Texas Wesleyan University’s Rosedale Renaissance Project is coming to an end, and the university is now considering food vendors and franchise retailers for three vacant storefronts on campus to further the 2020 Vision.
This is an opportunity for Wesleyan to provide additional space for retail and the school’s programs, said President Fred Slabach.
“We would love to have a retail place that is appealing to students,” Slabach said. “A place where students can hang out, study and eat would be ideal.”
Neighborhood revitalization, economic development and campus enhancement are strategic parts of the 2020 Vision, said John Veilleux, vice president of marketing & communications.
“We are highly motivated to get retailers into the storefronts,” he said. “And we are very interested in eatery type places for our new retail spaces to enhance the community.”
There are a lot of people on campus with certain diet restrictions and cannot eat at Dora’s or Subway, said Kelsey Manuel, senior theatre major.
“We need something like Spiral Diner,” she said. “I would love to have somewhere we can all eat together.”
There are not many food options on campus so a new place to eat would be great, said Daniella Shackelford, sophomore psychology major.
“I would like to see something healthy and cheaper go in as far as food,” she said.
There have been several inquiries about the spaces from mom-and-pop vendors to well-known big name vendors, Veilleux said.
But first the school needs to identify funding to get the spaces black box ready, which means they need to access the structural identity of the spaces outside, he said.
“All plans for the property are currently taking shape,” Veilleux said. “We want to be able to control and enhance the campus experience. We are very concerned about the long term success of the businesses so we need to make sure we get the right business for this part of town.”
Wesleyan purchased the storefronts and several other units on the west and east side of Wesleyan Street last August to benefit the facility enhancement goals outlined in the 2020 Vision, said Brian K. Franks, executive director of facilities.
The acquisition of this property was recommended in the University’s Master Strategic Plan, he said.
The university has updated several of the units such as the bookstore, Subway, the Counseling Graduate Programs faculty offices and the Counseling Programs Clinic, Franks said.
The newly renovated space allows the Counseling Programs Clinic, which moved into 6,000 square feet of the newly renovated spaces this summer, to expand into Family Therapy, he said.
Also, Wesleyan is planning to start renovating the 1,975 square-foot space located at 3114 Wesleyan Street for the Business Accelerator, Franks said.
The faculty and students from the School of Business will staff the Business Accelerator, which will assist with the startup and acceleration of small businesses in the community, Franks wrote in an email.
Alongside this project, Wesleyan is also working on the renovation of multiple vacant spaces on the 3000 block of Wesleyan Street, where the three storefronts are located, Franks said.
“There has been some activity here,” he said. “We anticipate the interest in this area to increase now that improvements to Rosedale Street are coming to a close.”
The spaces are currently being offered through a triple net lease, not an outright sale, Franks said.
It is unknown what the storefronts will be or when they will open. The storefronts will only open upon the completion of the finish and lease agreement of the future tenants, Franks said.
In addition, Wesleyan would also like to explore adding additional parking to this portion of the campus, he said.
“I am a strong supporter of the gains this university is making in the revitalization of this part of Fort Worth,” Franks said. “It truly is a wonderful time to be at Texas Wesleyan.”