FORT WORTH-For the 24th year in a row, commercial real estate experts will gather to present forecasts specific to Tarrant County in general and Fort Worth in particular. The event, dubbed “Tarrant County Commercial Real Estate Forecast” will take place Thursday, Jan. 24 and will include overviews of the office, industrial, retail and multifamily sectors, as well as discussions about the various submarkets in and around Tarrant County.

Ben D. Loughry, who is executive director with Integra Realty Resources DFW LLP, is also chair of the Greater Fort Worth Real Estate Council, which is hosting the event. He tells GlobeSt.com that the event began with a few folks getting together each January for breakfast to discuss what would happen during the following year. “It grew to a dozen, then 24,” Loughry says. This year, 400 participants have already signed up, and Loughry estimates that upwards of 600 people could show up.

It’s not just the event itself that’s changed during the past quarter century. Tarrant County has changed as well, with one notable shift involving a stronger partnership with neighboring Dallas County, directly adjacent to the east. “Twenty five years ago, it was common for businesses to suggest they wanted to be in Dallas OR Fort Worth,” Loughry explains. “Historically, the concept was that it was everybody for themselves. These days, both areas are considered one huge market, consisting of more than six million people.”

This has led to more communication and cooperation from both counties in areas ranging from transportation and infrastructure to attracting businesses to the area, Loughry goes on to say. “If we can secure businesses that add to our quality of life, it doesn’t matter if they locate in Fort Worth or Dallas or outlying areas. The cascade effect helps everyone.”

Attendees at this year’s Tarrant County Commercial Real Estate Forecast will offer presentations from a variety of presenters on topics ranging from interest rates and cap rates, to real estate development and trends. Loughry says a couple of interesting surprises are in store, one involving retail discussion and another involving a potential announcement of a new business that could bring 250 new jobs to the area.

Topics and speakers include

  • How Tarrant County Rates Nationally – Ben D. Loughry, executive director, Integra Realty Resources DFW LLP and GFWREC chair
  • Issues of Interest – Susan A. Halsey, managing partner, Fort Worth, Jackson Walker LLP
  • Multifamily Market – Drew Kile, associate director, Institutional Property Advisors
  • Industrial Market – Bill Burton, senior vice president, Hillwood Properties, developer of AllianceTexas
  • Office Market – David Walters, executive vice president, Fort Worth, Jones Lang LaSalle
  • Retail and Mixed-Use Market – Chris Maguire, chief executive officer, Cypress Equities and SRS Real Estate Partners

Then there is, of course, the networking aspect of the event. “This draws people from all sectors, not just the real estate market,” Loughry says. “We see people from the political spectrum too. We have quite a few mayors, city council members and state and federal representatives that will attend.”

The 24th annual Tarrant County Commercial Real Estate Forecast takes place from 7:30-10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24 at Ridglea Country Club, 3700 Bernie Anderson Ave., in Fort Worth. The Greater Fort Worth Real Estate Council (GFWREC), which is hosting the event, is taking registrations online through Monday, Jan. 21. Cost is $75 per GFWREC member; $85 per person in advance; $95 per person at the door; and $55 per student. For information, call Karen Vermaire Fox, GFWREC’s executive director, at 817-480-1060, or email karen@gfwrec.com.