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City Place Complex

Downtown Construction Photographs Old Tandy Center

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#1 Brian Luenser

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 02:11 PM

Have been surprised that there has not been Forum chat about the big news this week. That the City Place complex is in a contract for sale. Biggest deal of the year it would seem. For those that don't know what we are talking about, this is the 2 Tandy Towers and everything between them. It is bordered by 3rd street on the South, Throckmorton on the East, Taylor on the West and Weatherford on the North. A lot of real estate. Not to repeat the attached article I read in the Star Telegram, but they remodeled the City Two Tower (the one on the North side) and the City One Tower, on the south side was going to be built into condos before the great recession hit. They could not get financing after that. I bet they are glad they couldn't. The Country's economic turmoil has been deep and wide. (You mean I have to pay back the loan I promised to pay? Even if I made a bad choice and am now upside down on my loan?)

Pretty easy choice. Fort Worth has done great on its commercial occupancy. This company thinks we have already bottomed. I agree. (Witchcraft of course) I think, give or take 6 months, we have hit a bottom. Offices seem like a much better choice than condos. Of course with another skyscraper full of offices the condo market will be greatful. (A lot of those workers want to walk to work.)

http://www.star-tele...ad-revival.html

A few photos from yesterday evening...
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#2 John T Roberts

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 06:17 PM

Brian, I was going to post my synopsis of the article, but I didn't get to it this week. Thanks for posting and this should give us some good discussion.

#3 David Love

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 06:53 PM

A Dallas company investing in downtown Fort Worth... hmmm, there has to be a jab in there somewhere.

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#4 JKC

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 07:27 PM

Timing and current condo market aside, I have some disappointment that it isn't going to be residential. IMO, the two best parts of the plan, which dates back to 2002, was the opening of 2nd street and the condos in the south tower. Neither of these were done. This article reads just like the articles dating back to 2002.

Signs of life will be positive.

#5 David Love

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 08:15 PM

It's appeared as though some work has been ongoing, any time I'm on my balcony, I've noticed lights, drop cloths, ladders and the like. Not much else.

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#6 jefffwd

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 07:03 AM

There was something in that article that caught my eye...

Two major corporations are looking to move to Fort Worth this year

Anybody know anything about this???

#7 Sam Stone

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 07:36 AM

There was a short blurb in the Business Press saying something similar, but it didn't say who.

#8 Urbndwlr

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 01:07 PM

I understand and somewhat agree with JKC that it is somehwat dissapointing that this tower didn't become filled with residents, as I think it would have been good for Downtown had it been converted to condos and sold and occupied sucecessfully. With hindsight, that would perhaps have been too many condos heading into the big housing downturn though.

It is still a step in the right direction for Downtown if it is nicely redeveloped, as was the first tower. Growing the total supply of office space gradually and steadily is a good thing. We have about 50,000 people working downtown now and it will be positive if it grows much more into an even greater center of economic activity and employment. If this building winds up having approx 300,000 SF of occupied office space, that translates to approx 850-1000 employees daily - right in the heart of the Downtown core - supporting restaurants, other businesses Downtown, and providing more people who are good candidates to live in central city neighborhoods.

#9 RD Milhollin

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 05:55 PM

SOLD!

http://www.star-tele...adlines-default

#10 John T Roberts

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 03:50 PM

The article reports that the low rise section between the two buildings will be demolished and Second Street will not be put back into the street grid. Overall, I think this is good for downtown, but I still would have liked to see some of that superblock reduced.

#11 Thurman52

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 09:28 AM

Dowtown Review Board is going to have a work session on their June agenda to review this project and the proposal.

#12 David Love

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 08:27 PM

I think opening that part of 2nd street would have been a good thing for downtown, it currently forces people to drive into Sundance pedestrian traffic when they're typically just trying to find a parking space or get to the west side of Sundance, one wrong turn and it forces you right back downtown.

I'll have to admit that if I owned the square footage a street takes up I'd not turn it loose without some serious compensation.

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#13 Thurman52

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 08:26 AM

MidWest Wrecking set up fencing and signs Thursday along the Taylor St side of the complex. I did not look at the otherside, I guess they are going to start demo work?

#14 JKC

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 10:48 AM

I think opening that part of 2nd street would have been a good thing for downtown, it currently forces people to drive into Sundance pedestrian traffic when they're typically just trying to find a parking space or get to the west side of Sundance, one wrong turn and it forces you right back downtown.

I'll have to admit that if I owned the square footage a street takes up I'd not turn it loose without some serious compensation.

I agree that it would help traffic. There may still be hope, they seem to be already considering a pedestrian passage/plaza. It would be expensive to put it back on the street grid due to the underground vaults and utilities. If they were to put it back on the grid, they might need help to make it financially sensible.

#15 David Love

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 05:44 PM


I think opening that part of 2nd street would have been a good thing for downtown, it currently forces people to drive into Sundance pedestrian traffic when they're typically just trying to find a parking space or get to the west side of Sundance, one wrong turn and it forces you right back downtown.

I'll have to admit that if I owned the square footage a street takes up I'd not turn it loose without some serious compensation.

I agree that it would help traffic. There may still be hope, they seem to be already considering a pedestrian passage/plaza. It would be expensive to put it back on the street grid due to the underground vaults and utilities. If they were to put it back on the grid, they might need help to make it financially sensible.

Since the whole purpose of the plaza is to make downtown more walkable it might be worth considering.

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#16 John T Roberts

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 06:37 PM

In the DDRB information that I received last week, it appears that 2nd Street is going to be reopened.

#17 David Love

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 07:02 PM

In the DDRB information that I received last week, it appears that 2nd Street is going to be reopened.

I use to be able to whine about some items downtown, but lately they seem to always be one step ahead.

:P

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#18 Brian Luenser

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 08:10 PM

They are sure enough rock'n & roll'n on the City Place Complex. Each day I head for work it looks different.

Looking North on Throckmorton

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Looking South on Throckmorton
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Looking South on Taylor
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Sure enough looks like they are running 2nd street through to me...
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#19 John T Roberts

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 10:09 PM

It looks like they are finally moving along with visible demolition. We will have to wait and see what unfolds.

#20 David Love

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 12:28 PM

It looks like they are finally moving along with visible demolition. We will have to wait and see what unfolds.

Word to the wise, every time they go into serious construction in this location Taylor street is riddled with tire damaging debris, mostly the kind you don't see until it's sticking out of your tire.

Most bizarre piece I've picked up, a 1/4 inch allen wrench.

So glad to see work taking place though.

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#21 Brian Luenser

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 12:41 PM

Has anybody seen my 1/4" Allen wrench?
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#22 David Love

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 03:51 PM

Has anybody seen my 1/4" Allen wrench?

I still have it... LOL bit of wear on one side though.

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#23 John T Roberts

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 04:53 PM

The DDRB Agenda has just been released and it appears that 2nd Street will only be open to pedestrians. Here is the case description from the City of Fort Worth:

150 Throckmorton Street; Spire City Place

Owner/Applicant: Spire Realty Group, LP/WDG Architecture Dallas, PLLC


Requests a Certificate of Appropriateness to:
  • Construct a parking structure with street level retail between the existing towers;
  • Reopen the abandoned 2nd Street to pedestrians as landscaped mews and urban plaza with additional street level retail along the pedestrian mews;
  • Construct a new shell office annex attached to the south tower; and
  • Construct site improvements.


#24 David Love

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 09:19 AM

The DDRB Agenda has just been released and it appears that 2nd Street will only be open to pedestrians. Here is the case description from the City of Fort Worth:

150 Throckmorton Street; Spire City Place

Owner/Applicant: Spire Realty Group, LP/WDG Architecture Dallas, PLLC


Requests a Certificate of Appropriateness to:

  • Construct a parking structure with street level retail between the existing towers;
  • Reopen the abandoned 2nd Street to pedestrians as landscaped mews and urban plaza with additional street level retail along the pedestrian mews;
  • Construct a new shell office annex attached to the south tower; and
  • Construct site improvements.

Bummer about 2nd, still should look nice though...

So who "abandoned" it anyway? If it was still there I know I'd use it, I think a better choice of words would be the Acquired, Taken or Stolen 2nd Street, I know a lot of visitors to downtown would find it very useful to be able to get around Sundance without having to go back to Belknap or Weatherford.

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#25 Thurman52

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 08:50 AM

Walked downtown this morning and I was shocked to see the ammount of demo already completed. Looking through the 2nd street was nice to see.

#26 John T Roberts

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 09:52 PM

"Abandoned" is the legal term given to where the city gives up the street and its right-of-way. When the city "abandons" that street, it gives up control, maintenance, and all responsibility for it. Usually, it is turned over to private interests for development as they see fit. Sometimes, the private entity keeps the street in place and then maintains it.

#27 John T Roberts

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 09:38 PM

I was downtown this afternoon and major demolition has started. I apologize for the quality of these photos, but they were taken with my phone.

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#28 Brian Luenser

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 08:00 PM

Not significantly better than John's phone pics, but I think I will post these just the same. (They were above average phone shots) I would see a huge plume of dust come out of this area from time to time today as the demolition activities continued. I have been in New York City this week for a funeral. (My Mom's sister, Eleanor) Was surprised by the progress on this project when I got back. P.S. In New York City, I got caught in a 4 hour traffic jam on I-95 and missed my plane by 2 hours. Fun place.

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Ice skating anyone?
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#29 John T Roberts

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 08:37 PM

Brian, I'm glad you got one looking into the rink. With the cell phone, I wasn't able to get a good shot looking into the rink.

#30 Volare

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 09:45 AM

P.S. In New York City, I got caught in a 4 hour traffic jam on I-95 and missed my plane by 2 hours. Fun place.


Standard operation for cities up and down the east and west coasts...

#31 Brian Luenser

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 10:34 AM

Had never been in traffic like that. I only now realize what "Caught in a traffic jam" really means. I had no options except abandoned my rental car and walk. I could have walked my last 18 miles of the 50 miles faster than I went. I turned on the local AM station for a traffic report after a few hours and they just said like 20 streets and highways were "Heavy". Heavy? I figured there had to be 3 upside down school buses some place. Nope. Not even a stalled car. I had tried to convince my wife and sisters to take the train. And then with great restraint I refrained from giving them the "We cold have been there hours ago had we take the train" line.

La Guardia Airport. A dump held together with duct tape. When we got to DFW airport I felt like Royalty. And the 41 other cars on 183 did not bother me a bit.

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#32 Volare

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 09:10 PM

Now you understand why I chuckle when people refer to our daily 5-10 mile hastle on I-35W or Airport Freeway as "gridlock" or something that must be immediately fixed or the whole city is going to crumble and fall into the Gulf of Mexico. Such hyperbole simply shows that one hasn't travelled very far and seen what large portions of the US population refer to as a "commute."

And yes, LGA is a dump. I have the displeasure of flying into there tomorrow and overnighting. Probably one of the worst TSA checkpoints in the country. I refer to it as "LaGarbagea" and I find it fitting that it sits in a town called Flushing.

#33 John T Roberts

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 08:47 AM

In some ways, I hate to see the low rise portion being demolished. I always liked the ice rink/atrium space. However, the mall portion of the Tandy Center was never successful and it was an urban design nightmare. It was also very unfriendly to the pedestrian. Hopefully, the new additions to the towers will add something to the character of downtown instead of taking away from it.

#34 AndyN

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 09:40 AM

"Abandoned" is the legal term given to where the city gives up the street and its right-of-way. When the city "abandons" that street, it gives up control, maintenance, and all responsibility for it. Usually, it is turned over to private interests for development as they see fit. Sometimes, the private entity keeps the street in place and then maintains it.


IIRC, the city has an obligation to the public to try to sell the right-of-way at market rates. I don't recall seeing any cases where some consideration wasn't paid for the street right-of-way.

Right-of-way and road pavement are two different things. There are many road rights-of-way that are dedicated but never opened or improved.

It is likely that the developer of the site approached the city about purchasing the 2nd street right-of-way. There were probably public hearings at the time and a vote by P&Z and/or the city council. At that time, the right-of-way was vacated and the land sold to the developer. Generally speaking, when a street is abandoned, the landowners on either side of the street have first option at purchasing to the centerline. I assume a replat would have to be filed to rededicate the 2nd Street r.o.w.
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#35 johnfwd

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 12:07 PM

tou

In some ways, I hate to see the low rise portion being demolished. I always liked the ice rink/atrium space. However, the mall portion of the Tandy Center was never successful and it was an urban design nightmare. It was also very unfriendly to the pedestrian. Hopefully, the new additions to the towers will add something to the character of downtown instead of taking away from it.

I was not in Fort Worth when the ice rink/atrium space was built, but agree that it was a nioe recreational attraction for residents and tourists. Wasn't it also a stopping place when the old Tandy subway was running? Reminds me of the outdoor ice skating rink in downtown New Orleans. The thought has now occurred to me that FW lacks the "spark" that attracts tourists, aside from Sundance Square which is currenly a static place between events. When I think of downtown I think only of outoor eating and drinking places, particularly on Houston Street. Yes, we have arts festivals but they are few and far between. And, hate to say it (I'm an FW native) but our downtown skyline is dismal (even Dallas has that tower thing with bauble on top). What can Fort Worth do to show the world it's an exciting place to live and work?

#36 Brian Luenser

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 07:18 PM

2 recent shots at the progress of this project.

From Taylor street looking East. (on Second)
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On Second looking West.
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#37 David Love

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 11:12 AM

Nice to see some progress, I take walking treks that direction just to see what's going on...

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#38 Brian Luenser

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 12:33 PM

I plan to go shoot another pic or two of this demo later today as it changed hugely yesterday afternoon while I was slaving away at my desk at work. I took this first shot yesterday morning when I heard a really loud noise (Like an explosion) The Second shot was after walking over to see what all the noise was about.



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#39 John T Roberts

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 02:19 PM

Well, it looks like the old Dillard's Department Store portion is nearly gone.

#40 renamerusk

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 03:55 PM

Brian, thanks for all the great pictures; your efforts are greatly appreciated by me and I'll bet by others too.

Keep Fort Worth folksy

#41 jefffwd

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 07:39 AM

Watch a big chunck come down... pretty cool!



#42 John T Roberts

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 06:32 PM

Before I even saw the image, I thought your post would reveal them knocking the old atrium out.

#43 Brian Luenser

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 06:32 AM

Was always curious what the deal was with that atrium. Like what it was used for in the Radio Shack days etc...

Shot from yesterday...

From Taylor Street looking East.
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#44 jefffwd

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 07:14 AM

Found this on YouTube...

#45 Brian Luenser

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 12:34 PM

Another great video find Jeff! Really is amazing that a news clip like that is out there. Pretty interesting to see all the stuff in that mall. I did not live downtown then and only flew through there on my jury duty breaks. Marketing is such a crazy beast. (what works and what doesn't) Watching that news story you can't help but think, "Wow, this place is going to do great!" And now the whole structure is in little chunks on the back of an old truck heading for some concrete resting place.

I am sure anxious to see what comes of this center. ie,. is City Place One going to be a Hotel? Last they spoke the development company was trying to decide between offices and a hotel. If it were my money? I would convert to a hotel. Just too often our hotels are full. And some huge conventions will only put a city on their radar screen if they have a certain number of hotel rooms. Of course feeding empty hotel rooms stinks. But also too much office space stinks. It does seem like with the new Cowboys stadium there will be more hotel bust'n events like this last weekend. Let's don't send them someplace else, or even not come at all...
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#46 John T Roberts

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 01:23 PM

Brian, the atrium was the main vertical circulation space inside the old mall. The stores centered around that area and it had two elevators that served all levels, including the parking level and the roof of the entire mall structure.

I think it is easier to deal with empty office space because the building can be easily mothballed and when the market picks up, then the space can be filled fairly rapidly. Once a building is converted into a hotel, that limits the future use.

#47 John T Roberts

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 05:33 PM

Brian, I also think that the Tandy Center is a good example of how super blocks and indoor downtown malls do not work. If you couldn't tell, the complex was built in phases as the Tandy Corporation built where vacated buildings were and around existing buildings to remain. The portion where the elevators and atrium was located, was the last portion of the building built because that was on the site of the old Leonard's Home Store. Dillard's was still in the building until the new department store was built on the block to the south and attached to the second tower. This was the first portion of the mall demolished. The ice skating rink and north tower were constructed first, then the south tower and the new department store. The last piece was built in the middle connecting the two.

The new Dillard's store featured no windows and the late 1970's Tandy Center closed First and Second Streets and built building bridges over Weatherford and Throckmorton Streets. Yes, pedestrian traffic was decreasing at this time, but the new Dillard's did not have as much business as it did in it's older locations with plenty of windows along all four street facades. The mall was always mostly vacant, and the only place where the stores really seemed to congregate was around the ice rink and subway stop. By the early 1990's the mall was dead and Dillard's had closed. In 1996, when the mall was revitalized as the Fort Worth Outlet Square, it still had plenty of room for additional stores that never moved in. The redesign added windows along Throckmorton and Taylor, but it still was inward facing and the super block concept kept many pedestrians away. I will give them credit for providing a section of the mall that ran east and west that connected the two sections of Second Street. Although it was a half-hearted attempt, it did help to provide a little bit of pedestrian passage through the building on the Second Street axis.

I'm hoping that the new infill buildings will be more inviting to the pedestrian and they will be successful.

#48 Brian Luenser

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 11:29 AM

Some shots from this Sunday morning. (Sunday Morning is a great time to be in the middle of the street with my tripod.)

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Flags flying on 9-11
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#49 David Love

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 12:16 PM

I didn't realize the demolition was going to be so extensive...

Better Business Bureau:  A place to find or post valid complaints for auto delerships and maintenance facilities. (New Features) If you have a valid gripe about auto dealerships, this is the place to voice it.


#50 John T Roberts

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 04:33 PM

The demolition is basically everything between the two towers, except for the one bay south of the north tower. It looks as if the west wall of that new entry court has already been upgraded.





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