Following an expansive search across North Texas for new investment opportunities, Kathy Permenter and Moody Younger recently settled on Crockett Row, the 282,334-square-foot urban village that has offered a mix of retail, dining, and residential options since 2009. The co-managing partners at Younger Partners Investments said they purchased the development in the West 7th corridor just over a week ago.
“This is arguably the best real estate in Fort Worth,” Younger said. “West 7th Street is the main east-to-west thoroughfare. You have [large investments] being pumped in. You have Dickies Arena and world-class museums nearby. We think this area is only going to grow.”
In a public statement, Crockett Row’s previous owners, Carlyle Group, confirmed the sale but did not disclose the price. Restaurants and retail stores across the country were battered by the COVID pandemic, and many businesses in Crockett Row were similarly pummeled. There are several vacant spaces that could be repurposed as restaurants, Younger said. Both investors acknowledged that improving daytime foot traffic throughout the week is a top priority.
Several recent and ongoing projects will likely favor Crockett Row’s economic fortunes in the coming months and years. The city’s overhaul of West 7th Street is nearly complete. The new layout retains four lanes of traffic (two in either direction) while making the thoroughfare more pedestrian- and biker-friendly. The Museum Place and Van Zandt projects will add office space and multifamily units, among other developments, next year.
Permenter and Younger said they also plan to add offices to Crockett Row by renovating vacant spaces. The overall result will lend a business district feel to a part of town that is largely known for its bustling nightlife. Younger said business owners told him improving access to parking is a top concern. Younger said visitors will notice several changes in the coming months.
“As you’re driving down one of our streets, you will pass a sign that tells you how many spaces are available,” Younger said. “You can access that information on the app, too.”
Younger added that his team is considering a system that forgoes the need for parking garage tickets. He is researching the possibility of using an app to make entering and leaving Crockett Row’s parking garages paper-free.
In 2018, city officials converted the streets within Crockett Row to one-way only. Permenter and Younger said they will work in close consultation with city officials but are exploring the possibility of returning the streets to their original two-way configuration. Plans for new restaurants from familiar restaurateurs are also in the works, Permenter said.
“We have met with several potential food operators,” she said. “We will be very selective with which operators we choose. We want to appeal to someone who wants to come and have a nice dinner while offering grab-and-go options for daytime office users.”
The Younger Partners Investments team will be vetting new retail options as well. Younger said there’s still a need for niche and chain stores, as well as service providers like dog groomers, due to North Texas’ population growth and the needs of tenants who live above Crockett Row’s businesses. Younger added that occupancy rates for apartments at his development stand at 95%. Visitors can also expect a wide range of events like farmers’ markets in future months.
“We’d like to flip the switch and have everything look and feel different,” Younger said. “It will be a process.”
That process, he said, includes working with the nearby museums, Dickies Arena, adjacent bars to the south and east, and businesses throughout the West 7th corridor to cross-market offerings the neighborhood has and will have in the coming years. Following the late June rape of a young woman just southeast of Crocket Row, public safety remains a top concern for area bar owners and West 7th patrons (“ Nightstalker,” Aug. 11). Younger said he remains in close contact with local police and believes the area is adequately secured.
Unlike a mega-investment firm that owns dozens of developments across the country, Dallas-based Younger Partners will be wholly focused on managing and growing Crockett Row. The recent purchase represents their biggest acquisition by far. Permenter, a TCU grad, said she knows Fort Worth and its needs well.
“This area is important to us,” she said. “We want this to be a special place for Fort Worth.”
This story is part of Inside West 7th, an ongoing series of reports on the past, present, and future of the area. Have news tips or ideas for us? Email Editor Anthony Mariani at Anthony@FWWeekly.com.