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Ex Rangers manager Washington apologizes for 'breaking wife's trust'

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Former Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington says he is embarrassed for 'breaking his wife's trust.'

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New arena at Will Rogers takes shape


The proposed Will Rogers Memorial Center arena continues to take shape as voters head for a Nov. 4 election to decide whether to approve new taxes to help pay for the $450 million facility.

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Overland Sheepskin opening Sundance Square store in Fort Worth

The store is expected to open by the holidays, Sundance said.

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Home health firm relocates to Ridglea from downtown

Southwest Home Health Services has leased new headquarters space in the Ridglea East Building in West Fort Worth, setting a plan in motion to relocate Oct. 1 from the downtown.

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Texas Health Southwest breaks ground on $40M expansion

A $40 million expansion of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth is under way, with groundbreaking ceremonies held this week.

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Simpson sells historic Public Market building

By Scott Nishimura
snishimura@bizpress.net

Fort Worth real estate investor Bob Simpson has sold the historic Public Market building downtown to a partnership connected to the billionaire Wilks masonry and energy family of Cisco.

According to Tarrant County deed records, Simpson’s MorningStar Capital, LLC sold the Public Market property at 1400 Henderson St. in mid-June to an entity called MC Estates, LLC, whose Cisco address is the same as that of Wilks family businesses.

According to the deed record, MC Estates agreed it can’t demolish or significantly change the exterior of the Public Market building for years.

“The main structure cannot be demolished or the outside historical structure materially changed before June 12, 2084,” the deed record reads.

MorningStar and MC Estates representatives could not be reached for comment Monday.

The brothers Farris and Dan Wilks founded the family-operated Wilks Masonry in 1995 in Cisco and co-founded Frac Tech in Cisco in 2002, specializing in well stimulation as the Barnett Shale natural gas play rapidly expanded.

The Wilks brothers sold their 70 percent combined interest in Frac Tech - now named FTS International - in 2011 for $3.5 billion, according to a Forbes profile. Forbes estimated earlier this year that the brothers are each worth $1.5 billion.

The Wilkses continue to serve on the Wilks Masonry board, but turned management of the company over to their sons in 2005, the web site says.

Lately, the Wilkses have been buying property, purchasing a 62,000-acre ranch in Montana for $45 million in 2011, 300,000 acres in Montana, and 36,000 acres in Idaho, Forbes reported.

The Public Market Building was built in 1930 at the edge of downtown by John Harden of Oklahoma City, according to the fortwortharchitecture.com site.

The building served as a market for local farmers, vendors and retailers, according to the site. “Plagued with economic difficulties,” the market closed in 1941, according to the site. Fire caused significant damage in 2010.

Simpson, who has purchased and renovated several historical buildings in Fort Worth, bought the market in 2012. In December, Joy Webster, a MorningStar executive, told The Business Press that Simpson would likely take several more months before launching into renovations.

She said then that Simpson didn’t know what he planned to do with the property, but that MorningStar had received numerous ideas.

A group of Texas Tech University architecture students in 2011 examined the property and came up with several proposals, including Texas craft center and museum; multipurpose building with residential; dance studio and performance center; winery; sculptural art museum; and theater with residential.

It “can be a beacon for that part of town,” Webster said in the December interview. “With the right lighting, I think it can really attract people over there.”

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