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Convention Center Arena Study

Downtown Arena Convention Center

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#101 RD Milhollin

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Posted 17 September 2015 - 11:21 AM

There are a few elements I would like to see included as part of the upgrade project for the north end of the Convention Center.

 

When Commerce Street is straightened a large part of the truck docks for loading and unloading will need to be removed. A replacement facility would be best positioned under the new construction between Commerce, Houston, and 9th Streets. There is a need for a "street-level" street to connect Houston and Commerce Streets and it would be well located between the existing exhibit space and the new convention hall. A descending ramp could extend from Commerce Street to the lower dock level, and an ascending ramp from the docks up to Houston Street. The street could be covered by sky bridges connecting the new building to the existing without requiring meeting attendees to leave the building while going from area to area within the complex. Along this sheltered street would be a good place for a covered taxi stand and drop-off and pick-up area for attendees. Whatever architectural style is chosen for the new building it should be symmetrical when viewed from north Main Street.



#102 Jeriat

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Posted 17 September 2015 - 12:34 PM

Wait, we can actually submit ideas....? 


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#103 renamerusk

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Posted 17 September 2015 - 10:59 PM

The "Flatiron District" - now I like the sound of that;.....Great brand.



#104 Austin55

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Posted 17 September 2015 - 11:13 PM

It sort of feels like the parts of downtown that aren't Sundance are searching for an identity of their own.



#105 John T Roberts

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 08:06 AM

Austin, I think that has been the case for more than 20 years.



#106 Jeriat

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 11:53 AM

It sort of feels like the parts of downtown that aren't Sundance are searching for an identity of their own.

 

I'll map it later, but here's what I'd have in mind in terms of districts:


- Sundance Square (existent)  
- Flatiron (suggested)
- Lancaster Corridor (in the works)
- Justice 
- Transit Center 
- Burnett 
- Upper Westside (existent...sort of) 

- Trinity Uptown (currently developing) 

- Summit 
- Sunset Terrace (existent, but not underdeveloped) 


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#107 BlueMound

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 07:58 PM

Would the hotel be built on the east side of the cc ?

#108 John T Roberts

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 05:53 AM

That's the impression that I have from what I have read.



#109 Austin55

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 04:35 AM

Do I remember right earlier reports said the total demand for convention center rooms was 1,000? If so, surely they wouldn't put all 1,000 rooms into a single building, since there are other proposals near the CC that include big chunks of 1,000 rooms (245 rooms in the Hampton, however many an Omni expansion might have)  I guess by 2020 or so when the arena would be gone the demand will have grown. 

 

Either way, 1,000 rooms will be a big change no matter how it comes. But if a single building contains 1,000 rooms if would be huge. 



#110 John T Roberts

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 07:24 AM

I thought it was 2,000 rooms with the suggestion of one new hotel having half of them.



#111 renamerusk

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 07:42 AM

...surely they wouldn't put all 1,000 rooms into a single building, since there are other proposals near the CC that include big chunks of 1,000 rooms....But if a single building contains 1,000 rooms if would be huge. 

 

 Might they (Fort Worth Council/FWPE) have something like this (1,066 rooms) that is going up in Austin, Texas.  The CBS11 reported that Fort Worth hopes to become competitive with cities like Austin and Houston by matching what is going on there.

 

http://skyscraperpag...uildingID=96071



#112 Austin55

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 04:03 AM

I've come across a very interesting proposal on the cities site for the expanded convention center. The document is from last summer. 

 

Here's some of the highlights of the building.

 

CC%20rendering2_zpsa1ugcgfz.png

 

CC%20rendering_zps3juhqdsh.png

 

Context of this describes Commerce street now,

 

New loading docks are also designed. Finally, a new restaurant facing street level will help to activate what is now a dormant

 

 

Talking about the upper levels

 

 

On the second level, a new grand ballroom of 50,000 square feet is designed above the expanded exhibit hall space. Additional meeting rooms are located around the ballroom and along the hallways. There is also a second level overlook and terrace looking out over Main Street and the grand lobby. The next figure shows the top level for the FWCC, which includes retractable seating. The key part of this design is that between retractable seating in the ballroom and above it, an arena setting can be created with the same number of seats as the current arena.

 

 

The final drawing shows the subterranean level, which includes substantial new parking for the building.



#113 John T Roberts

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 07:15 AM

I remember those drawings.  You know what's missing?  A signature ending to the axis of Main Street.  If this scheme is built, it has to have a tower or monument to end the street.



#114 renamerusk

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 12:19 PM

The underground parking will a great feature as will also be the retractable arena seating.  A multi-story tower with meeting spaces sounds like a great idea too.

 

Including a restaurant is not a popular feature in my opinion because I would hope that the conventioneers would be encouraged to eat in one of the many downtown eateries and to experience first hand downtown's wonderful character. I would hope that brick and mortar restaurants in Downtown will not have to compete with a publicly subsidized restaurant.

 

Overall, the convention center study is very positive. :)



#115 JBB

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 01:32 PM

I would be surprised if the convention center's catering operator is on board with a full service restaurant, even if they were the operator. Catering individual events is a far easier money making operation than running a full service restaurant that has to be staffed whether business is booming or not. And what rename said about competing with other downtown restaurants.

Overall, I like the plan. It hasn't changed much from what was teased when phase 1 and 2 were completed. I'm also interested in how the new building interacts with Main St. I'm not crazy about the arena but it does create an iconic bookend. I would think the same could be accomplished with an architecturally intersting building and not necessarily with a specifically placed tower or memorial.

#116 Austin55

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 03:21 PM

I also have to say that I quite like the idea of a balcony that overlooks main street. That would be a great place to host events or just to take photos from.

I guess this is all quite a few years away (2020ish) but still interesting to see in a bit more detail.

#117 Jeriat

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 07:50 PM

How about a dual tower entry with the balcony? 

(Also, If you're going to have a restaurant, put it on the Houston Street side) 


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#118 Mr_Brightside526

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 04:39 PM

The restaurant needs to be on the Commerce side of the cc to expand the foot traffic. I think the Houston street side of the cc needs tenants in the base of the Omni's parking garage and maybe the AT&T building's lower level could get a street level overhaul.

 

I too will echo the need for an architectural bookend because the view of the courthouse has always been an iconic scene on Main St. (not to mention you have the Kennedy memorial there to look down on).



#119 Jeriat

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 09:41 PM

I'd prefer the entire AT&T building to get an overhaul... by way of dynamite.


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#120 renamerusk

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 10:48 AM

 

I've come across a very interesting proposal on the cities site for the expanded convention center. The document is from last summer. 

 

Here's some of the highlights of the building.

 

CC%20rendering2_zpsa1ugcgfz.png

 

CC%20rendering_zps3juhqdsh.png

 

Context of this describes Commerce street now,

 

 

With the private hospitality sector showing its readiness to invest Downtown and the CD, there is a new found urgency upon the City to get the Convention Center Project underway as soon as possible. 

 

There is great momentum now a days - loving it!



#121 RD Milhollin

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 09:02 AM

Stop the Progress! Come back in 2025.

 

http://www.star-tele...le67872847.html

 

This may be one area of city government when a large dose of private sector could be beneficial. Recall how the private sector built and is building new highways at less cost and in much less time than state agencies ever could, even if they use dubious means to get customers onto their owned toll lanes. Perhaps the Convention Center should be leased to a private Spanish company for 50 years and they are provided the option of building a 1000 room hotel inside or on top of the new phase three addition they would be required to build. In the meanwhile they could run the convention facility as they see fit, using whatever means they can to keep the meeting spaces filled along with their rooms. The existing original facility is about 50 years old and the same time frame is used in the lease Cintra has for the private toll lanes, so that would seem to be a workable time frame for both contracting company and city. The work could get done NOW and the city would not have to be involved for a couple of generations. Some ground rules to protect Omni's investment across the street would have to be put in place, along with others to allow other hotel companies to build when they want, all without external funds from the city/taxpayers. This venture would also provide healthy competition for the private group that has been allowed control of the future Horsie Arena on Montgomery street to attract events and event attendees from out of town who would spend money, pay taxes... you get the picture.



#122 fortworthhorn

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 10:38 AM

Stop the Progress! Come back in 2025.

 

http://www.star-tele...le67872847.html

 

This may be one area of city government when a large dose of private sector could be beneficial. Recall how the private sector built and is building new highways at less cost and in much less time than state agencies ever could, even if they use dubious means to get customers onto their owned toll lanes. Perhaps the Convention Center should be leased to a private Spanish company for 50 years and they are provided the option of building a 1000 room hotel inside or on top of the new phase three addition they would be required to build. In the meanwhile they could run the convention facility as they see fit, using whatever means they can to keep the meeting spaces filled along with their rooms. The existing original facility is about 50 years old and the same time frame is used in the lease Cintra has for the private toll lanes, so that would seem to be a workable time frame for both contracting company and city. The work could get done NOW and the city would not have to be involved for a couple of generations. Some ground rules to protect Omni's investment across the street would have to be put in place, along with others to allow other hotel companies to build when they want, all without external funds from the city/taxpayers. This venture would also provide healthy competition for the private group that has been allowed control of the future Horsie Arena on Montgomery street to attract events and event attendees from out of town who would spend money, pay taxes... you get the picture.

I was depressed when I read that article.  I think your suggestion is very well taken.  Although, I don't really want any toll lane DNA on projects, but I understand your point.  Not to thread-jack, but I read an article the other day on similar creative thinking which was good and is related to Fort Worth's favorite past time: Parking Garages (http://www.streetsbl...ilding-garages/



#123 Volare

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 09:20 PM

... This venture would also provide healthy competition for the private group that has been allowed control of the future Horsie Arena on Montgomery street...

 

And that right there is why your proposal will never happen. Those people- the "private group" as you put it- They Run This Town.



#124 renamerusk

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 09:59 AM

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Dickie's Arena may have revealed the timeline for the demolition of the CC Arena with a replacement of new and an increase in the total amount of  meeting space.

 

Reading between the lines, the DA will host the NCAA Women's Gymnastic Event for three of the four years with the CCA hosting the first year beginning in 2019.  Does this suggest that the redo of the CC will begin immediately after the NCAA event in 2019-2020?



#125 JBB

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 10:13 AM

I wouldn't read anything into that. Why would they continue to host it at the outdated arena if the new one is ready for business?

Edit: I re-read this and thought it might not make sense. I would read into this that the competition is moving because the new arena will be completed, not because the old one is going to be demolished.

#126 renamerusk

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 01:42 PM

I wouldn't read anything into that. Why would they continue to host it at the outdated arena if the new one is ready for business?

Edit: I re-read this and thought it might not make sense. I would read into this that the competition is moving because the new arena will be completed, not because the old one is going to be demolished.

 

My understanding is that the gymnastic event will be held in 2019 only.  When the event moves to DA, the CCA should be ready for demolition.  Many of the new hotel projects will be counting upon larger and more conventions business as early as possible; and appear to be making their plans accordingly.  Why would you think otherwise?



#127 JBB

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 02:18 PM

As the article linked in this post indicates, money for the work on the convention center isn't expected to be available until 2025 at the earliest. Hence, my argument that it should have been a part of the arena financing plan along with renovations to the Will Roger coliseum and theater.

#128 renamerusk

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 03:09 PM

....money for the work on the convention center isn't expected to be available until 2025 at the earliest...

 

That does bolster your assumption.

 

What then can explain a furious, in terms of Fort Worth, boom of hotels within the immediate area of the CC?  I have a hunch that the timeline is flexible and the C&VB is letting it be known to developers that it may be sooner than later. 

 

If I was a developer, I would not want to have a property operating at less than capacity until 2027 for the CC expansion to be completed.  Ideally, the hotels want a fully operable convention center facility so that their investments can be returned quickly.



#129 JBB

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 03:44 PM

I would assume the city manager is basing that claim on when the bond and long term debt situation will line up correctly based on forecasting. My guess is that's a very conservative estimate and, barring a complete economic disaster, the financing could be pulled together sooner than that. That still puts it a minimum of 5 years out, 4 if they're extremely aggressive. Outside of the Omni expansion that is going to be at least partially financed by the city, I don't see any of the current hotel proposals in the area depending on convention center expansion unless they're looking at opening 4-5 years out. I haven't seen any indication of that.

#130 renamerusk

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 04:01 PM

 Agree.  I think the City would like to project a "conservative/cautious" timeline wanting to not risk lowering its bond ratings. 

 

I do believe that the City will come under increasing pressure to provide the new hotels with a plan that they can use for groundbreaking and for costing out the time from their opening until the CC is ready. 

 

I would like to believe that the current hotel proposals already view the City as simply being under served, hence the effort to meet current demand.  The more rational side of me believes that the hotels have some information that they are privy to, hence the rush.

 

Any way, it is encouraging to see the City going in an all out direction of bolstering tourism.  Is it the "arena effect?"







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