Chris Powers, Jr. CEO, Fort Capital for the move of Topsy’s Cafe (now Salsa Limon) from 929 N. University Drive to 5012 White Settlement Road (1947)
In 1947 contractor Jack Corn built Topsy’s Cafe for Jack Vivian Allen, who served meals in this Streamline Moderne building for over 25 years. With its smooth aluminum sides that feature horizontal and vertical banding around the doors and corners, and a vertical-reeded metal front corern, Topsy’s Cafe was a very cool building back in the day that eventually sat across the street from the Cultural District.
In recent times, Salsa Limon rented the building and delicious street tacos were served both inside and out. When redevelopment plans included the land under Topsy’s Cafe, echoes of concern circulated through The Fort.
To the rescue was Fort Capital, founded in 2005, a full-service investment/real estate firm that is passionate about creating long-term value through unique, inspired and enduring real estate development ideas. Rescuing the Topsy’ Cafe building was the perfect challenge for this creative team, and the project had its hurdles like…
- Crews had to dig tunnels under the building in order to construct a steel frame that would support the structure as it was lifted via hydraulic jacks onto a flatbed truck.
- Oncor and cable providers had to raise the power lines so the building could be moved along a 3 mile route.
- The trip was a slow one, moving at about 2 mph, which required assistance in controlling traffic from the FW Police Department. Traffic had to be shut down and re-routed because the building took up the entire road.