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#106687 Fort Worth Stockyards

Posted by RD Milhollin on 17 October 2017 - 09:55 PM in Commercial

RD, wouldn't building a replica of something that was demolished long ago, contribute to the "Disneyland" effect that most of the people involved in saving the Stockyards (including the Murrins) have tried to keep from happening?

 

No I don't think so. Disneyland is make-believe built on green fields; The building I referenced was once there, destroyed in a fire I believe, and along with the bookend Swift building across the street was an integral part of the initial design of the stockyards complex.




#106652 Tearing Out Freeways: A Third Option

Posted by RD Milhollin on 16 October 2017 - 11:42 PM in Urban Design and Planning

Dallas to consider taking out I-345 and rejoining Downtown to Deep Ellum:

 

http://www.nbcdfw.co...-451191403.html




#106636 Street Grid: The Urban Footprint

Posted by RD Milhollin on 15 October 2017 - 03:43 PM in Urban Design and Planning

I found a short article that touches on a few areas of interest that have been presented several times on this forum. The author seems to do a good job of summarizing and illustrating several aspects of an urban street grid system. These principles could be applied to a few different areas in Fort Worth, including opening up the street grid in some parts of Southside, redeveloping stagnant Malls such as Ridgmar, and could have been used to make the new Trinity / Chisholm developments more interesting and less suburban/sprawl-y.

 

Optimizing the Street Grid:

A breakdown of the block layouts in different cities, and how they affect the pedestrian experience.

 

by Andrew Alexander Price
August 24, 2017

 

https://marketurbanismreport.com/optimizing-street-grid/

 




#106523 Western Hills

Posted by RD Milhollin on 10 October 2017 - 11:09 PM in Residential

S-T Editorial addressing the issues surrounding Knights Inn on Las Vegas Trail; a list of previous S-T articles about this area is attached to it:

 

http://www.star-tele...e178148666.html




#106522 Fort Worth Stockyards

Posted by RD Milhollin on 10 October 2017 - 11:02 PM in Commercial

The hotel building pictured should be set back and a replica of the historic Armour Office Building, similar to the Swift Office Building, should be placed there. It could house reception, food service, a lounge, etc. with a connection to the hotel proper behind it.




#106516 Oleander

Posted by RD Milhollin on 10 October 2017 - 05:55 PM in Residential

I don't get the flying-flat Gables; decoration only? There doesn't seem to be sun shade or rain shelter advantage with this. It would seem to be a target for wind damage whereas a more traditional design wouldn't. It isn't that I don't like it, it is sort of nicely weird I suppose, but it appears to be structure with no function.




#106498 FW's Next Area to Revitalize?

Posted by RD Milhollin on 09 October 2017 - 11:41 PM in Urban Design and Planning

No sarcasm this time. Texas in general and Fort Worth in particular do not work to provide sensible, whole-life fitness and recreation activities; head butting and brain injury reign supreme, and we excel in childhood drowning to boot. Year-round water recreation needs to be seriously considered for a variety of reasons; search my previous posts for details.




#106497 West 7th Development

Posted by RD Milhollin on 09 October 2017 - 11:29 PM in Commercial

Does "Resort-Style Pool" mean it is only open in the Summer?




#106472 FW's Next Area to Revitalize?

Posted by RD Milhollin on 09 October 2017 - 10:56 AM in Urban Design and Planning

Where is the indoor year-round multi-use natatorium?




#106440 Western Hills

Posted by RD Milhollin on 08 October 2017 - 10:09 AM in Residential

Serious problems afoot at the Knights Inn Hotel on Las Vegas Trail south of I-30. 

 

The Star-Telegram has an article about the trouble there but you have to look it up, firewall...

 

Lots of chronic poverty, chronic unemployment, drug abuse and all that goes with it. It looks as if the city has a multi-agency in place to address the immediate issues at the hotel, but I wonder if there are other agencies, public and private, that are involved in addressing the root issues in the neighborhood. While the code and compliance issues at the hotel sound pretty bad, and no doubt are due in part to poor management by the owners, they are visible symptoms of deeper problems faced by the people who live in the community. How is the school district involved? The closest city recreation and community is RD Evans on the other side of Alta Mere, several miles away. Job training, employment counseling, sports opportunities, after-school programs, etc. would seem to be severely needed in this area. Surely all the construction slated to happen just to the west of this area with the Walsh (Ranch) projects could provide opportunities for job training and employment for people in this area looking for opportunities.

 

There was a series of S-T articles about the plight of the greater Las Vegas Trail area that can be accessed by a search for "Las Vegas Trail" at the S-T home page.




#106438 New Will Rogers Arena

Posted by RD Milhollin on 08 October 2017 - 09:41 AM in Public & Institutional

S-T's Max Baker got into the construction site and filed a video progress report on the new Dickies Arena:

 

http://www.star-tele...e176977176.html




#106437 Elon Musk is teasing Texas again - Hyperloop

Posted by RD Milhollin on 08 October 2017 - 09:33 AM in Transportation

More Texas (and Fort Worth) Hyperloop stuff, this time from S-T transportation writer Gordon Dickson:

 

http://www.star-tele...e177393856.html

 

I can appreciate that the Hyperloop concept is thinking outside the box but I don't see any significant operational advantages over a high-speed rail system. Given the cost of constructing the track/tube needed and of electrifying a track segment enough to levitate the pods, why is the H-L concept more cost effective? HSR needs expensive trackage and requires electricity as well. Is the speed all that important? the comparison seems to be about 45 minutes Dallas to Houston vs 1.5 hours. Does the privacy of the individual pods make H-L more attractive? Trains in Europe have cars configured with individual compartments and have had for years. Safety concerns may be a deal-breaker; HSR accidents, although infrequent, seem to be about as serious as plane crashes, also very infrequent. In the H-L if the power went out are the passengers able to make an emergency exit into the tube, and how far would they have to hike to exit the system? The same development and construction hurdles faced by H-L are those facing HSR; I wonder if Elon Musk would be more effective in affecting US transportation by sticking with developing more production capacity for high-quality electric cars and investing in advanced HSR (Mag-Lev, etc.) between major cities?

 

The article mentions a proposed H-L test line terminating in Fort Worth, Dallas, and connecting to DFW Airport. This would probably be a good way to test the feasibility of the concept on a limited scale, but if they do it I hope the infrastructure built could be easily converted to support more conventional HSR tracks if H-L is proven to be impractical, for whatever reason.




#106428 Varsity Tavern - 6th highest alcohol sales in June in Tarrant Co.

Posted by RD Milhollin on 07 October 2017 - 10:18 AM in Arts and Entertainment

Why is Lone Star Park in the Tarrant County list?




#105938 Trinity River Vision

Posted by RD Milhollin on 18 September 2017 - 05:16 AM in Public & Institutional

I wonder if it is too late to change the design of those supports so they look more like an  "A" and less like a "V"?




#105925 Top of Building Signage - Yes, or No?

Posted by RD Milhollin on 17 September 2017 - 10:12 AM in Urban Design and Planning

I voted YES.

 

I also feel that if they are allowed some basic caveats should put in place to limit their use; public safety and potential hazards are of course at the top of such a list. I would suggest that limiting the sign to a logo and a company or building name; no "Building" or Center" etc. Also, no physically moving parts or animations should be allowed. I am sure there are existing downtown sign ordinances that could be mined for ideas, but simplicity should be encouraged and appropriateness carefully defined.




#105827 "Left Bank"

Posted by RD Milhollin on 14 September 2017 - 10:21 PM in Commercial

The traffic situation (i.e. ingress/egress) is pretty awful. I am pretty surprised that the fire department would sign off on building that much residential with one-way-in-one-way-out, assuming trains are stopped on the tracks where the access from Monkey Plaza was supposed to be. Massive missed opportunity; the planning and permits office needs to be working to decide how such a glitch slipped through the established processes.




#105631 Free Downtown Parking Being Revisited

Posted by RD Milhollin on 10 September 2017 - 09:35 AM in City Issues

The S-T's Bud Kennedy weighs in on the "Free Parking" question with "Fort Worth's Romance with Free Parking and Why It's Headed for a Messy Breakup"

 

http://www.star-telegram.com/living/article172092357.html 

 

He covers the old Leonard's Subway, Sundance Square and public subsidization, Will Rogers area Western Heritage Garage, West 7th / Crockett Row, The Dash, The "4-block rule", parking meters, Stockyards Disneyfication, city zoning requirements, driverless cars and possible consequences for parking

 

... and even hovercrafts and sacred cows!

 

This is necessarily a generalized review and overview, and does not attempt to go into any serious social or economic policy evaluations of the issue; and I am pretty sure all of the aspects he covers have been covered to a greater extent here on the Forum, but it might help the uninitiated citizen to better understand what the reasons might be when the can't find a free space or have to pay for a close one. As regards the title; I read the article twice and really can't see where he covered why a "messy breakup" is on the way... it seems to be an ongoing long-term relationship in Sundance Square!




#105608 Amazon in search of 2nd headquarters

Posted by RD Milhollin on 09 September 2017 - 12:54 PM in City Issues

Some reasons that the Panther Island site might suit the criteria Amazon is looking for in a location for their HQ2:

 

 

  • Metropolitan areas with more than one million people:

Fort Worth is rapidly approaching the 1M population mark itself, the surrounding MSA including Dallas has more than 7M, and the Ft Worth/Arlington Metro Census Division has about 2.4M. The DFW Metro area is the 4th most populous in the country.

 

  • A stable and business-friendly environment:

The area is well-known for attracting out-of-state businesses. Dallas is ahead of the curve in this department but Fort Worth has retained Lockheed Martin, Bell Helicopter, Alcon, BNSF and AA for many years. No state income taxes and an affordable cost-of-living would probably appeal to many of the employees who would relocate here.

 

  • Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent:

Hmm, what is this talent pool likely to be attracted to? Education? TCU, UTA, UNT, TWU, Texas Wesleyan, TCC, UTA-FW, Tarleton-FW... Arts? FW Art Museums, Cowboy/Cowgirl, Cliburn competition, Symphony Orchestra, Opera season, Art and Music Festivals, Marathon and mudding events...  Sports: Cowboys, Rangers, Hockey and B-Ball over in Dallas 30 miles away, motor racing, Colonial Golf tournament, Horned Frogs, Vaqueros soccer, and the possibility of a minor league Baseball team right in the middle of the mix, stadium already in place. Theater? Lots of traditional and avant-garde options close by including Casa Mañana, Bass Hall, Stage West, Circle, Jubilee, Amphibian. Hangouts? Stockyards, West 7th, New Southside, Downtown, and probably a whole new area in and around Panther Island. Recreation? Forest-Trinity, Gateway Parks, New state parks west of town and the LBJ Grasslands to the north, Trinity Trails, Trinity River canoeing/kayaking, several large area lakes. Climate... well it is different than Seattle... Except for blazing heat in the middle of summer it is really not too bad. Some rain but plenty of sunshine. Mild winters on the average, nice Spring and Autumn, and who knows, maybe the Summer we are just finishing up is the new normal. I would guess that the architects for Amazon would assure that trees, accommodations for structural shade and breeze, and other climate-mitigating aspects would be built into their designs. Living right next to urban water features should be nice for the employees and residents, but it would of course not be a direct substitute for Lake Washington... 

 

  • Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options:

Is there any larger scale US publicly-directed urban real estate redevelopment currently in the works than the Panther Island project? From the beginning this was pretty audacious, many if not most residents didn't think it would ever see fruition. What was once a decrepit former industrial area with serious environmental concerns is being developed into a unique urban neighborhood... and the final word on what it could be is still very much subject to negotiation. Much of the infrastructure that a relocating company would ask for in initial negotiations is already underway (bridges, streets, utilities) and this is an ideal time in the project timeline for other options that a potential client like Amazon might prefer to be incorporated into the plan. Historically Fort Worth has planned big, ref. Air Force Plant 4, Greater Southwest/Amon Carter Airport, and later DFW Airport. 

 

HQ2 could be, but does not have to be:

  • An urban or downtown campus:

At this point if Amazon opted in they could build out Panther Island to suit what they envision as an ideal Work/Live/Play (oops, sorry) environment best suited for their business needs and the needs of their employees. This is probably where the transportation needs enter into the equation. A streetcar line bisecting the island and connecting it to the Downtown ITC and the Stockyards TEXRail station would assure quick access to DFW airport. DFW is a huge selling point for any corporate relocation as there are non-stop flights to almost anywhere in the US, and an increasing number of foreign destinations, especially in Asia. Not to be forgotten is the option of corporate aviation services at nearby Meacham Airport; If Amazon were to build here I could see that as possibly the necessary tipping-point for a commercial carrier to consider scheduled service to places like LGA, DCA, LAX, oh, and SEA from FTW. This relocation could also be the kick-in-the-pants that would get Fort Worth Transit to initiate commuter train service from Downtown up to the Alliance Corridor; Alliance Airport/multimodal facilities, and existing Amazon installations. Depending on how they were to structure their incentives there might end up being a "reverse" commuter pattern from housing in Panther Island to the fulfillment centers around Alliance.

 

  • A similar layout to Amazon’s Seattle campus:

See above; if Amazon leadership believes that the layout/configuration/composition of their current campus is ideal for their needs they could recreate it on the Island. Alternatively, they could incorporate the best if what they currently have with the best of the environment presented by Panther Island.

 

  • A development-prepped site. We want to encourage states and communities to think creatively for viable real estate options, while not negatively affecting our preferred timeline.

This site just adjacent to downtown Fort Worth would probably be about as turn-key for new development as anywhere they could find that fits their size criteria. Things on the Island have been seemingly dragging along for years now because of the necessity of simultaneously pursuing federal funding every two years while scheduling the spending to acquire, clear, remediate, and replat properties and constructing the new infrastructure called for. It has been a balancing act making sure the resources are there for the development phase being worked on. With a major client like Amazon willing to take up the majority of the developable land on the site I bet work could jackrabbit forward with new private-sector financing secured by a new-found certainty of successful completion; i.e. less speculation. There are also state and COG/Transportation funds that could be accessed to put infrastructure projects on an accelerated track. Panther Island is probably the closest thing Amazon is going to find in terms of a clean slate, prepped and ready to roll for what they envision.

 

That said, Fort Worth should not participate with Dallas in a regional effort; this approach almost always results in these projects ending up in Dallas or Collin Counties, or in Arlington for that matter. I can see a Dallas-Regional bid centering on the Texas Stadium site in Irving... Even the earthquakes there could help to make the Seattle-transplants feel at home. If Amazon expresses interest in the Panther Island option the City, County, COG, and other interested entities (cultural, educational, technical, complementary business) should be prepared to address any anticipated concern that could be brought up during initial negotiations. This is an opportunity that Fort Worth should pursue enthusiastically as there seems to be an excellent match here between what Amazon says they want and what the city has to offer. 




#105385 Most disaster prone city in the US is...

Posted by RD Milhollin on 02 September 2017 - 08:28 AM in City Issues

Interesting that OK City is not on the list considering the tornadoes




#105263 XTO Energy moving 1,600 employees to The Woodlands, selling six of seven buil...

Posted by RD Milhollin on 27 August 2017 - 09:37 PM in Commercial

Would you believe "The Wetlands"...




#105093 SBC/AT&T Building

Posted by RD Milhollin on 20 August 2017 - 01:14 AM in Fort Worth Architecture

If you are referring to "Brutalism" or "Brutalist" as an architectural style, you are way off the mark. This is a brick-sided building. Check out what the terms mean... hint: The answer  is in this forum.




#105058 Washington & Presidential Politics

Posted by RD Milhollin on 18 August 2017 - 11:53 PM in Politics

It is looking more and more like the current situation in the executive branch is unsustainable.




#105057 Gathering Storm in College Station

Posted by RD Milhollin on 18 August 2017 - 11:51 PM in Politics

Several years ago the park shifted from using the Confederate Battle Flag (Stars and Bars) to the national flag, 13 circled stars on a blue quarter field and three stripes. I doubt if most of the torch carrying thugs at Charlottesville would have recognized that as the Confederate flag... Yeah, Six Flags probably over-reacted, but I bet their lawyers are happy. As concerns renaming Jeff Davis Park: Great idea, well past due. "Pappy" O'Daniel Park? Ornette Coleman Park? Fess Parker Park? Alan Bean Park?




#105056 Lancaster Avenue Apartments/Retail/Garage

Posted by RD Milhollin on 18 August 2017 - 11:18 PM in Residential

"Front Street"




#105055 Shady Oak Farm

Posted by RD Milhollin on 18 August 2017 - 11:15 PM in Local History

Too bad this important part of Fort Worth's history was neglected into oblivion. There were lots of very famous and/or influential people who were guests of Mr. Carter there back in the day.