Dallas Real Estate News: Mockingbird Station Developer Goes Belly-Up in Fort Worth

That would be Ken Hughes, who just lost 29 unsold condos in the ArtHouse section of So7, the residential, office and retail development next to Trinity Park on Fort Worth’s near west side. The Fort Worth Star Telegram reports the units were sold to an Arlington-based real estate investment group called PassGoLtd., after the property had been posted for foreclosure.

PassGo is an entity organized by Gary Walker, president of Walker Property Advisors and SCM Real Estate Services in Arlington. He says it was not a distress situation, rather one of Hughe’s investors just decided to pull the financing plug. So7 No. 2 Ltd. defaulted on a $9.7 million note with Southwest Bank. On Oct. 20, Ken Hughes, president of Hughes Development, signed a deed in lieu of foreclosure, but the record wasn’t filed with Tarrant County until Dec. 1, which was the day Southwest Bank transferred the property to Walker’s group. The Tarrant Appraisal District values the 29 So7 condos at $5.1 million.

ArtHouse consists of three contemporary-style buildings with 65 loft-style condos. Thirty-six condos in ArtHouse have been sold, and as for price points, they were selling $300,000 for 1,500 to 1,700 square feet.

The same developers faced losing the front section of So7 to foreclosure a year ago, but were able to refinance with lender CapitalSource Bank in Washington, D.C. That section includes four buildings on 6.5 acres with two condos, an office building with street-level retail space, and space for shops and restaurants like Chuy’s restaurant, the latest tenant in the development. So7 began in 2000 with the construction of high-end Mediterranean-style town houses on the back portion of the 25-acre property. It has a Residence Inn by Marriott hotel and the Stayton at Museum Way senior living center is under construction.

Sounds like this was an investor’s finances going south, because this area has a ton of potential. Here’s what guest blogger and Texas Wesleyan law student John J. Stathas, who lives in the area, says about it:

“Slowing sipping on an ice cold bottle of Shiner the warm gentle October sun bakes down on my skin with that all important Vitamin D.¬† The soft twang of an acoustic guitar slices through the ambient chatter.¬† The smell of red meat on a grill tickling my nose.¬† If you ever find yourself in such a scenario then you‚Äôre likely over here in my town, Cowtown.

I can’t say exactly where I am though.  Not because I’m sworn to secrecy or anything, but because I could be at any number of locations nestled along the Western edge of Fort Worth in the new exciting community known as West 7th.

It’s no secret these days that Texas has become the fastest growing state in the country.  And no city has benefited more from this population boom than Fort Worth.  From 2000 to 2006, Fort Worth saw its population increase by 20%.  This trend has not tapered off either.  Some estimate the current population to almost double in the next 20 years.

We all know that our state’s economy is the major driving force behind the overall explosion, but why has Fort Worth seen such a tremendous benefit?  In this writer’s modest opinion it’s simple.  Fort Worth provides a new and attractive alternative to other cities around the state.

More and more these days people (especially us young ones) are looking for that perfect blend of urban and modern.  The Urban Village is making a comeback all across the country and Fort Worth is right in stride with the trend.  Fort Worth has several areas where this cultural change is happening, but none as rapid as West 7th.

Simply put, it’s the place to be.  Old staples like Chimy’s Cerveceria and Fred’s continue to attract, while new spots like Tim Love’s Burger Shack (known affectionately as “Love Shack”) seem to be popping up almost daily, providing new places to discover.   I hesitate to begin enumerating all the local establishments because there are just too many.  Each bar or restaurant has it’s own unique vibe, yet the patrons seem to all be from the same crowd.  Just young-hearted people all searching for their daily peace of mind.  And in West 7th they easily find it.

From burgers and beer to high end dining, West 7th has it all.  A place where you can live, eat, play, and walk to it all.  And no, that’s not a typo, I said walk.  Believe it or not, Texans are quickly discovering the simple joys of walking places.  This is perhaps the greatest achievement of the Urban Village movement, although personally I still like the endless amount of bars and restaurants a little more.

So the next time you feel like enjoying a cheeseburger on a patio, margaritas in the moonlight, or just a simple stroll through a bustling neighbor, take a look at West 7th out here in Fort Worth and I think you‚Äôll be pleasantly surprised.” – John J. Stathas

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