When Montgomery Ward went bankrupt in 2001, a Fort Worth, Tex., landmark closed its doors — creating a huge problem for developers and civic leaders. What do you do with an eight-story, 960,000-square-foot office and distribution center on 40 acres of land? Dallas-based developer Weber & Co. wants to transform the main building into a mixed-use center with stores, offices and perhaps lofts, a health club and movie theaters — and add other retail space throughout the property. Reported interest by SuperTarget has put the project into high gear.
The zoning commission approved preliminary plans in January and the city council was expected to follow suit in late March, says Todd McCoy, project manager for third-party construction firm Falcon Development and Construction Services. The goal is to have the SuperTarget open by July 2005 and the remaining, as yet undetermined stores, start opening in November. Many details remain to be worked out, McCoy says. Hodges and Associates is the architect.
The major physical change would be to cut a roadway through the building. The 1928 landmark is on a well-traveled street between downtown Fort Worth and the museum district.