FORT WORTH, Texas -- Neiman Marcus is preparing to open a brand new store in Fort Worth, located on a family's historic ranchland.
The new store is the anchor tenant of the massive Clearfork development, located off the Trinity River not far from downtown Fort Worth. The Neiman Marcus store opens this Friday, and other stores and restaurants in the outdoor shopping complex are expected to open later this year.
"There is a public park component with some curated artwork that's coming along," said Angelica Cofoid, who does marketing for Cassco Devleopment, which is behind the project.
"It's not just what they're experiencing inside the store but outside the store as well," Cofoid said.
Cassco is the development arm of the Edwards Family, which owns the ranchland Clearfork is built on. The ranch predates Fort Worth itself. Parts have been sold, donated or developed over the years, but this area has been largely untouched until the recent construction of the Chisolm Trail Parkway.
"Fort Worth has grown up around the ranchland, and now it's the first time for some that they're stepping foot on the property," said Cofoid.
Where cattle used to graze, now you'll find outdoor yoga classes and a farmer's market, and Cassco has big plans for the property. It's 270 acres, and they intend to construct more than 1 million square feet of retail space, 2 million square feet of offices, and homes for 2500 families.
Already, there are apartments, a bike store and the Press Cafe along the river. It's popular with active hikers and bikers.
"It's a great combination of the restaurant and the farmer's market," said Katie Luedecke, a bicyclist who stopped by the Press Cafe during her ride. "I've been to several classes out here. It's a great place to be."
Luedecke said she's heard about the new Neiman Marcus, and while she's not a regular customer, she plans to check it out.
Morgan Saulsberry, who lives in downtown Fort Worth, said she wants to see the new store too. Today, she visited Clearfork for the first time and was impressed.
"I love how it's all spread out and how you have the bikes right next to the river," she said. "Once I get some money in the pocket, I will be down here shopping."
That's important for Neiman Marcus too, to attract customers who now want more than a traditional mall. They just might find it out on the ranch.