Our Trademark marketing team has launched a new initiative to work with Instagram influencers who are brand advocates of the property to promote the tenants to their followers. This started in 2017 with our Perkins Rowe rebrand campaign and will continue throughout 2018. To kick the year off we worked with Alex Snodgrass of The Defined Dish. Alex is an acclaimed blogger and influencer with a passion for Whole 30 and Paleo compliant cooking. With over 60,000 followers, Alex has been helping others bring delicious and health conscious meals to their tables for years. In partnership with Whole Foods and Trademark Property, Alex was able to share her expert meal planning advice with savvy shoppers via our “Clean Eating Tour.”

Guests shopped alongside Alex while she discussed her favorite Whole Foods products and how she uses them in her health-conscious recipes. Following the tour, viewers at home were able to watch live on the Waterside Instagram. This unique approach brought the opportunity for Whole Foods at Waterside to expand their community outreach, as participants traveled from all over the Metroplex to connect and learn. The event was a success not only at promoting the contemporary shopping experience of Whole Foods, but also introducing new guests to Waterside. To quote participant Krista Walker: “I had an absolute blast at the event with Alex. Getting to tour the store and hear all about her favorite Whole 30 picks was great, but the Q&A with Alex at the end was the best.” Participant Sam Prouty had this to add: “My favorite part of the evening was being able to connect with Alex and others who share similar values in a small group setting.”

Together with Trademark Property, Alex Snodgrass is promoting innovative ways to shop, socialize and prepare an array of artisanal meals available through Whole Foods.

Every piece of land has a history and Waterside is no different. That history is especially near and dear to JD Smith, who worked and lived on the property where Waterside sits for more than 30 years. Today, he has started his next chapter on the land, serving as a Grove Ambassador. He recently took some time to share his memories of the site’s past and his optimism for its future.

 

What is your personal connection to the land that is now Waterside?

My personal connection to the land began in 1975 when I was hired to be the swimming pool manager for the summer at what was then General Dynamics Recreation Area (GDRA). I had recently received my degree in Recreation Management from Southwest Texas State University. After the summer, I became the Recreation Area Supervisor for three years until I was promoted to Manager of the Recreation Association, a position I held for the next 35 years. In 1980, I moved into one of the two residences on the property. It was an old farmhouse built in 1929 and we lived in it for the next 29 years. My wife and I loved the old house and the property where we got to raise our two kids. So, the land became very special to me for two big reasons: living on the property with my family and having many family functions there over the years, and being involved with providing fantastic recreational facilities to thousands each year. The 80-acre property was ideal for a recreation complex. (In the mid-1990’s GDRA became LMRA, Lockheed Martin Recreation Area.)

 

What is your favorite memory from this land?

There is a personal favorite and a professional favorite:

My personal favorite memory would be thinking back to what a beautiful piece of acreage it was with its many large trees and the different terrain along the Trinity River. It was a great privilege to have my career involving the various recreation facilities and activities here as well as having my family live on the same property where I worked.

My favorite professional memories include:

  • seeing kids learning to swim in the massive pool
  • watching active people utilizing the many great facilities
  • observing lots of folks participating in over 35 activities that included sports as well as hobbies and crafts.

How does Waterside pay homage to the history of the land?

As the evolution of the property went from open country to farm to recreation area, each had its own good and successful time, with the recreation area having over a 50-year run. If the property had to evolve from a recreation area to a commercial development, then there couldn’t have been a better steward of the property than Trademark and Waterside. They took note of the natural beauty, viewed and valued the many large trees, listened to people’s feelings about the property, and then incorporated “community space” into Waterside by showcasing The Grove. This concept is something I’ve failed to see in other developments. The entire Waterside plan incorporates the old and natural beauty into its modern upscale development, which I, and probably many others, think is just great. I can only hope other developers will follow their lead.

 

 

What attracted you to the idea of becoming a Grove Ambassador?

I had been retired three years when I received an email from Angela Hall, GM and Marketing Director for Waterside, asking if I knew of any retirees who would like a part-time job at The Grove greeting people, providing information, and being an available representative in the area. Being an active person, I still had some free time in between my hobbies of golf, yard work, and reading, so I responded with interest. Knowing it would be in the same area where I lived and worked for 38 years appealed to me and would give me a chance to be there again. Now after several weeks of working as a Grove Ambassador, I have found it enjoyable to do something different and to see firsthand how the community is enjoying The Grove environment and its amenities.

 

How is the next generation of users enjoying the land?

The Grove includes two patio areas with tables and chairs, a grassy area for yoga, a bocce ball court, a cornhole game area, a fire pit, and a covered pavilion with a large TV, seating areas, and games. Music from numerous outdoor speakers, a giant Adirondack chair, and artwork repurposed from LMRA kiddie rides and playground equipment are great added touches. All these “extras” make The Grove a great place to hang out with friends or family, play a game, watch TV, eat, or just relax in a very nice setting with a Steel City Pop.

Chef Marcus Paslay, exec chef & owner of Fort Worth-favorite Clay Pigeon, recently opened his much anticipated second restaurant, Piattello Italian Kitchen at Waterside. Here, he talks about menu favorites, his philosophy when it comes to food, and how to stand out in the Fort Worth dining scene.

 

What makes Piattello different from other Italian restaurants?

Piattello is set apart by the fresh pastas made every day in house and served al dente as they are in Italy. Our commitment to quality ingredients prepared from scratch, at a price point that is very approachable, is another way Piattello stands out.

If you’re eating all of your meals for the day at Piattello, what are you ordering?

Morning: Cappuccino and Lemon Ricotta muffin

Lunch: Sausage Pizza, Chop Salad and a cold beer

Dinner: Some marinated olives and a plate of house ricotta and sourdough for the table to share. Then, I am going to start with the Crispy Calamari, followed by any one of our housemade pasta dishes paired with an Italian wine and finish up with a coffee and a cookie plate.

How do you stay true to your cooking philosophy of serving seasonal, fresh food?

We will change the menu four times a year, rotating the current season’s bounty into our dishes. All food is made from scratch and in house, which will ensure those ingredients stay as fresh as possible.

What makes the Fort Worth dining scene unique?

Its uniqueness is in the timing. Fort Worth is experiencing a mini restaurant revolution. The standard for quality is rising and the restaurants are getting better and more diverse. It’s a fun time to be doing what we are doing, and I am pumped about the trend I see in our dining landscape. If one were to take a snapshot of the dining scene 5 years ago and compare it to one 5 years from now, I believe you will see this restaurant revolution I’m talking about.

 

Why was Waterside the right place to open Piattello?

Waterside was right for Piattello for two reasons. The first is the location. We are very excited with what we are seeing in this area of Fort Worth and confident that its growth will provide substantial traffic. The second is the leadership of the development. Trademark has a vision for Waterside and conscientious mind that we whole heartedly agree with. Any developer that can create a beautiful property that brings business, residences, jobs, tax revenue and has enough consciousness to save (at great cost) trees that have been here for longer than any of us have been alive is a developer that we can be proud to partner with.

Texas artist Bob “Daddy-O” Wade is best known for his sculpture and hand-tinted photographs depicting Texas style and culture. At Waterside, he’s the centerpiece of a public art program that celebrates the site’s history with sculptures made from repurposed amusement rides and murals using historic site photography. Here, he talks about the impact of public art, how history inspires him, and plays favorites when it comes to his work.

 

How does public art influence how users experience a place?

The subject matter can pay homage to the history of the site and encourage visitors to inquire about the history of the property. If public art is fun and colorful, it contributes to the overall pleasant environment. Large scale implies financial commitment by the developer.

 

How have you seen public art evolve over the course of your career?

Early public art was small scale, conservative and décor for the buildings. Scale, subject matter, humor and site reference is more common now. Many cities have a “percent for art” and are able to commission local or international artists for a variety of indoor and outdoor sites.

 

Did the fact that the sculpture and photographs originate from the site play a role in your work?

I was thrilled to work with existing 1950’s photos and kiddie ride components. I have recycled many objects into sculpture numerous times and hand tinted photos for years.

 

Where did you draw inspiration from to repurpose the amusement rides into each sculpture?

Scale plays a big role, as each sculpture must fit the location. Many photos were taken and cutouts of each object were moved around into a variety of options. The cowboy needed some alterations and interactive with the small donkey seemed appropriate for a kid’s photos op.

 

What is your favorite piece at Waterside? Why?

I like each for different reasons, but the totem seems to “tower” over the others and contains objects from many of the rides. It is sort of a “shiskabob” Wade.

Community is at the very core of Conscious Place. We believe that good places become great because they are an active part of the community – they celebrate what makes it unique, they offer a gathering place, and they continually work to provide services that benefit the greater good.

To create this kind of special place, the “if you build it, they will come” mentality won’t work, which is why collaborating with community members is a critical part of our Conscious Place development model. How can you truly meet stakeholders’ needs if you don’t take the time to step back, listen, and get to know them first?

Recently, we celebrated the grand opening of Waterside, our first ground-up Conscious Place. It was a proud moment for us to see the concept of Conscious Place come to life. When you look around Waterside, much of what makes it unique is a direct result of this inclusive listening process.

Back in 2013, during early planning, we gathered a group of community members to tell them about our concept and ask for their feedback – their likes and dislikes, concerns, favorite tenants, and preferred amenities. What we found helped to shape every decision from there forward.

 

There was a resounding call for local elements, which became a central theme of our development plan. As a result, many of the details that help make Waterside unique were specially crafted by local artisans, like the benches, chalkboard and colorful Adirondack chairs. Art was also a popular request, which ultimately resulted in a curated public art program, as well as a special eye to architecture and design.

The community also voiced their nostalgia about the site itself. As the Lockheed Martin Recreation Association, the property had served as a community activity facility which hosted everything from movie nights to soccer tournaments. Fusing the feedback for local, artisan, and historic elements, we commissioned Texas artist, Bob “Daddy-O” Wade, to create public art made from repurposed amusement rides, playground equipment and art from the original site.

We also found that the community valued sustainability and preserving the site’s natural beauty. The Grove, our signature public space, is designed around several heritage oak trees. In addition to conscious amenities like a community pavilion and Trinity Trail connectivity, The Grove also includes a 6,600-gallon rainwater cistern used to irrigate drought-resistant landscaping. Whole Foods used reclaimed wood from the LMRA – originally a ballroom floor – throughout its store, a nod to the site history and the sustainability initiatives.

Leasing efforts were also influenced by this community feedback. A specialty grocer was the top request. As a result, we presented this opportunity to Whole Foods, who ultimately opened its first Fort Worth store at Waterside. REI and Sur La Table were also called out by name during feedback sessions. Responding to the call for local, as well as suggestions to make retail lease space cost effective for small local businesses, we created a micro-restaurant program, which supports local entrepreneurs by offering smaller spaces, lower startup costs, shorter-term leases, and community seating in The Grove.

The community promotion shed provides opportunities for people to gather and give back. This covered, outdoor space is available for reservation so that local groups and nonprofits can fundraise and grow their presence in the community.

These are just some of the things we’ve done with the goal of positioning Waterside to be an integral part of the community for years to come. We hope that those who experience Waterside leave feeling that it is a special place, and we hope they visit often. As we expand Conscious Place, we look forward to learning what makes other communities unique and working with them to create an equally special, uniquely different place to inspire, educate, and engage all stakeholders.