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60-story, 900'ft. Tower Planned For Fort Worth

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Some exciting FORT WORTH news...

Posted on Wed, Dec. 14, 2005

Developers plan 60-story tower in downtown Fort Worth

By SANDRA BAKER STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER

Fort Worth -- Area developers are considering a spiraling 60-story, $200 million office and condo tower on the east side of downtown that, if built, would become the city's tallest building -- and the first skyscraper built here in more than 20 years.

Fort Worth architect Ken Schaumburg and Dallas developer William "Bill" Cawley, chairman and chief executive of Cawley Wilcox Cos., have teamed for the ambitious project, one that could spur redevelopment in an area of downtown that has been bypassed by most recent redevelopment efforts.

The project, planned for the southeast corner of Calhoun and Sixth streets, would likely offer some of the highest-priced condominiums in the downtown residential market and create a residential center near the city's public-transportation hub.

Cawley said the project would include 200,000 square feet of office space, 300 condos and 10 floors of parking. It is in early design and budgeting stages, and not all of the financing has been obtained, he said. He said his company and other investors will back the project financially.

"I don't expect that to be a problem," Cawley said. "Fort Worth is a great office market, and it's a great city. It's one of the most stable markets in the U.S."

Schaumburg and representatives with Wilcox Development Services, the development arm of the Cawley Wilcox Cos., met with city officials Monday in a pre-development planning session for the 900-foot-tall building, planned for the city block bounded by Seventh, Eighth, Calhoun and Jones streets.

There is no name yet for the project, but it is being referred to as the Block TU project in city filings.

"It looks like everything is good to go," Schaumburg said.

The condos are expected to sell for at least $350 a square foot, meaning the largest condos, at 5,000 square feet, would go for $1.75 million, Schaumburg said.

As it's now planned, the building's floors each would be 20,000 square feet. The street level would have retail space, followed by 10 floors for parking for 1,100 cars. There would be separate parking entrances for office tenants and residents.

Above the parking floors would be a transitional floor of open space, followed by 10 floors of offices, according to the preliminary plans. Above the office floors would be a floor for the building's mechanical equipment and then a sky lobby, which would house recreational space for the condos, including a swimming pool. Above that would be 37 floors of condos.

Schaumburg said he would like to see a public restaurant on the top floor.

The condos will range from about 800 square feet to 5,000 square feet, with most 1,500 to 2,000 square feet, Schaumburg said. Costs will begin at $350 a square foot, which will set the top end of the market downtown. Marketing efforts for pre-sales will likely begin in late February, he said.

If completed, the building will surpass the city's tallest building, Burnett Plaza, 801 Cherry St., which is 40 stories and 567 feet high. The second-tallest building is D.R. Horton Tower, 301 Commerce St., at 547 feet high and 38 stories. Carter+Burgess Plaza, at Seventh and Main streets, is also 40 stories, but 525 feet.

The east end of downtown is home to a few warehouses and several empty lots that are used for parking. It is also home to the Intermodal Transportation Center, the city's bus and train terminal, opened at Ninth and Jones streets in 2002.

City leaders say the project would be a huge boost to downtown because most of the recent development has been focused on the northern, southern and western edges of the central business district.

"We've long seen the potential of that area to benefit from the growth of downtown," said Fernando Costa, the city's economic-development director.

The site is just a few blocks from Bass Performance Hall and within a few of blocks of the heart of the city's office and commercial district, the workplace for about 40,000 people.

Andy Taft, president of Downtown Fort Worth Inc., a nonprofit booster group, said the project will tap into two markets in great demand -- office and residential. He's hoping that the development could spur similar projects.

"The office space is very tight in downtown, and the combination of office and residential in that location is an intriguing idea," Taft said. "There is a lot of land in that corridor for redevelopment opportunities."

Mayor Mike Moncrief said the proposed building would certainly change the city's skyline.

"I know there's demand for square footage downtown, offices large and small alike," Moncrief said.

The vacancy rate for Class A office space in downtown Fort Worth has remained at historic lows for the past couple of years, and if forecasts are correct, it's going to keep getting tighter.

Grubb & Ellis says that the largest tenant demands will occur in the Class A office market, the most modern buildings with the latest amenities. Corporate relocations and consolidations are creating the greatest demand for space, Grubb & Ellis says in its market assessment.

Other projects are also in the works for downtown Fort Worth.

Klabzuba Oil and Gas Co. in Fort Worth plans a 10-story Class A office building near the southwest corner of Weatherford and Lexington streets, on the western edge of downtown. The company said the 200,000-square-foot building could be under construction in mid-2006.

Schaumburg said Cawley approached him earlier this year about a possible project.

The land was acquired by Schaumburg in April from TXU Electric Delivery, which had used it for fleet parking. At the time, Schaumburg said he anticipated using the city block to expand his nearby Le Bijou luxury town-house development, which will be under construction in the coming weeks.

"I had planned on a condo project, but this makes it pretty exciting to combine both," Schaumburg said.

The Cawley Wilcox Cos. are not unfamiliar with Fort Worth. Wilcox Capital in July bought the three-building Overton Centre office complex in southwest Fort Worth. In 2002, it bought the Green Oaks Hotel, a west Fort Worth landmark, and in 2003 it bought the Ridglea Bank Building off Camp Bowie Boulevard.

Most recently, Wilcox Development built the JPMorgan International Building, a 1.1 million-square-foot building in Dallas, the 420,000-square-foot Sybase corporate headquarters in Dublin, Calif., and the 250,000-square-foot Blue Shield of California building in Sacramento.

Schaumburg will serve as design architect on the Fort Worth project , but Omniplan in Dallas will be the architect of record.

The Fort Worth building would be as tall as two 60-story buildings in downtown Dallas -- the Bank One Center at 1717 Main St. and Fountain Place, 1445 Ross Ave. The tallest building in the Metroplex is the 72-story Bank of America Plaza, 901 Main St., in downtown Dallas, according to the Web site Dallassky.com.

Schaumburg is behind several high-dollar condominium projects in Fort Worth, including The Versailles, at Henderson and Peach streets, and Bluff Street, at 959 Bluff St. He has also talked about a $48 million, 23-story condo tower on the western edge of downtown that would overlook the Trinity River at Peach and North Lexington streets.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727 sabaker@star-telegram.com

Edited by DrkLts

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for those who prefer Dallas media as reliable, a Dallas paper with a similar article...

Dallas Business Journal - 2:41 PM CST Wednesday

Developers plan 60-story development in Fort Worth

Holli L. Estridge Staff Writer

Local developers are in the planning phases for an estimated $200 million, 60-story office-condo tower in downtown Fort Worth.

Situated on the southeast corner of Calhoun and Sixth streets, the structure would be the central business district's tallest skyscraper and the first built there since the 1980s.

Fort Worth architect Ken Schaumburg, and Dallas' Wilcox Development Services and OmniPlan are partners on the project, which could have 200,000 square feet of office space, 300 condos, a top-level, club-type restaurant and 10 floors of parking. The proposed tower has not yet garnered financing.

Schaumburg, who owns the tower site, will primarily handle the condo design. The units would offer floorplans up to 5,000 square feet, with prices in the $350 per square foot range.

Schaumburg said he had originally purchased the property with a smaller project in mind. "I bought it with the idea of doing probably 300 condos on it, without the office component," he said. "Bill's (Cawley of Cawley-Wilcox Cos., of which Wilcox Development is a part) forté is high-rise office development. He approached me with the idea of doing both."

The partners are discussing making the tower an even larger project, Schaumburg said, with more condo units per floor. If they decide to go that route, they would have a 50-story building instead -- still the tallest in downtown. Shaumburg said 10 floors of parking situated beneath the structure, but on and above street level, would eliminate the series tunnels and bridges associated with many other downtown skyscrapers.

"The parking garage is a spiraling garage with the office and condos," Schaumburg said, of OmniPlan's design. "The public and office tenants will have no connection to the condo parking and tenants."

Representatives of OmniPlan could not be reached to comment on the tower project.

Cawley said his firm was looking for a site to build 200,000 square feet of office space when he began talks with Schaumburg. GVA Cawley, a Dallas-based real estate firm Cawley leads as president and CEO, already owns the Ridglea Bank Building off Camp Bowie Boulevard and the three-building Overton Centre office complex.

"Fort Worth has one of the most stable, and one of the best office markets in the country," Cawley said. "Rental rates and occupancy are high and vacancy is low."

The planned office space, city leaders have said, will help meet heavy demand for Class A office space, which has a low vacancy rate. Schaumburg said Cawley expects to presell 50 percent of the office space before the tower breaks ground. Developers anticipate completing design work, marketing tools, videos, virtual tours and a rendering by mid-February 2006. Then, they will begin pre-sales and the four- to six-month-long process of architecture, engineering and permitting work.

The project, if built at 60 stories, would surpass in height Fort Worth's tallest tower, the 40-story Burnett Plaza located at 801 Cherry St. The new tower would stand as high as downtown Dallas' Bank One Center and Fountain Place.

hestridge@bizjournals.com

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John T. Roberts on his Fort Worth Forum mentioned this interesting fact...

If the building actually comes out to be 900 feet, then it will only be 21 feet shorter than the Bank of America Plaza in Dallas, and taller than Dallas' second tallest building.

At 900 feet, it would be Texas' fifth tallest.

1. JPMorgan Chase Tower Houston - 1,002 ft.

2. Wells Fargo Plaza, Houston - 972 ft.

3. Bank of America Plaza, Dallas - 921 ft.

4. Williams Tower, Houston - 901 ft.

5. Block TU Tower, Fort Worth - 900 ft.

I also think it would be the state's tallest building with residents. We couldn't call it the state's tallest residential building because of the mixed uses.

Edited by DrkLts

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You'd think they could muster another 22 feet to knock out Dallas.

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Ten bucks says that 22 feet comes out of nowhere. I spent 8 years in Fort Worth, and if this thing comes to fruition, they'd love to stick it in Dallas' eye...lovingly, of course. :P

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You'd think they could muster another 22 feet to knock out Dallas.

Yeah, you'd think so. The thing is, if ya noticed in the article, one of the developers is from Dallas. I doubt he'd stab Big D in the back like that would he? lol :closedeyes:

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A 900 footer surrounded by 200-500 footers? Its gonna be like a smaller, but denser Uptown Houston with pedestrian life at street level! This tower will deffinitely have that same over powering effect on the skyline that Williams Tower has, which for a town the size of Fort Worth might look rediculous, Houston can pull it off because of the no-zoning laws & its enormous size. I say build something smaller, like in the 600-700 foot range, Fort Worth doesn't have enough buildings to compliment such a structure.

Edited by Metro Matt

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I say build something smaller, like in the 600-700 foot range, Fort Worth doesn't have enough buildings to compliment such a structure.

Or build a plaza with two 450 foot buildings perhaps?

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There seems to be a lot of people hyped up about this latest news, I just hope most of you aren't diagnosed as clinically depressed when it doesn't pan out as the tower it was said to be. More than likely IMO, if this project does get built, it will be a much smaller building or buildings & possibly taller than the current tallest, but who knows....maybe this is one of those you see it once in your life type deals

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Only $200 Million for a 900 ft. building.........uh.....ok,where is the magic wand?

and 200,000 sq. feet in offices? Thats lot of Resident units I guess.

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Only $200 Million for a 900 ft. building.........uh.....ok,where is the magic wand?

The Reason I said that is because Ft.Worth must have a Magic wand or somthing to produce the building material for a 900 ft. building because $200 million is only a fraction of the cost. :blush:

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The Reason I said that is because Ft.Worth must have a Magic wand or somthing to produce the building material for a 900 ft. building because $200 million is only a fraction of the cost. :blush:

I believe that was the price of the new Enron building.

Rendering of tower

aa32ol.jpg

Edited by WesternGulf

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I hear they're calling it Shamrock Tower. :)

That thing is butt-ugly, but it would fit in with FW's other tall buildings. If this were to be built, it most likely would be nowhere near 900' tall. Just watch -- after a year or so of drumming up interest, a revised plan for a 300' tower will emerge and everyone will just shrug their shoulders.

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