot, developers would see $21.8 million spread over 20 years, according to the plan. Refunded taxes would be capped at $21.8 million.

But if sales don't pick up after the renovations -- expected to be completed in about two years -- then developers would get no financial help from the city.

"The onus is on them, in terms of making this a successful project," said Councilwoman Wendy Davis, who heads the economic development committee.

The mall, with several boarded-up storefronts, is 40 percent occupied and has had three owners in the past 10 years.

Legaspi and his team -- which includes Boxer Property, Churchill Capital and the Legaspi Co. -- bought the old Town Center mall last year for $16.5 million and have been meeting with area residents and business leaders.

They want to add 30,000 square feet of retail shops and 5,400 square feet of office space and create an amphitheater and central plaza.

Prospective tenants include FAMSA, an electronics and furniture store; Emyco, a shoe store; Ritmo Latino, a Hispanic music store; El Gallo Giro, a Mexican food market; Elektra, an electronics and furniture store; Deportes Marti, a sporting-goods store; Tres Hermanos, a western-wear store; Starbucks; Subway; and Marshalls.

Councilman Jim Lane said he believes that the proposal is a good idea.

"Fort Worth has a tremendous Mexican-American, or Hispanic, population," said Lane, a committee member. "This attracts not just Hispanics, but everyone else too."

Under the proposal, the mall and its stores would create 300 full-time jobs -- at least half filled by Fort Worth residents -- and spend at least $70,000 on supplies and services each year with local minority- and women-owned businesses.

#6 JBB

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 07:21 PM

Is it normal to set performance goals and have the tax incentives depend on those goals? If not, why hasn't FW been doing it all along? I would like to think they haven't been blindly handing out these tax breaks, but I suspect that Cabelas gets their breaks whether they sell a million fishing lures or a dozen. IMO, I wonder how successful this project is really going to be. I know the neighborhood has changed a lot since the last renovation, but I still think it sounds like a flimsy proposition.

#7 Sam Stone

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 09:45 PM

Is it normal to have tax incentives depend on performance goals?

There is such a wide variety of incentives in the world of local economic development, the only "normal" practice is giving up the loaf for a slice.

Tax abatements, rebates, TIFs and the like are not good public policy. Tying them to performance goals is better than not tying them to anything at all, though. That's essentially what TIFs are. They've definitely been doing the minority and women owned business thing for some time. That's definitely good. But, think of all the minority and women owned businesses there are that are paying their property taxes at the satutory rates while recipients of incentives pay reduced rates. Or for that matter think of all the businesses regardless of the race and gender of the owner and their tax liabilities.

#8 John T Roberts

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 09:15 PM

The City Council is going to vote on this tomorrow.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram Article:
http://www.dfw.com/m...al/11826218.htm

#9 safly

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 10:40 PM

Is it normal to have tax incentives depend on performance goals?

There is such a wide variety of incentives in the world of local economic development, the only "normal" practice is giving up the loaf for a slice.

Tax abatements, rebates, TIFs and the like are not good public policy.  Tying them to performance goals is better than not tying them to anything at all, though.  That's essentially what TIFs are.  They've definitely been doing the minority and women owned business thing for some time.  That's definitely good.  But, think of all the minority and women owned businesses there are that are paying their property taxes at the satutory rates while recipients of incentives pay reduced rates.  Or for that matter think of all the businesses regardless of the race and gender of the owner and their tax liabilities.

 



Agreed. This liberal outpoor of TIF has been drivin me crazy. Have they even measured the success of it since it's inception for the county and city. TIF must be regulated and proven as a system for the good of Tarrant or Fort Worth. Too much THEORY involved, associated with impracticality, and ASSumptions.

The TIF is actually hurting the small business owner and the competitor companies which laid the groundworks for commerce in this county and city. Why should Cabela's receive such "special" taxpayer awarded cost cutting treatment, and given a DIRECT advantage over an Academy or Oshmans or any other sporting goods store? When taking a risk in this town or county from the early years, where are the due rewards? An uphill battle I tell you.

Thsi TIF act does nothing but put small business at a COMPLETE disadvantage. The only way a small busines can be rewarded is if they lease a part of the TIF zoned project. But even when leasing a property, there are inherent disadvantages to the end user or tenant. This just helps the big business developers who want to tear this or that down and build big, all while pumping up BIG "low-pay" employment numbers for all to envy. No basis behind their motives what so ever, just bottomline greed, on the taxpayers dime.

How can the county of Tarrant or the citty of FW expect to collect revenue stream from Cabela's sales if they are corp. chaind, and sales from the area customers are transacted ove r the internet. Can we tax that, or will that just open up a whole can of wrms. The perrformance measurement and payback doe snot make sense, and worse yet, not garohhnteed.
*Sorry for any typos, had a few libations tonight. :blink:
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#10 safly

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 10:47 PM

Johnny, Tapas is for lightweights.

No tapas bar ever made a mercado significant. That TRAGEDY of a N. Main "mercado" was a fix all along. Papers and plans were executed during an election year. The person's council district used an election HQ office in a a building owneed by that same mercado owner. Coincidence.

Luzzy, you gozz zom esplainnin to do!

Mercado should have been reserved for the SF RMarket. Period.

Can't copy what SA did and put it away from DTFW traffic. The TRV will not BRIDGE DTFW with N. Main business. Just another obstacle for the predominantly hispanic owned businesses.
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#11 mosteijn

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 10:55 PM

Johnny, Tapas is for lightweights.

No tapas bar ever made a mercado significant.

 

Ah, sorry I should have been more specific. I was talking about tapas de empanadas, which are the little pastries that you either make or can buy pre-made (like at this nice little Argentine bakery in Irving) for making empanadas. Central Market has them, but they're really not authentic. I don't care if it's at the TCM remodel or anywhere else in the city, but I'd like an Argentine place that's somewhat accessible to Fort Worth proper. That's just me... :blink:

#12 safly

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 11:31 PM

YOU WANT empanadas. check out my restaurant, if ever in SA. We make them EVERYDAY with homemade pina sauce, fresa, manzana, and cajeta w/ cinnamon sugar coating. Some days we have em on special with pollo, arroz and pappas inside, some days with a special picadillo a la mexicana salsa. I made one special with boudain(cajun) sausage inside, and tamales too. SOLD OUT! Like crazy.

Nobody better BITE my ideas here!

Moral of the story is: You don't have to go to Argentina for that cheap stuff. Keep spreadin the word on it, and somebody will open one up in DTFW, and charge $10/plate for 4 of em. Maybe make some sampler of it. Blue Mesa has em at one location in Dallas, did not try it BTW. Good luck.

Want the recipe? Simple to make.

Who knows, I can see McD's start makin em. Gotta keep that Latino market in check somehow. I won't worry, it will certainly be more slop from them.
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#13 John T Roberts

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 09:38 AM

The first part of the renovation of the center has started with the demolition of the service canopies at the old Sears Auto Center at the corner of I-35 and Seminary. I was by there the other day and noticed the canopies had been removed. Over the spring, further exterior renovations are planned for the building and the shell should be ready for new tenants by August.

#14 ghughes

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 10:53 AM

Bueno!

#15 Thurman52

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 12:46 PM

I was sent some new renderings of this project recently. Has much been done around the area? I have not taken time to get down there in a while. How do I upload them?





#16 John T Roberts

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 06:24 PM

The only work that has been completed so far is the new facade on the old Sears Auto Center at the corner of I-35W and Seminary Drive. I have not been inside the mall since before the project was announced, so I can't tell you if anything has been done on the interior.

To show a photo on the forum, it must be housed somewhere on the web. There are several photo hosting sites available, but I would be more than happy to host the photos for you if you just want to post a few. If you want to go that route, e-mail me at jtrobert@flash.net.

#17 John T Roberts

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 09:55 PM

I don't know if anyone has driven by La Gran Plaza lately, but they have made a lot of progress in putting a new facade on the center. It now has a Spanish look and feel. Also, I have found out that Burlington Coat Factory will be putting a store in the center.

#18 Now in Denton

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 10:55 AM

I have driven by. Even the old Sears auto shop looks like a Spanish mission.

#19 John T Roberts

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 07:44 AM

Yesterday, I was sent an e-mail about an article on the top grossing malls on a square foot basis in the U.S.  I then saw a link to a page about Hispanic Malls and that La Gran Plaza was the largest and most successful of its type.  That led me to some photographs of Seminary South shortly after it opened with kids playing around the central fountain, yet the office building was still under construction.  (Not even full height)  This led me to the leasing package for La Gran Plaza de Fort Worth. 

 

Construction has started on a Chuck E. Cheese on an outparcel fronting I-35W.  Also, Beall's have leased approximately 30,000 square feet of the lower level of the old Stripling's Department Store.  I went over there yesterday evening and Stripling's old ceiling and light fixtures are still present in the space.  This makes the mall nearly 100% leased, with the largest available space being the old Penney's basement.



#20 renamerusk

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 08:20 AM

...... a link to a page about Hispanic Malls and that La Gran Plaza was the largest and most successful of its type.....This makes the mall nearly 100% leased, with the largest available space being the old Penney's basement.

 

Great news!



#21 McHand

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Posted 13 June 2015 - 05:44 PM

The play area at La Gran Plaza is Fort Worth's best-kept secret for families. (Oops...) ;)


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#22 brownjd

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 01:34 PM

Yesterday, I was sent an e-mail about an article on the top grossing malls on a square foot basis in the U.S.  I then saw a link to a page about Hispanic Malls and that La Gran Plaza was the largest and most successful of its type.  That led me to some photographs of Seminary South shortly after it opened with kids playing around the central fountain, yet the office building was still under construction.  (Not even full height)  This led me to the leasing package for La Gran Plaza de Fort Worth. 

 

 

Can you post links to those articles?



#23 Austin55

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 11:56 PM

Does anyone know what's being built along 35? This rendering makes it look like an arena or something, however its several years old.

 

fed6875e76a540dcbed0b7e84753d8b6.jpg



#24 JBB

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 12:59 AM

Could that be the Chuck E Cheese?

#25 RD Milhollin

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 08:12 AM

It looks about the right size to house a set of cinema screens. Cinema Latino closed down at La Gran Plaza at the end of 2014 according to its website, maybe another cinema company is building from the ground up.



#26 John T Roberts

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 08:23 AM

That was proposed to be an arena.  As far as I know the current construction is Chuck E. Cheese.  I will see if I can go back to find those articles and I will also see if I can find a new site plan.



#27 pelligrini

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 03:40 PM

There's a sign next to the access road I saw yesterday while driving home. I think it read Kids and More.


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