$30 million in tax breaks sought by Clearfork developerFebruary 11, 2014
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Clearfork Development Co., developer of the major mixed-use project underway along the Trinity River in southwest Fort Worth, is asking the city for up to $30 million in incentives.
The development, on the north side of the river between Bryant Irvin Road and South Hulen Street, is one of the first the city will see in the path of Chisholm Trail Parkway set to open this Spring.
“It’s been a long road,” Mayor Betsy Price said during Tuesday afternoon’s pre-council meeting, after the staff presented the proposed incentive agreement. “This is going to be a beautiful development that with benefit the entire city. We’re excited to see it moving forward.”
Mayor Pro Tem W.B. “Zim” Zimmerman, whose district includes the development, said he expects to see “a tremendous amount of growth” connected to the Chisholm Trail in his district and the south Fort Worth district of Councilman Jungus Jordan.
“This is kind of the first one that’s come out of the chute, and this is a tremendous benefit to the city,” Zimmerman said.
Clearfork is seeking the incentives, and the staff is recommending them, because the high amount of “structured parking” on the site lowers the developer’s potential return on investment too much, Jay Chapa, the city’s housing and economic development director said in an interview.
“It wasn’t high enough to get them there,” he said.
The council is expected to vote on the incentives at its meeting next Tuesday.
Clearfork is seeking the incentives on a 44-acre portion of its development that it intends to develop with mixed-use and retail, with a “town-square kind of feel,” Chapa told council members.
It will include 2,000 parking spaces “primarily in a parking garage,” he said.
Clearfork proposes to spend a minimum $300 million on the piece of the development over 15 years, Chapa told council members.
The first phase would include $180 million in investment, on about 600,000 square feet of total space. Half of that would be retail and commercial office, the other half 395 apartments, Chapa said.
The second and third phases would each include $60 million in additional investment, with at least 200,000 square feet per phases of retail, commercial office, or multifamily, Chapa said.
Clearfork is asking for a maximum $30 million in a grant that would be equal to 75 percent of the additional real and personal property tax generated by the development, and 75 percent of the city’s one-cent sales tax revenue generated by the development.
The 75 percent figures are averages, with the highest grant percentage at 80 percent in the first five years, and the lowest at 70 percent in the final five years.
The grant could end up lower based on valuations over time, but it won’t go past $30 million, Chapa told the council.
Clearfork agreed to several markers that could impact the value of the grant. It agreed to spend 30 percent of hard construction costs with Fort Worth contractors, 25 percent with minority and women-owned Fort Worth contractors, $200,000 annually on supply and service contracts wit Fort Worth firms, and $100,000 annually on supply and service contracts with Fort Worth minority and women-owned firms.
Clearfork also agreed to a reduction in its grant payment that would be sent to the Fort Worth Housing Finance Corp. to pay for affordable housing.
The reduction would be $79,000 annually and $1.185 million over the life of the agreement, which breaks down to $200 per multifamily unit per year that Clearfork builds.
The city would receive $16 million in property and sales taxes connected to the development over the agreement’s life. Other local taxing entities - the Crime Control and Prevention District, Fort Worth T, Tarrant County, Tarrant County Hospital District, Tarrant County College, the Tarrant Regional Water District, and Fort Worth schools - would receive a projected $115.1 million, Chapa told council members.
Chapa also said in the interview that a proposed Walmart incentive agreement, disclosed to council members last week, would help for roads around the planned far North Fort Worth store that Walmart is agreeing to build.