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Sundance Square to add to downtown Fort Worth skyline


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#1 jefffwd

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 10:51 AM

Sundance Square may add to downtown Fort Worth skyline

Article by Betty Dillard of Fort Worth Business Press

Link to article>>> http://www.fwbusines...th-skyline.html

#2 John S.

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 01:49 PM

Jeff,
Sounds good. While the details are a little sketchy I did note David M. Schwarz as the designer-architect. His designs overall have been well received and seem to hold up well over time and blend in well with existing downtown buildings. Some do not like his architectural "historicism" but the brutalist and International Styles have also been flogged pretty well in recent years. Frank Gehry's organic buildings are provocative but few modern architects create anything truly revolutionary and novel-its very tempting to say it's all been done before. But back on topic...this is good news and I thank you for sharing.

#3 Brian Luenser

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 02:01 PM

I live in David Schwarz's attic. (I am in 3401 and he is 3301)

He is really an amazingly accomplished architect for those that don't know of him. (I am speaking only from my brief research a few weeks ago. It is not like I could pick him out of a line up. Don't know if I have met him, but for sure have seen him on the elevators.)

Has stuff all over the world. Mostly metroplex and Washington DC. Ballpark in Arlington. American Airlines Center, Bass Hall, Fort worth Chase building, Carnage Building, family law center (My fav) Tons more. I hope to meet him one day.
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#4 John T Roberts

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 03:52 PM

It's good to see them finally moving on these projects. I think we have needed the plaza for a long time and I look forward to the "bookend" buildings that will be constructed on each side of it. It will also be interesting to see the design for the other parcel.

#5 Thurman52

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 09:21 AM

I was having a hard time visualizing the bookends so I walked the blocks yesterday morning. I can now see that they do have enough space for buildings and still leave considerable space for a plaza and I would guess they would close Main St for bigger events (like they do today) to make the plaza even bigger. My only question would be height of the new buildings, I would suggest no more than 5 to 7 stories on the western block to allow more evening light in the plaza, often when many activties take place. A taller one on the eastern side would be fine but I would bet it would not be too tall 12 stories tops.

#6 renamerusk

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 10:33 AM

One may reasonably conclude that the abundant land that is controlled by Sundance Square (SS) downtown will once again lead them to build more low to mid-rise buildings, such as the Carnegie and the Chase Bank Building. Were it the case that SS land holding was less plentiful (eight square blocks), the economic model would more likely lead SS to build high rises instead? In an eerily way, downtown Fort Worth seems to be mirroring its outlaying regions – the low density economics that produce a remarkably anti-urban landscape. On the other hand, lets us hope that SS will surprise us with a landmark skyline changing building - PLEASE!

"Keep Fort Worth folksy"

#7 RD Milhollin

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 03:35 PM

... downtown Fort Worth seems to be mirroring its outlaying regions – the low density economics that produce a remarkably anti-urban landscape. On the other hand, lets us hope that SS will surprise us with a landmark skyline changing building - PLEASE!


Be careful what you ask for. Some of the most dense, livable, urban centers around are not characterized by high-rise / skyscrapers. Think of Paris, London, Washington, etc. There are certain problems that are brought on by too much density, although admittedly that is not going to be a problem in Fort Worth for some time to come. I would rather see high-rise construction spread out over the landscape, allowing better transportation systems, more ambient light, and less congestion come commuting time. The quintessential high-rise city, New York, long ago mandated setbacks for tall buildings to preserve light and sky for residents and workers. Fort Worth is in a position now to mandate minimal separation between tall buildings (say, 40 stories or more) before demand for choice inner-city space leads to unhealthy and unattractive development once the oil bubble finally bursts. I like the idea of a relative low rise on the eastern end of the new square, would like to see a pass-through portal mid-block as well. The western bookend should be something with formal symmetry IMO.

#8 renamerusk

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 10:50 AM

In an attempt to get an idea of what David M Schwartz Architectural Services (DMS) might design for the plaza at Sundance Square, I found rendering for Regent Square in Houston which DMS appeared at sometime to be involved its design. Not sure but Regent Square may have become a victim of the Great Recession. Did find something that DMS has in progress in Las Vegas; perhaps it is just me, but the Las Vegas project looks strikingly familiar in a couple of ways – what do you think?

http://www.dmsas.com...ming%20Arts.pdf


"Keep Fort Worth folksy"

#9 cjyoung

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 11:11 AM

I'm hoping for skyline changing! :wub:

#10 johnfwd

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 12:42 PM

In an attempt to get an idea of what David M Schwartz Architectural Services (DMS) might design for the plaza at Sundance Square, I found rendering for Regent Square in Houston which DMS appeared at sometime to be involved its design. Not sure but Regent Square may have become a victim of the Great Recession. Did find something that DMS has in progress in Las Vegas; perhaps it is just me, but the Las Vegas project looks strikingly familiar in a couple of ways – what do you think?

http://www.dmsas.com...ming%20Arts.pdf


"Keep Fort Worth folksy"

The website you posted shows a handsome design for a performing arts center, but my understanding is that a Class A office building is in the office-retail plans for Sundance Square. I would think another Carnegie-type building, not another Bass Hall structure. But we'll know soon, I hope.

#11 renamerusk

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 01:24 PM


.... Did find something that DMS has in progress in Las Vegas; perhaps it is just me, but the Las Vegas project looks strikingly familiar in a couple of ways – what do you think?

http://www.dmsas.com...ming%20Arts.pdf


"Keep Fort Worth folksy"

The website you posted shows a handsome design for a performing arts center, but my understanding is that a Class A office building is in the office-retail plans for Sundance Square. I would think another Carnegie-type building, not another Bass Hall structure. But we'll know soon, I hope.

Take a closer look - can't you see WMRC and Bass Hall in the design?

#12 David Love

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 06:31 PM

I'm thinking they're not going to need to invest in any webcams, it will probably be the most photographed construction project in Texas history.

Better Link: http://www.dmsas.com/

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#13 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 06:53 PM


... downtown Fort Worth seems to be mirroring its outlaying regions – the low density economics that produce a remarkably anti-urban landscape. On the other hand, lets us hope that SS will surprise us with a landmark skyline changing building - PLEASE!


Be careful what you ask for. Some of the most dense, livable, urban centers around are not characterized by high-rise / skyscrapers. Think of Paris, London, Washington, etc. There are certain problems that are brought on by too much density, although admittedly that is not going to be a problem in Fort Worth for some time to come. I would rather see high-rise construction spread out over the landscape, allowing better transportation systems, more ambient light, and less congestion come commuting time. The quintessential high-rise city, New York, long ago mandated setbacks for tall buildings to preserve light and sky for residents and workers. Fort Worth is in a position now to mandate minimal separation between tall buildings (say, 40 stories or more) before demand for choice inner-city space leads to unhealthy and unattractive development once the oil bubble finally bursts. I like the idea of a relative low rise on the eastern end of the new square, would like to see a pass-through portal mid-block as well. The western bookend should be something with formal symmetry IMO.



Although I'd have no problem with a high-rise or mid-rise building on the empty block bound by 4th, Houston and Throckmorton (particularly if sited on the southeast corner of the block), count me among those who prefer low-rise around the plaza.

As evidence of an urban plaza done well, I offer a look at perhaps the world's greatest and most beautiful public square - Plaza Mayor in Madrid:

Posted Image

#14 djold1

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:32 PM

Or Jackson Square, New Orleans..

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#15 RD Milhollin

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 08:59 PM

In an attempt to get an idea of what David M Schwartz Architectural Services (DMS) might design for the plaza at Sundance Square, I found rendering for Regent Square in Houston which DMS appeared at sometime to be involved its design. Not sure but Regent Square may have become a victim of the Great Recession. Did find something that DMS has in progress in Las Vegas; perhaps it is just me, but the Las Vegas project looks strikingly familiar in a couple of ways – what do you think?


Try this link for Regent Square

http://www.dmsas.com...gent Square.pdf

#16 renamerusk

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:21 PM



.... Did find something that DMS has in progress in Las Vegas; perhaps it is just me, but the Las Vegas project looks strikingly familiar in a couple of ways – what do you think?

http://www.dmsas.com...ming%20Arts.pdf


"Keep Fort Worth folksy"

The website you posted shows a handsome design for a performing arts center, but my understanding is that a Class A office building is in the office-retail plans for Sundance Square. I would think another Carnegie-type building, not another Bass Hall structure. But we'll know soon, I hope.

Take a closer look - can't you see WRMC and Bass Hall in the design?

Am I the only one to notice that the Will Rogers Memorial Tower and Bass Hall have been virtually copied into the design of the new Las Vegas Music Hall. Are architectural firms allowed to copy designs of other structures as their own?
BTW Renaissance Man, I too like very much the look of the square in Madrid.

#17 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 10:19 PM




.... Did find something that DMS has in progress in Las Vegas; perhaps it is just me, but the Las Vegas project looks strikingly familiar in a couple of ways – what do you think?

http://www.dmsas.com...ming%20Arts.pdf


"Keep Fort Worth folksy"

The website you posted shows a handsome design for a performing arts center, but my understanding is that a Class A office building is in the office-retail plans for Sundance Square. I would think another Carnegie-type building, not another Bass Hall structure. But we'll know soon, I hope.

Take a closer look - can't you see WRMC and Bass Hall in the design?

Am I the only one to notice that the Will Rogers Memorial Tower and Bass Hall have been virtually copied into the design of the new Las Vegas Music Hall. Are architectural firms allowed to copy designs of other structures as their own?
BTW Renaissance Man, I too like very much the look of the square in Madrid.



I can tell you (if you've not already been) that it's even more incredible in person. Fort Worth has a great opportunity with the eventual creation of a plaza (as the one currently being proposed) to create one of the best public spaces found in any major city in America and much of the reason for that is the quality of the built environment that currently surrounds it. An actual hardscape plaza that could support a few outdoor cafes is the final missing piece to making Sundance Square the incontrovertible heart of one of the most pedestrian-friendly downtowns in the U.S.

#18 John T Roberts

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 08:30 PM

Three cases have been filed with the Downtown Design Review Board to build 3 mixed use buildings on three different blocks, all located between 4th and 5th Streets on Throckmorton, Houston, and Commerce. These are the two plaza buildings and the "Cassidy" corner.

Below are taken from the DDRB Agenda posted by the City of Fort Worth:

DG11-017

407 Throckmorton Street; Block 50 Building

Owner / Applicant: Sundance Square Management / Bennett Benner Pettit Architects + Planners

Requests a Certificate of Appropriateness to construct a mixed-use building.



DG11-018

425 Houston Street; Block 51 Building

Owner / Applicant: Sundance Square Management / Bennett Benner Pettit Architects + Planners

Requests a Certificate of Appropriateness to construct a mixed-use building.



DG11-019

420 Commerce Street; Block 52 Building

Owner / Applicant: Sundance Square Management / Bennett Benner Pettit Architects + Planners

Requests a Certificate of Appropriateness to construct a mixed-use building.

#19 renamerusk

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 02:55 PM

John,

Where are the actual locations of the proposed developments; between 4th and 5th Streets or 3rd and 4th Streets?

Keep Fort Worth folksy

#20 elpingüino

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 05:11 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong:
All are between Third and Fourth streets
407 Throckmorton is next to Sanger Building (Oliver's)
425 Houston is the same block as Jett Building (Jamba Juice)
420 Commerce is the same block as Land Title Block (Flying Saucer)

#21 David Love

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 08:27 PM

So the three vacant parking lots between 3rd and 4th from Throckmorton to Commerce, or from Oliver's to Barns & Nobles.

...and this is the project we've been talking about for 6 or 7 years now?

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#22 John T Roberts

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 09:15 PM

Yes, these are the buildings that we have been discussing for years. The Throckmorton site is the "Cassidy" lot at the southeast corner of 3rd & Throckmorton. The other two buildings are the "bookends" to the Sundance Plaza.

#23 David Love

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 10:11 PM

Yes, these are the buildings that we have been discussing for years. The Throckmorton site is the "Cassidy" lot at the southeast corner of 3rd & Throckmorton. The other two buildings are the "bookends" to the Sundance Plaza.

Woo Hooooo!

I'm impressed, amidst all this economical doom and gloom Sundance is still trudging along.

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#24 youngalum

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 09:19 AM

Yes, these are the buildings that we have been discussing for years. The Throckmorton site is the "Cassidy" lot at the southeast corner of 3rd & Throckmorton. The other two buildings are the "bookends" to the Sundance Plaza.

How tall will these buildings be?

#25 John T Roberts

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 09:54 AM

You will probably have to go to the Downtown Design Review Board Meeting on November 3, at 2:00 PM, or wait until something is officially released. Since two of the buildings are the "bookends" of the Central Plaza project, I doubt those two would be very tall. My guess would be 3 stories, maximum, considering the scale of the buildings in Sundance Square. I would also suspect that the designers would like to keep as much shade out of the plaza as possible.

For the "Cassidy" corner, the maximum height would be 22 stories. The reason that I know this is that I remember when Sundance West was announced back in the late 1980's, the architects and developers stated that they extended the underground parking beneath 3rd Street and into the next block to provide parking, to connect to the Sanger Lofts, and to be used as the foundation for a 22 floor condominium building. If this new mixed use at 3rd and Throckmorton has other uses into it than ground floor retail and upper floors residential, look for this building to be less than 22 stories. The reason here is that floor loading for other uses could be greater, or the distance between floors may be greater due to the use. I would like to know more information, so if anyone has the time to go to the DDRB and report back to us, that would be wonderful.

#26 elpingüino

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 03:55 PM

Here's the Star-Telegram's story about it today: Sundance to build two new office buildings next year

This passage caught my eye:

The third building, 407 Throckmorton, will be on the southeast corner of Throckmorton and Third streets. The existing building will be torn down and the new building extended east on Third Street to Houston Street.


I read that as saying they'll tear down the Saviano's building. They just remodeled that building this winter ... can that be right?

#27 David Love

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 09:12 PM

Here's the Star-Telegram's story about it today: Sundance to build two new office buildings next year

This passage caught my eye:


The third building, 407 Throckmorton, will be on the southeast corner of Throckmorton and Third streets. The existing building will be torn down and the new building extended east on Third Street to Houston Street.


I read that as saying they'll tear down the Saviano's building. They just remodeled that building this winter ... can that be right?


So the building connected to Sanger Lofts on 3rd across from Reatta?

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#28 elpingüino

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 09:44 PM

This newer version of the story clarifies that it is the restaurant building:
Fort Worth's Sundance Square to construct two office buildings next year

The building being torn down is not the Fakes Building (Starbucks, Retro Cowboy, etc.) immediately next to the Sanger Lofts. It's the building that previously held Sammy's Pizza and Zippy's Diner.

This picture (Houston Street elevation) illustrates:
Posted Image
(Hat tip to Fort Worthology for the big images)

Looking forward to seeing the design of the plaza.

#29 elpingüino

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 09:48 PM

How tall will these buildings be?


The building on the Houston Street side of the new plaza (next to the Chisholm Trail mural) will be six stories.
The building on the Commerce Street side (next to Flying Saucer) will be five stories.

#30 John T Roberts

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 04:56 AM

As you can see, I was wrong about the heights of the buildings. The demolition of the building where Saviano's is located has long been in the Sundance Master Plan. It is an old building that originally looked similar to the Sundance buildings across 3rd Street. However, it has lost all of it's historic and architectural character due to many renovations and remodelings.

#31 Brian Luenser

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 11:17 AM

I am really excited about these 3 buildings. I am shocked that the project is far enough along for such detailed drawings etc... I had assumed that as they were going before the City to get permission to build mixed use buildings, that they had not moved any further than sketches on a cocktail napkin. I love what I see in the buildings. I think they are perfect sizes for those spaces. (I admit that I was hoping for a 20 story building at 3rd and Throckmorton.) But that would start to overwhelm the Sundance West building. A spectacular structure. I cannot think of a better building right off.

This is really good to see all this new action in Fort Worth. For lots of reasons.

If I had to guess (and I guessed the Rangers would be world champs) I would say that the One City Place building will now go Hotel vs. office. I think Fort Worth hotels are doing great based on my experience. I still put a couple people in hotels every week downtown (Our employees from our Austin office) and find that frequently the hotels are full.

I love the looks of these new buildings. Very handsome and compatible to their surroundings. The big surprise for me is that the one building will replace the old Zippy's building.
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#32 John T Roberts

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 02:34 PM

Brian, if they only had sketches on cocktail napkins, they would be required to go back to the Downtown Design Review Board to get approval on the actual design of the buildings. If you wait until you have the building facades designed then you have saved time in the approval process. Most of the time when my firm has presented to the DDRB, we have already completed the Design Development Phase, and we are ready to go into Construction Drawings after the Board's approval.

#33 David Love

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 10:00 AM

If I had to guess (and I guessed the Rangers would be world champs) I would say that the One City Place building will now go Hotel vs. office. I think Fort Worth hotels are doing great based on my experience. I still put a couple people in hotels every week downtown (Our employees from our Austin office) and find that frequently the hotels are full.


I had some friends visit from Dubai, developer types, of the buildings they checked out, every downtown location was "Hotel, Hotel, Hotel"

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#34 renamerusk

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 12:21 AM

My immediate concern regarding the "Houston/Commerce/Third/Fourth Streets" site plan is that the existing buildings combined with the proposed buildings will actually become barricades and will impede "360-degrees" access by pedestrians to the central plaza. I had envisioned a design that would have some pedestrian walk and see thru portals that would make direct access to and visibility of the interior plaza possible from all directions. This would make the central plaza a truly public space and unlike the walled-off plaza that Victory Plaza in Dallas has become. Otherwise, I too am excited about this development.



Keep Fort Worth folksy.

#35 John T Roberts

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 08:33 AM

Rename, I don't think it will be a problem. First of all, these buildings are only 1/2 block wide along 3rd and 4th. You will still be able to see there is some kind of open space only 100 feet away. Second, Main Street carries most of the pedestrian traffic, so I think that most of the people walking down the street will notice the plaza. Victory Plaza in Dallas is certainly walled off, but it doesn't have a street running through it, either. Also, at Victory Plaza there is a grade change on the south end, making the plaza elevated above the street. There, you have to stray off of the street to get to it. At least, in Sundance when you walk on the street, you are in it. Finally, this plaza is going in an established pedestrian area. Victory Plaza was created from vacant land (previously heavy industrial). There wasn't any kind of neighborhood there until they built it and I think it is often harder to start from scratch. However, the West 7th Development is successful and that was built on former industrial land.

#36 ramjet

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 12:54 PM

If I had to guess (and I guessed the Rangers would be world champs) I would say that the One City Place building will now go Hotel vs. office. I think Fort Worth hotels are doing great based on my experience. I still put a couple people in hotels every week downtown (Our employees from our Austin office) and find that frequently the hotels are full.


I had some friends visit from Dubai, developer types, of the buildings they checked out, every downtown location was "Hotel, Hotel, Hotel"


I second that prediction. I wanted to come to Fort Worth during the week of the 15th and the Omni was quoting rates of $419 a night. And none of the good hotels downtown were under $200 a night. I would guess these are some of the highest rates in D/FW besides the super luxury hotels in the D.

#37 John T Roberts

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 07:03 PM

Here are the renderings of each of the building's facades.

North Facade of Throckmorton Street Building:
Posted Image

West Facade with Sanger Building on the right:
Posted Image

You've seen the east facade of the building, so let's move on to the western side of the plaza.

Here's the Houston Street Facade of that building:
Posted Image

This is the facade that will face into the Sundance Plaza:
Posted Image

North Facade with the South Facade being opposite hand:
Posted Image

Now, here are the elevations of the Commerce Street Building:

East Facade:
Posted Image

Here's the view from the Sundance Plaza:
Posted Image

North facade:
Posted Image

Finally the South Facade of the building with the Land Title Block in the foreground:
Posted Image

#38 RD Milhollin

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 07:40 PM

My immediate concern regarding the "Houston/Commerce/Third/Fourth Streets" site plan is that the existing buildings combined with the proposed buildings will actually become barricades and will impede "360-degrees" access by pedestrians to the central plaza. I had envisioned a design that would have some pedestrian walk and see thru portals that would make direct access to and visibility of the interior plaza possible from all directions. This would make the central plaza a truly public space and unlike the walled-off plaza that Victory Plaza in Dallas has become.


Agree, there should be some sort of portal through the center of each of these new buildings to allow public access from Throckmorton and Commerce (Rusk) streets. The access to the Plaza Mayor in Madrid is via similar passageways. (I will be back there to visit in two weeks!)

#39 renamerusk

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 07:07 PM

Rename, I don't think it will be a problem.....


John, all your points are well taken; and each one in itself substantive. Hope that your analysis is found to be the correct one.

But, would I be right in suggesting that among the various traffic route into DtFW, none provide greater visibility to this specific area then does Houston Street southbound and 4th Street eastbound. As indicated by the Two-block Site Plan of the plaza development, vehicular and pedestrian visibility of the plaza moving on Houston Street is all but negated; likewise for Commerce Street as are 4th Street and 3rd Street which are partially negated. I regret that the initial plans significantly hinder the plaza's transparency. IMO, clear and optimum transparency is a critical feature of many successful plazas.
I am aware that the plans for the plaza have not been finalized. At the risk of sounding more negative than positive, I can only hope that the concerns that I now have will be addressed in a manner more to my liking once the final product is revealed.

Having said all of this, I am also of a mindset painfully learned from issues and interests manifested during the "Streetcar Embroilment" that Sundance Square is foremost a commercial entity and will behave so; and while at the same time and to a somewhat lesser degree, Sundance Square can be a communal oriented entity.


Keep Fort Worth folksy

#40 renamerusk

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 08:17 PM

The news of Sundance Square's latest plans has generated surprisingly little commentary, whether critical or complimentary. With some 205,400 sq ft of Class A Office Space and Retail Space combined in the two Central Plaza Buildings, is it possible they will design a plaza above below ground parking?

Keep Fort Worth folksy

#41 John T Roberts

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 08:57 PM

As far as I know, there won't be any underground parking below the "bookend" buildings or the plaza. A few years ago, Sundance Square hired a parking consultant to study how many spaces to build, where to place parking structures, and where to provide the entrances to the structures. This was all done in the thinking of building the underground parking garage beneath the plaza and the adjacent buildings. This parking study showed that the area was already congested and building an underground garage between 3rd and 4th Streets along Main was the wrong place to build it. The study showed the best places to build garages that could handle Sundance Square parking was on the perimeter of the Bass Properties. One of those blocks best suited for parking was the block bounded by 3rd, Throckmorton, 4th, and Taylor Streets. The 3rd Street Garage along with the Chase Building was built from that study. That parking garage has more spaces than was required for the Chase Building.

Renamerusk and Prairie Pup, you have raised some worthy concerns about the new buildings. There is always the chance that some of the architects or Sundance Square representatives who read this forum will take them into consideration.

#42 renamerusk

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 11:53 PM

Renamerusk and Prairie Pup, you have raised some worthy concerns about the new buildings. There is always the chance that some of the architects or Sundance Square representatives who read this forum will take them into consideration.


I hope that one or more Sundance Square Reps read this forum occasionally [the reason I posted my concerns]; and I also hope that there may be an opportunity given to the public to offer its input on the plaza.

Keep Fort Worth folksy

#43 John T Roberts

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 08:23 AM

As I have said here before, you never know who reads the forum. You might be surprised. With that said, it is also nice to see how a few announcements of construction and demolition can start to bring back activity to the board.

#44 AdamB

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 08:34 PM

As I have said here before, you never know who reads the forum. You might be surprised. With that said, it is also nice to see how a few announcements of construction and demolition can start to bring back activity to the board.


QFT! Definitely checking out the forums again on a more consistent basis now that things are picking back up. It is nice to start seeing these boards back in action. Makes me feel better about the direction of our economy both locally and nationally.

#45 John T Roberts

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 07:53 AM

I'm still surprised there has been so little reaction to this announcement. After all, we are getting three new buildings in Sundance Square!

#46 Doohickie

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 01:23 PM

What are we supposed to say?
My blog: Doohickie

#47 John S.

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 01:32 PM

I'm still surprised there has been so little reaction to this announcement. After all, we are getting three new buildings in Sundance Square!


It's good news, for sure...however, in trying to look at this objectively it seems to be another not-too-subtle case of the Bass Family bravely attempting to prime the downtown development pump during this long period of economic downturn. No need to explain the Sundance Square Management connection or the (good) choice of David M. Schwarz & Associates to safely blend in some modern interperative architectural historicism into this important area of downtown. No daring Moshe Safdie or Frank Ghery cutting-edge abstract-organic designs to juxtapose against something like the 1880's Land Title building. And its a lot cheaper than using those trendy and pricey architects as well. For better or worse, Schwarz and his firm will be seen as the most important architectural influence in our city during the past two decades. It's not too difficult to at least accept his designs without much controversy; after all, he synthesizes and blends successful designs from the past century but no one can credibly claim he is "edgy" in his design choices.

Seeing as how our highly visible architectural "masterpiece" (someone else's word, not mine) by Bing Thom stands starkly against the backdrop of our beloved 1893 pink granite Courthouse; perhaps architectural conservatism is a safe and wise choice for the Sundance location. If I can digress a bit...the Bing Thom building has a strong low-density "suburban" feel to it in what should be the densest development area in our downtown; I could see it looking great in Trophy Club or Southlake but that truly is an academic discussion for another thread. I do however, very much like the sunken plaza part of the Thom project almost to the point of feeling it somewhat redeems the rest of it. A shame it isn't visible from the street. But again, to me that project looks like commercial suburbia shoe-horned into the heart of downtown. The expansive surface parking lots on the east end only add to that sprawling, low-density, suburban feel.

Now, the 3 buildings for Sundance very much conform to the dense, high land value, pedestrian-friendly, urban planning model so why SHOULD they generate controversy? I'd rather have them in that area than dealing with something so radical in design that it fits into the "acquired taste" category. (like the aforementioned Bing Thom design) Just my humble opinion(s) offered to your question(s).

#48 BlueMound

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 02:29 PM

I think they look fantastic. :)

#49 Ron Payne

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 02:55 PM

I think they look great, and can only hope that buildings don't follow the way of cars, where the final product looks nothing like the concept (Chevy's new Volt is a perfect example - started out in concept as a fairly decent looking car, but ended up just another ugly little econo-box)...
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#50 renamerusk

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 09:03 PM

I'm still surprised there has been so little reaction to this announcement. After all, we are getting three new buildings in Sundance Square!


Me too, John. Perhaps some of us have been mesmerized by this long awaited shiny object.

For myself, I see a wart or two in the proposed plaza buildings. First, I would have preferred that the plaza buildings be two-three stories as you have speculated; and that the plaza be more courtyard like. Secondly, I gotta believe that the existing parking garages that might be designated for use by the plaza buildings tenants are too far away. One possible solution would be a parking structure below ground topped by a paved/stone/brick plaza as possible solution.

Keep Fort Worth folksy




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