Declaring that leaving Fort Worth was never an option, the American Paint Horse Association has announced that it will be moving its headquarters within the city. “Other equine organizations have called Fort Worth home, only to leave for what they think are greener pastures, and regretted the move,” Billy Smith, executive director for the APHA, told D CEO Real Estate. “We’ve been here most of our 55 years and don’t plan on leaving. This is the epicenter of the stock horse world.”
The association will soon be moving to the Fort Worth Stockyards Horse and Mule Barns. The new location will serve as both a corporate office and a retail location, and will make the association the first tenant to sign a lease in the redevelopment led by Stockyards Heritage Development, the partnership between Majestic Realty Co. and Hickman Cos. The partnership has plans to redevelop the entire Stockyards property, a project that will cost $200 million. Redeveloping the part of the Stockyards where the APHA will be located will cost $50 million alone.
The organization signed on for 11,252 square feet of build-to-suit space to accommodate its staff of 45. The company will be downsizing from its 40,000-square-foot headquarters at 2800 Meacham Road in Fort Worth—a property that it owns. “We wanted to use the resources of our members as wisely as possible, so, since 2013, we’ve slowly made our operation much more efficient,” Smith said. “The Stockyards location affords us the chance to take advantage of the possibility of leasing [the Meacham Road property, in order to] underwrite [the new space] amidst millions of western lifestyle fans who visit the Stockyards every year.”
“When we heard about Stockyards Heritage’s redevelopment plans, we seized the opportunity to move our office,” Smith said in a statement, referring to the partnership whose goal is to preserve the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District. “We are excited to be part of all that is taking place in the redevelopment of Fort Worth’s jewel, and believe our new location will continue to foster new member interest when they walk by and see all that is happening here.”
Colt Power of NAI Robert Lynn represented the APHA in the deal. VLK Architects will oversee the interior design of the new APHA space, and Bennett Benner Partners will handle the architecture duties. Later this year the stockyard redevelopment will begin phase one, which includes 175,000 square feet of office space, retail, and food options. The entire project is expected to be finished by the end of 2018.