The numbers alone are impressive for developer Terry Montesi, CEO and founder of Trademark Property Co. in Fort Worth — more than $2 billion and 11.4 million square feet of lifestyle retail, mixed-use properties, and enclosed malls in the United States.
But the numbers don’t tell the whole story.
A look at Trademark’s recently opened Waterside development in Fort Worth paints a broader picture of Montesi’s work. So does Trademark’s innovative plans to make Victory Park in Dallas a walkable, pedestrian-friendly retail and restaurant hub.
Waterside, at Bryant Irvin Road and Arborlawn Drive, is Trademark’s first ground-up Conscious Place, the company’s next-generation experiential development model.
What is a Conscious Place? It’s a center of commerce, community, and meaning.
“Our approach is to take a stakeholder-centric approach to development,” Montesi says. Those stakeholders include the members of the community surrounding community, and Montesi believes it’s important for them to have a voice in how a development is planned.
Each element of Waterside’s leasing and amenity selection was driven by input from the community and then evaluated for its ability to “inspire, educate, and connect with a broad group of stakeholders.”
As Montesi puts it: “We start by listening.”
Trademark held more than a dozen “community engagement” sessions – similar to focus groups – to gather public input on the site.
“We told people about the site, and then asked their opinions,” Montesi says. He said one of the most common requests was to “have local tenants and local entrepreneurs.”
Trademark’s approach is a nod to the core tenets of Conscious Capitalism, a nonprofit dedicated to idea that capitalism can be a force for both economic and social good. You create places that have meaning and purpose. Trademark is a sponsor of Conscious Capitalism.
The Conscious Place at Waterside is an amenity-filled public space that is free to the public — you don’t have to shop or spend money at the surrounding retailers to enjoy its benefits.
Trademark is three years into developing the 63-acre Waterside mixed-use development on the site of the former Lockheed Martin Recreation Center.
It is Fort Worth’s premier hybrid community and lifestyle center, and features best-in-class community and lifestyle retailers, and restaurants that engage the Trinity River and Trail. The development features “The Grove,” built around two 150-year-old trees on the property, is Trademark’s centerpiece public space with free Wi-Fi and other amenities, including a public art program that notes the area’s history.
It’s “creating a place for people to just ‘be,’” Montesi says. It’s “a place that goes the extra mile to enrich people’s lives.”
Montesi says: “We’ve been a purpose-driven company for years – do something well and leave the world a better place.”
While doing good for the community is a core value at Trademark, making money also is an important element.
“There’s a for-profit motive because we think that with all the ecommerce options, you need something to compel people to get off their couch,” Montesi says.
Whole Foods and REI are anchors at the development, which includes 200,000 square feet of retail space and riverside restaurants, 800 multifamily units, 200,000 square feet of office space, and two hotel sites.
At Victory, Montesi is creating a walkable, pedestrian-friendly environment that features features enhanced streets, sidewalks, signage, and public amenities.
“At the core, you’re really rebranding Victory,” Montesi says. “We’re rebranding the area south of the AAC (American Airlines Center) as ‘South Victory.’”
By widening sidewalks, reconfiguring streets, adding bike lanes, creating more directional signage, and finishing parking garages, Montesi believes Victory will be a place that draws people to the retail and restaurants that are planned for the ground level of the development.