A proposed $120 million development is in the planning stages for Panther Island, the first large-scale project for the area north of downtown since the federal government announced funding for the flood control portion in the area in 2022.

The development, called Vaquero Panther Island, would bring more than 500,000 square feet of office and retail space to a 12-acre site at 529 N. Throckmorton St. The site is along the north bank of the Trinity River, on the west side of Houston Street and below Northwest Fifth Street, according to plans filed with the city of Fort Worth. The development would be near Encore Panther Island, the apartment complex that opened in 2022. 

The project will receive plenty of scrutiny as real estate firms, the city and Panther Island leaders determine how best to proceed with development on the area as construction begins on the bypass channels. 

“Taking that first step is always the most important step,” said Carlos Flores, City Council representative for District 2, which includes much of Panther Island. 

“Developers need to know essentially where to dig as utility relocation would be a very important consideration in those cases,” Flores said. 

He expects more proposals for the area to start coming in now that federal funding is assured and consultants have provided a development blueprint. 

“Because of our consultants’ work on Panther Island, HR&A Advisors, they’ve offered more clarity in the form-based codes as to what kind of development is desirable for the area,” he said. 

The Vaquero Panther Island proposal would see three or four buildings consisting of mixed-use office space with retail on the ground floors of the five-story buildings. The developers filed two possible renderings for the project, one with 461,000 square feet of office space and 51,000 square feet of retail space and a second version with 361,000 square feet of office space and 37,000 square feet of retail. 

A possible second phase of the project could bring a 150-room hotel and 31,000 square feet of retail to the project. 

The plans come from Fort Worth’s Tillar Partners, a real estate development firm, and BOKA Powell, an architecture, interior design and planning firm. Tillar Partners includes co-founders W.A. Landreth, Brian Williams and Sarah LanCarte

The developers are set to meet with city staff in October in a pre-development conference on the project. 

In August, consulting firm HR&A Advisors published an updated, long-term blueprint for the Panther Island partners, primarily the city of Fort Worth and the Tarrant Regional Water District, to follow in the development of the area. 

Bob Francis is business editor for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at bob.francis@fortworthreport.org. 

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Robert Francis is a Fort Worth native and journalist who has extensive experience covering business and technology locally, nationally and internationally. He is also a former president of the local Society...