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Central Tourism District

Redefinding the CBD

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#101 renamerusk

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 08:16 PM

..... But, despite extensive discussion here from proponents and opponents of a downtown aimed at  tourists and permanent residents, it's still a central business district.  It  needs a strong office and retail market.  

 

Office/employment decisions should not be the purview of a city.  Businesses create and eliminate jobs; and as it has always been, controlling labor costs and striving for productivity is what businesses do by investing in technology and downsizing where ever the possibility present itself.  Cities create and invest in neighborhoods.  

 

The City is doing exactly as it should be doing - creating the environment for a vibrant Downtown Neighborhood - improvement to the CC; building a new arena; the beautification of the Downtown.  High among the thing that the City should be doing is taking steps to secure a sufficient supply of affordable housing in Downtown. A mixture consisting of a greater proportion of residential to employment will lessen the impact of future employment downsizing; sustain a healthy retail sector; and vibrant pedestrian and leisure sector.

 

That the hotel and residential markets are keen to come into Downtown, while at the same time, employment is leaving or remaining static is a sign that Fort Worth is headed in the correct direction.

 

Even though it still seems like a central business district, the future business of Downtown will be tourism, residential, hospitality and entertainment.



#102 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 12:54 AM

[SNIP]


 

That the hotel and residential markets are keen to come into Downtown, while at the same time, employment is leaving or remaining static is a sign that Fort Worth is headed in the correct direction.

 

Even though it still seems like a central business district, the future business of Downtown will be tourism, residential, hospitality and entertainment.

 

 

Why does downtown have to lose employment in order to gain residents and visitors? They are not mutually exclusive.

 

We're moving in the correct direction when it comes to hospitality, but we're stepping backwards when it comes to employment.


- Dylan


#103 tamtagon

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 06:05 AM

Office workers will increase in and around a downtown that's increasingly a better place to live as well as a more popular leisure destination. 



#104 johnfwd

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 07:15 AM

Office workers will increase in and around a downtown that's increasingly a better place to live as well as a more popular leisure destination. 

Often I see two sides of an argument.  I hope you're right about an increase in office workers downtown.  However, office workers don't just rent housing and show up as tourists...the point about CBD vs. CTD is that Class A Office buildings enjoy increased occupancy.  When that happens, it doesn't matter whether office workers live in or outside downtown.  Tourism, of course, is a different marketing strategy.

 

One trend away from Class A Office building occupancy downtown (unfortunately!) is for corporations to favor "horizontal" designed campuses.  Radio Shack locally was part of this trend when it preferred the low-rise river-front campus (that is now TCC's downtown campus).  Lately TXO/Exxon has moved from a high-rise downtown tower to a new low-rise corporate campus near Houston.

 

One underlying contributing factor for preference for low-rise corporate campuses is the trend away from the vertical hierarchical organization model (i.e., the big execs occupy the top floors and supporting cast on the lower floors).  This is not a new trend...the horizontal organization model began in the 1970s when U.S. corporations started to imitate the Japanese style of teamwork--that is to say, allowing the workers to participate with the big execs in the decision-making process.  A decentralization of a sort.  When a corporation adopts this model they prefer to be on the same structural plane as the workers.  Ergo, the low-rise corporate campus. 

 

There are other factors for low-rise corporate campuses--among them the pleasurable aesthetic of working closer to trees, flowers, and lakes.  Another factor is the desire to work in the suburbs rather than downtown because it's a less stressful environment and easier transportation access.  This doesn't mean that all corporate campuses will be low-rise structures.  There are exceptions (see Post#54).

 

The point I'm making against CBD is that this trend may be adverse to the high-rise office tower downtown.  It's only going to be more adverse in the future as land scarcity downtown results in vertical rather than horizontal building construction.



#105 renamerusk

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 09:39 AM

Office workers will increase in and around a downtown that's increasingly a better place to live as well as a more popular leisure destination. 

 

 I agree with your predication.  Young people living in Downtown will become an attractive labor market for employers and retailers.  People of all income brackets will dine in the restaurants and enjoy the entertainment of Downtown.  Tourists and conventioneers will add to the mixture. 

 

Downtown Fort Worth is the responsibility of the City.  The responsibility of Downtown can not be left to the office market alone.



#106 renamerusk

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 10:08 AM

A recent trip through Austin and an overnight in San Antonio is more convincing evidence that tourism and conventions/conferences is the way forward for Downtown. 

 

Austin is a hive of hotels and high rise residential towers (brand names illuminated 30/40 stories in sky) and San Antonio was filled with meetings of groups from all across the state. 

 

The key for ginning up Fort Worth will be getting the convention center expanded and improved.  This should be done yesterday.



#107 JBB

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 10:36 AM

And no plan to fund it or make it happen tomorrow, or the day after that, or the day after that...

Not including the Convention Center expansion and a makeover of the Will Rogers complex in the arena bond package might have been the safe play, but it wasn't the smart one.

#108 John T Roberts

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 10:51 AM

I think there will have to be another bond election with money allocated to demolish the existing arena and build new convention space within its place.  I know there has also been some talk about building another Convention Center Hotel that would be physically attached to the center, itself.  Would the hotel be included in the bond, or would that be with private money on public property?



#109 JBB

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 10:57 AM

I would rather see a private developer fund another hotel or at least under the same arrangement as the Omni. If there's not a real market for at the least a similar arrangement, I'm not interested in seeing the city get into the hotel business.

#110 renamerusk

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 10:59 AM

....Not including the Convention Center expansion and a makeover of the Will Rogers complex in the arena bond package might have been the safe play, but it wasn't the smart one.

 

Yes, it was not smart; it was unchecked and entitlement based influence on which would go first or even if the convention center will ever be expanded.

 

Seemingly, the decision was to placate the WRMC interest over Downtown.  The cynical part of me thinks that more outside hotels and residential developers would be seen as a threat to the major stakeholder's grip on Downtown; and it is why a second independent square is needed to loosen that grip. 

 

Austin and San Antonio are testaments to a unfettered tourism and conference strategy as outside developers have flooded each city's downtown.



#111 johnfwd

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 02:06 PM

I would rather see a private developer fund another hotel or at least under the same arrangement as the Omni. If there's not a real market for at the least a similar arrangement, I'm not interested in seeing the city get into the hotel business.

 

Seems to me that current plans to build a number of hotels by private developers is filling the need for more hotel rooms in downtown Fort Worth.  These plans include two or three high-rise hotels in the immediate vicinity of the Convention Center.  Is there even a need for the City of Fort Worth to get into the hotel business?



#112 JBB

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 02:26 PM

The city has stated that there's a need for another hotel similar to the Omni that could possibly be directly connected to the convention center. I believe the idea is that the new space won't be needed until the arena is demolished and replaced with more exhibit and meeting areas.

I also believe John is making a reference to the history behind the development of the Omni. The city attempted to build a convention center hotel in the early 00s that was to be city owned and operated. The project was to be paid for with bonds that were not voter approved. A large petition campaign to have the project go on the ballot was successful and the project in that form was scuttled. Omni was brought in to the talks and, rather than a publicly financed hotel, they were given massive tax breaks to build the hotel/condo building that exists today.

To give a much shorter answer, I don't think there's ever a need for a city government to own and operate a hotel.

#113 renamerusk

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 03:48 PM

Regardless, it was and continues to be a bad decision to delay and to delay the convention project.  Hotel and convention planners need to know that Fort Worth is serious about this business in spite of the City continuous capitulation to its imperial family who never ever seems satisfied or willing to relinquish power and influence for its own self benefit.



#114 rriojas71

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 05:34 PM

....Not including the Convention Center expansion and a makeover of the Will Rogers complex in the arena bond package might have been the safe play, but it wasn't the smart one.

 
Austin and San Antonio are testaments to a unfettered tourism and conference strategy as outside developers have flooded each city's downtown.
The one difference with trying to compare us with Austin & San Antonio and getting tourists, conventions and conferences is that neither of them have a larger city 30 miles to the East that battling for those same conventions.

#115 renamerusk

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 06:25 PM

The one difference with trying to compare us with Austin & San Antonio and getting tourists, conventions and conferences is that neither of them have a larger city 30 miles to the East that battling for those same conventions.....

 

Even though that is true, the situation inow is that Fort Worth does not have ample infrastructure currently in place (hotels, space) to bid for comparable conventions and conferences; so it is not entirely a function of a larger city within a short distance.  For now, this gives Dallas an advantage. 

 

Both Austin and San Antonio have developed their own identities: Austin weird and cool; San Antonio lovely and historic.  Fort Worth on the other hand is not definitive in owning its identity and continues to see as  "DFW is a city baloney"; and for which Fort Worth regularly becomes viewed as an extension of the larger city.

 

A few things need to happen:

 

1. Have national convention facilities (space/hotels)

2. establish more entertainment venues beyond Sundance Square yet within Downtown

3. create/identify a national/global industry and have it become associated with Fort Worth



#116 johnfwd

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 08:12 AM

We've discussed here ad infinitem, but that's okay, that Fort Worth is viewed as part of the DFW metroplex.  The Cowtown culture of FW has also been a frequent topic but I think the media and maybe the public at large still view the Stockyards as our identity.  I'm impressed by your item #2, the location of more entertainment venues sans SS downtown.  Got any particular venue in mind?



#117 renamerusk

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 09:25 AM

..... the location of more entertainment venues sans SS downtown.  Got any particular venue in mind?

 

A great and fun question to answer.

 

Whats came to mind in the past: SE sector (ITC/CC/A&M); or SW sector (City Hall/T&P); or NW sector (W of Taylor/N of 3rd); any of which have been and still remain on my wish-list.

 

The NW sector has always seemed to be neglected perhaps because of the "psychological barrier" that the Tandy Center/City Place complex created. 

 

If and when 3rd Street is redesign to connect the NW sector with the "Throckmorton/Houston/Main" corridors, the NW sector can flourish as a high and mid-rise residential neighborhood.  The NW sector has remarkable access/infrastructure in place now: Henderson St (199), 7th St., Forest Park Blvd,  Belknap-Weatherford Sts., TCC - "a developer's dream".   And then there is the "riverfront". 

 

The "riverfront" or what has evolved into the Panther Island Pavilion (PIP) is a grassroot, corporate-less entertainment venue which targets a different market from the establishment core market. Evidently, developers now see this sector as the place where ownership is not in the hands of a single entity and that has the potential for outside developers to enter Downtown in an area close to both the  Cultural District and the Business District. The PIP neighborhood, happily to my surprise at least, will likely change and add to the profile of Downtown by infilling the area between SS and SH199.

 

In the future, Henderson@Belknap-Weatherford will become the major crossroad of Downtown.  A second transit center should be added to this sector ( transit line/City Place).

 

I am sure that I am leaving out something, but it is exciting to see new outside developers making a push into Downtown.






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