January 29, 2020

Jessica Miller Essl’s take on the Fort Worth Retail Forecast

Last week, M2G’s own Jessica Miller Essl presented the Fort Worth Retail Forecast for the Real Estate Council of Fort Worth this morning, for the third year running. We wanted to share her insights with you all! 
Nationally, 2020 will be the year of breaking all the rules and a reconsideration on what is most meaningful to purchase. Over 800 online retailers, or “e-tailers,” will open stores by 2025. Traditional retailers (think Barneys, Macy’s, JC Penney) will embrace nontraditional concepts and ways to revitalize. Amazon will continue to pave the way in frictionless buying. Technology is getting smarter and tools such as Placer will completely change the way we measure success in retail and understand consumer behavior. And social commerce is here to stay.
At the local level, Fort Worth is at 93% occupancy of all available space, the highest since 1981. And we will see the opening of another 100 stores this year in our 7 main specialty shopping areas. The big takeaway? Our growing food and beverage scene is about to put Fort Worth on the map nationally. 

  • Clearfork: Over 90% leased and open, with a new luxury multifamily complex, The George, expected to open Spring 2021.
  • Waterside: Another 7 tenants will open with Residence Inn set to open in 2021.
  • Westbend: 94% leased. Look for a boutique hotel, restaurant, retail and multifamily will expand the center’s footprint further — all along the river.
  • West 7th and Crockett Row: 90% leased with 3 new tenants signed for 2020, with some reabsorption of space. This area is introducing unique concepts we have not seen there before.
  • The Foundry District: 5 openings in 2019 with 5 more to come in 2020, with a focus on adult food & beverage and entertainment.
  • Near Southside: Mostly redevelopment projects, where we will see another 30 retailers opening in 2020–the third year in a row at that rate. With the addition of multifamily, we will also see significant growth in daytime population. M2G is also expanding the district with the addition of the former TX Whiskey building, a 50,000sf project with Bowlounge and a large law firm already set to move into the space by the fall. The Hemphill Connector will be a boon to this area overall, and it is one to keep a close watch on in 2020.
  • Sundance: Great new openings in the area, particularly in the hotel space, with major planning taking place to support the vision of making it the “Downtown of North Texas.” 
  • Stockyards: This year’s standout project is hands down Mule Alley, one to watch on a national scale. Shake Shack was first retail tenant to open this past weekend. American Paint Horse Association is open with 40 employees, and Simpli.fi–opening in February–will add 450 employees to the area. Hotel Drover, an Autograph Collection hotel, will open in the fall. We have secured 18 brands with limited space remaining. This is the first year in several decades with large blocks of product available in this area — truly a once in a lifetime opportunity!