Aug. 09–FORT WORTH — The long-discussed redevelopment of the historic Fort Worth Stockyards is becoming a reality.
Hotel Drover, a new 4-star Marriott Autograph boutique hotel, along with an outpost of the popular Shake Shack chain were among the announcements made Thursday by Stockyards Heritage Development Company, a partnership between Majestic Realty Co. and The Hickman Companies.
Hotel Drover, which is being described as "a rustic resort," will help anchor the redevelopment of Mule Alley that will include "shops, eateries, creative office spaces and live-entertainment venues," according to the Stockyards developers.
"We would rather take a risk with an inventive tenant than play it safe with a chain that brings little to the table," said Craig Cavileer, executive vice president of Majestic Realty Co./Stockyards Heritage Development Company. "We're not looking to overly commercialize the Stockyards, we're looking to make it even more exciting and broaden its appeal for locals as well as guests from Texas, the U.S. and around the world."
The project, a public/private partnership with the City of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, just broke ground on the first phase of the $175 million development.
"This is not just real estate development — it's so much more," said Brad Hickman, president of Hickman Investments and son of legendary Fort Worth Stockyards supporter and benefactor Holt Hickman.
Tim Love, who operates Lonesome Dove, the White Elephant Saloon and the Love Shack in the Stockyards, expressed support for the development.
"I think it's awesome," he said, adding that New York-based Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer "is an old friend and a great operator."
"I am very excited to finally see the Stockyards move in the direction I have been wanting to see since I first opened Lonesome Dove 18 years ago," Love said. "All of this development is a testament to all the great businesses that already exist in the Stockyards."
Here's a list of what's coming to the Stockyards:
— Hotel Drover — This is described as the developers' anchor and crown jewel of the Stockyards and Mule Alley. It is scheduled to open in the spring of 2020 and be part of the Marriott Autograph Collection. It will include 200 rooms and suites, along with a 15,000 square feet of meeting space.
— Second Rodeo Brewing Co. — Boso's 12,000-square-foot barn described as a "brewpub meets live music hall" will include street tacos and a patio overlooking Marine Creek.
— Shake Shack — The first Fort Worth location of the popular chain that began as a hotdog cart in New York's Madison Square Park.
— A new unnamed concept from Clay Pigeon and Piattello chef Marcus Paslay that will emphasize grilled and smoked meats as well as barbecue. His restaurant will include an open kitchen with wood-burning grills and rotisserie smokers.
— Simpli.fi. — This highly regarded Fort Worth company is bringing 450 professionals to the Stockyards daily. Simpli.fi will bring a company that works in localized Internet advertising and sophisticated analytics.
— MB Mercantile & Supply — The Stockyards own general store, MB Mercantile, will bring what is described as "an exciting emporium of carefully curated goods that locals and tourists, souvenir hunters" will enjoy.
— RFD HQ and STUDIOS — The new headquarters of RFD-TV, The Cowboy Channel, and Rural Radio, all part of Rural Media Group, currently occupies a free-standing HQ building on Exchange Avenue. It will create a new broadcast studio open to the public in the historic Auction Barn adjacent to the Livestock Exchange Building.
— American Paint Horse Association — A Fort Worth native, APHA is the world's second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than 1 million horses in 59 nations since it was founded.
Staff writer Bud Kennedy contributed to this report.
Bill Hanna: 817-390-7698, @ fwhanna