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Tarleton State research initiatives showcase growing role in Tarrant County, North Texas

Two new buildings under construction for Texas A&M University on Jan. 19, 2024, in downtown FortWorth. The buildings will house Tarleton State’s new Biotechnology Center.
Camilo Diaz
Fort Worth Report
Two new buildings under construction for Texas A&M University on Jan. 19, 2024, in downtown FortWorth. The buildings will house Tarleton State’s new Biotechnology Center.

Tarleton State University hosted its first national conference funded by the National Science Foundation Feb. 7-8 in Fort Worth.

Rupa Iyer, vice president for research, innovation and economic development, saw the event as not just important to the university and the North Texas area, but the whole country.

The event was part of the National Science Foundation’s Growing Research Access for Nationally Transformative Equity and Diversity program, one of 25 nationwide. Tarleton State is the only university from the initial round of awardees to host such a conference in Texas.

National experts in research administration and leaders at emerging research universities at the event were working to enhance institutional research capacity. Participants represented 35 research institutions and organizations across 16 states.

“This is working to expand and build on what everyone is doing,” said Iyer. “We’re looking at building a framework for working together.”

The conference is another big step for Tarleton State in the area of research. The Stephenville-based school, part of the Texas A&M system, has been taking big strides in research recently. Its research budget reached $20 million in the 2022 fiscal year and the school saw its largest jump in Higher Education Research and Development rankings — to 290 from 319.

Iyer, who joined the university in 2020 as part of that research push, came from the University of Houston, where she started the first biotechnology program accredited by the Association of Technology Management and Applied Engineering in the country.

Tarleton recently obtained an Economic Development Administration grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to set up a center, the Institute for Rural Research and Economic Development, focusing on rural entrepreneurship, she said.

The Economic Development Administration’s University Center program looks to enable institutions of higher education to use university assets to build regional economic ecosystems that support innovation and high-growth entrepreneurship.

Collaborators in the University Center include:

The federal grant follows the start of construction on Texas A&M-Fort Worth’s downtown research campus that will include the Tarleton State Biotechnology Institute. The institute will focus on cross-disciplinary research involving agriculture, medicine, energy, the environment and other areas, said Iyer.

The ultimate goal will be economic development and strengthening the economy across North Texas, she said.

“Fort Worth is a key part of this,” Iyer said. “It is a modern city, but it still has those rural roots.”

She notes that Tarleton can help bridge the rural-urban divide as it sits within 100 miles of Fort Worth, Waco and Dallas.

“We’re in a great position to address this issue,” she said.

Chophouse coming to Deco 969 

Broadway 10 Bar & Chophouse is coming to Fort Worth.

The Oklahoma City-based chophouse will be an 8,500-square-foot restaurant on the ground floor of Deco 969, a 302-unit, 27-story residential tower. The building is expected to open in March.

Broadway 10 is owned and operated by Provision Concepts. The original Broadway 10 in Oklahoma City opened in 2014 in a building that was originally a Buick dealership in the 1920s.

“All of our steaks are hand-cut in-house and grilled to perfection over a blend of pecan, hickory and oak. Aside from steaks, we have a range of delectable seafood choices, appetizers, sushi, sides and, of course, an incredible bar selection,” a spokesperson for Provision Concepts said.

Wind Point acquires Fort Worth’s MOREgroup 

Wind Point Partners, a private equity group in Chicago, acquired Fort Worth-based MOREgroup, a collection of architecture, design and engineering brands with sector-focused expertise in the education, health care and federal markets from Godspeed Capital.

MOREgroup was started by Godspeed Capital in March 2022 through a partnership with Fort Worth-based Huckabee Architects and later included the acquisitions of Rachlin Partners, TSK Architects, Image Engineering Group, and E4H.

MOREgroup currently has over 700 employees in 17 offices across the country.

Wind Point acquired MOREgroup in January 2024 in partnership with management, led by CEO Chris Huckabee and Executive President LaShae Baskin.

MOREgroup’s senior management team will continue leading the business and has retained a meaningful ownership stake alongside Wind Point.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Wind Point, who brings a strong track record of success in engineering services, a deep executive network and the resources to support our growth as we continue to do more for our clients and communities,” Huckabee said in a news release. “MOREgroup was founded on the idea of, ‘What we do matters, but how we do it matters more.’ As a family of brands, we embrace innovation and collaboration as the key to generating greater impact through our work.”

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Real estate transactions: 

  • Lockheed Martin Corp. leased 136,165 square feet at Fort West Commerce Center in Fort Worth. Todd Burnette and John Davidson withJLL represented the tenant. Matt Carthey and George Jennings withHolt Lunsford Commercial represented the landlord, Creation Equity.
  • Eaglerise Renewable Energy (USA) Inc leased 122,779 square feet at Mark IV, Fort Worth. Brad Balkewith Colliersrepresented the tenant. Matt Carthey and George Jennings with Holt Lunsford Commercial represented the landlord, Alpha Industrial.
  • RecirQ leased 49,072 square feet at 2901 Northern Crossing in Fort Worth. Todd Hawpe with Transwestern represented the tenant. George Jennings with Holt Lunsford Commercial represented the landlord, Mastertronics.
  • Bluehook Tool Company LLC leased 1,734 square feet at Mallick in Fort Worth. Jerry Bolz with Worth Commercial represented the tenant. Vic Meyer and Jake Neal with Holt Lunsford Commercial represented the landlord, Mallick Tower.

Do you have something for the Bob on Business column? Email Bob Francis at  

Bob Francis is business editor for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

This article first appeared on Fort Worth Report and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.