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Sinclair Building Sold

Downtown Historic Buildings Art Deco Adaptive Reuse

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#1 John T Roberts

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 01:53 PM

It appears things are starting to happen with the rumored renovations of the historic Sinclair Building.  The building is one of Fort Worth's best Art Deco buildings and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, and a City of Fort Worth Historic & Cultural Landmark.  It has all three designations, and not very many of the city's buildings are designated at all levels. 

 

http://fwbusinesspre...ding-sold-.aspx



#2 John T Roberts

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 02:49 PM

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram is finally reporting the sale.  Sandra Baker wrote the story linked below:

 

http://www.star-tele...uilding-in.html



#3 Austin55

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 07:23 PM

I was reading the DDRB PDF John shared earlier and found it interesting, 

 

 

Requests a Certificate of Appropriateness to construct an exterior stair, rooftop bar, replace existing windows and waivers to construct a sky bridge, install an alley gate, and install glass block pavers

 

Curious for sure what they are planning. I've never been a DDRB meeting so I just might have to stop by and make this a first. 



#4 Fort Worthology

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 09:01 AM

I lost track a while ago - is this becoming a hotel, or just remodeled office spaces?


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#5 John T Roberts

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 09:05 AM

It's being converted into a hotel.  I wrote a lengthy post last night, but I decided to "hide" it until the DDRB Meeting.  I have seen the drawings and the proposal.



#6 renamerusk

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 09:45 AM

It's being converted into a hotel.  I wrote a lengthy post last night, but I decided to "hide" it until the DDRB Meeting.  I have seen the drawings and the proposal.

 

 That explains it!  I viewed the pre-post -- Really some exciting things in the works for Downtown. 

 

Three boutique hotels: Ashton, Sinclair and the Sundance + a multi-story - "Sweet".



#7 Austin55

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 10:16 AM

I to saw the prepost and this sounds VERY exciting. Curious to see what if this influences the Sundance hotel across Houston.

I'm curious where hotel patrons will park?

#8 John T Roberts

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 10:22 AM

From what I can tell, the parking will be valet, and I'm betting that the Hilton Hotel Annex garage is larger than what is required for the residents who live there.  They also have the lot across the street where Lerner Shops were located and I think they still may have the parking lot at 5th and Jones.  By the way, unless something has changed, I also know the brand of the hotel.



#9 renamerusk

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 01:54 PM

From what I can tell, the parking will be valet, and I'm betting that the Hilton Hotel Annex garage is larger than what is required for the residents who live there....

 

This then suggests that there is one ownership group along with two separate projects, right or wrong?



#10 John T Roberts

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 02:01 PM

Rename, that is what I am taking from this, or this could actually be one project.



#11 John T Roberts

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 02:13 PM

The wording in the application is extremely vague.  Also, the owners of the Sinclair Building own the Hilton Hotel Annex and both are on the agenda.  They are two separate projects, so this is pretty big for the DDRB to hear two significant cases in the same month.  Another significant case is supposed to go before the board in March. 

 

I have asked to see the packet for both cases, and I had a chance to see them today. 

The Sinclair project is the conversion from the historic office building into a boutique hotel.  Much to my surprise, the conversion of the building into a hotel actually involves a neighboring building.  Apparently the group who purchased the Sinclair Building also own the STS Tower/Color Tile/Meacham's/Sanger Bros. building.  They are going to use part of the that building to be support space for the new hotel.  Therefore; the architects are proposing to build a tunnel under the alley between the two and a skybridge above that connects the 2nd floor of the Sinclair Building with the old department store mezzanine of the STS Tower.  The DDRB application now refers to the STS Tower as the Sanger Building.  In addition to this work, the STS Tower will be fully restored.  The windows will be replaced with some that more closely resemble the original ones. 

 

Now, to the work on the Sinclair Building.  The architects are planning to put a major restaurant in the basement.  In order to get light down to that level, they are planning to install sidewalks with glass block pavers.  The building may have had these when it was built because that was fairly common in the 1930's.  If you look at the rear of the building, you can see that inside the light well, it has an exterior metal fire escape.  This does not meet the current building codes.   Since the building is changing use (from office to hotel), bringing all elements up to code is required.  Therefore, the architects are designing a glass enclosed fire stair between the two wings of the building.  Even though it is tucked away facing other buildings, this will become a design feature at the back.  It will extend all the way up to the roof of the building.  The existing interior stairway will also be extended up to the roof.  A new elevator will be installed on the 16th floor that will go up to the roof of the building.  All of these improvements will allow for a full rooftop patio, literally on top of the building. In addition to all of this, another hotel is shown on the vacant lot to the south.  However, there is nothing in the application to indicate the DDRB will review anything going on at that location.  The renderings of the building show a multi-story structure on that site.

 

I would highly recommend attendance of any DDRB meeting to see how the process works.  Even though this is a public hearing, only the participants are allowed to speak.  Since the Sinclair Building is a City of Fort Worth Historic & Cultural Landmark, this case will be required to be presented to the Landmarks Commission.  It may already be slated for the February agenda.  The architects for this project is Merriman Associates.



#12 Austin55

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 02:52 PM

This is all SOOO exciting. Everything about it just screams cool. I'm super curious about what could occur across the street to. 

Thanks John!



#13 John T Roberts

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 02:58 PM

Thanks, Austin.  There is one thing to be concerned about the project.  Will this conversion keep as much of the historic interior intact that is possible?  Even though the Landmarks Commission hears cases regarding historic buildings, they do not have any control over the interior. 



#14 JBB

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 03:39 PM

Fascinating stuff. For some reason, I always mix up STS with the Petroleum Building on 6th and I assumed that STS was owned by XTO. Can't wait to see how this all turns out.

#15 Fort Worthology

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 03:52 PM

This is extremely exciting, both for the renovations to Sinclair & STS and for the even slight possibility of new development on that lot to the south at some point.


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#16 John T Roberts

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 03:57 PM

The Petroleum Building and the STS Tower do look a little bit alike, but they were designed by two different architects in actually two different styles.  The STS Tower was originally designed for Sanger Bros. Department Store as their Fort Worth branch.  The architect for it was Wiley G. Clarkson.  He later designed the Sinclair Building and the Woolworth Building on each side.  The STS Tower opened in 1925.  A full restoration has not been done on this building.

 

Wyatt C. Hedrick designed the Petroleum Building in 1927 at the start of the Art Deco era.  The Petroleum Building has some Art Deco elements on it.  XTO own it and they restored this building. 


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#17 John T Roberts

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 07:18 PM

Below is a link to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article by Sandra Baker.  The hotel will be an Autograph by Marriott.  This was also something that I had been keeping under my hat for more than a year.  Also, Ojos Locos will be asked to leave the ground floor of the STS Tower.

 

http://www.star-tele...cle9368639.html



#18 Austin55

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 07:32 PM

So are Pichi Pachi and the others going to stay? Bit disappointed about Ojos leaving as it was one of the best places to watch international soccer downtown.

#19 John T Roberts

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 07:56 PM

According to what I know, everybody is out of the ground floors of both buildings.  This does include Picchi Pacchi.  I think they have been operating with the understanding that they would have to close at some point.  The interesting thing about the drawings, is that they never indicated Ojos Locos was leaving, except the renderings showed a different shaped sign on the building.  It was my guess that was the case, but it wasn't confirmed until the Star-Telegram article.



#20 John T Roberts

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 09:09 PM

The Historic & Cultural Landmarks Commission will hear the Sinclair Building case on Monday.  Here's a link to the agenda:

 

http://fortworthtexa...HCLC Agenda.pdf



#21 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 09:42 PM

The loss of ground-floor restaurants for hotel space is a downgrade for me since I eat at Picchi Pacchi sometimes.

 

Are the upper levels of the building currently occupied?


- Dylan


#22 John T Roberts

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 10:41 PM

Over the last year or so, they have either been letting leases expire with no renewals, or they have been evicting some tenants.



#23 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 12:08 AM

I just don't get why everybody is so excited about this project. Is there something wrong with the building?


- Dylan


#24 gdvanc

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 12:31 AM

Scott Nishimura has an article about it in the FWBP and tweeted some photos that look interesting.



#25 John T Roberts

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 08:20 AM

The reason that the Sinclair Building has to go before the National Parks Service, Texas Historical Commission, and the City of Fort Worth's Historic & Cultural Landmarks Commission is that it is one of the few buildings in the city that is on the National Register of Historic Places, a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark, and a City of Fort Worth Historic & Cultural Landmark.  Very few of our buildings have all three designations.  The STS Tower is only designated Demolition Delay with City of Fort Worth.  Renovations or restorations to those structures do not have to be reviewed.  The Hilton Hotel Annex doesn't have any designations on it.


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#26 Austin55

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 08:33 AM

Aslam gave credit to former XTO Energy CEO Bob Simpson for restoring several historic buildings downtown, and said his groups want to follow

 

 

I think we owe even more thanks to Mr. Simpson. Not only has he left a great track record, he's inspired others to do the same. 



#27 John T Roberts

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 08:46 AM

Austin, that is usually the case. 



#28 JBB

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 09:20 AM

I just don't get why everybody is so excited about this project. Is there something wrong with the building?


I'm excited about this because of the fact that 2 historic buildings are being renovated and brought up to code. That increases their value and decreases the chances that a future owner might choose demolition. I'm also excited that the owner has come up with a plan to save the Hilton annex rather than demolish it. Downtown doesn't need another vacant property or parking lot. Anyone cheering for more vertical construction downtown has to be excited since this conversion will tighten up the office space market just a little. We've been hearing for months that downtown needs more hotel space, so the owner seems poised to capitalize on that on multiple fronts.

I don't get why anyone wouldn't be excited about this project. There's a little something for everyone. I hate that a couple of seemingly successful restaurants are being pushed out, but if they are that successful and viable, they'll find a new home downtown.

#29 Fort Worthology

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 09:35 AM

I'm excited for a variety of reasons:

 

- the Sinclair Building may be my favorite piece of architecture in downtown Fort Worth, so seeing it brought up to code and getting such an upgrade is exciting.

 

- the STS Tower is being restored, which I never expected would happen.  Fixing mangled historic structures back to their true form is always exciting.

 

- the awful piece of junk that is the Hilton Annex is getting turned into what is by all accounts the absolute best case for how that building could ever hope to be renovated *and* said near-miraculous renovation is adding 142 new residences to downtown


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#30 renamerusk

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 09:49 AM

I just don't get why everybody is so excited about this project. Is there something wrong with the building?

 

 

 Here are two excellent reasons reported in the FWBP why I am excited -

 

(1) Farukh Aslam, a minority shareholder, said Thursday. Sinclair Holdings would own the hotel, and the Marriott Autograph Collection would manage it....Marriott also runs the Worthington Renaissance, Courtyard Fort Worth Downtown/Blackstone, and TownePlace Suites Fort Worth Downtown hotels. Its addition of an Autograph Collection, whose average daily rates chainwide are $175 per night, would be the latest verification of the hot interest by hotel developers in downtown..“There’s an effort in downtown to bring all these old buildings back and really restore the interiors,” he said ... and having Fort Worth associated with this hotel group is exciting in itself

 

. http://travel.usnews...lection_Hotels/

 

 

(2) Aslam said the ownership groups are still completing estimates on construction costs, but he said they’ve lined up their key financing. ----“That part is done,” he said.



#31 John T Roberts

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 06:56 PM

The City of Fort Worth has released the Landmarks Commission packets for Monday.  In addition to the case for the Sinclair Building, the Winfield Garage is being brought up for designation as a City of Fort Worth Historic & Cultural Landmark.  The packet has both of these cases bundled together in one PDF file.  It is 156 pages with most of it being the nomination for the Winfield Garage.  The Sinclair Building work has all of the documentation for the case, so it is worth downloading and viewing.  Now since you will be able to view the presentation made to the city, I'm hoping for a lot of comments from you about the hotel conversion.

 

HCLC Individual Cases - Winfield Garage and Sinclair Building



#32 Austin55

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 07:21 PM

Fantastic John, read through all the parts about the new hotel. It all looks very positive. Another great thing I saw was sidewalk improvements along along 5th, new curb cuts to. This also catches my eye as it brings up the "proposed hotel" in the lot to the south. In another rendering you can see the mystery building much clearer, it looks to be 11 floors and have a rooftop pool of its own, Veeeery interesting, can help but be excited for when we hear more about that. Perhaps it deserves a thread of it's own?

 

fjbtN5A.png



#33 John T Roberts

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 08:41 PM

Austin, you can always start a new thread for the proposed hotel.  I don't know if anyone saw them, but did you recognize the current photographs of the Sinclair Building?



#34 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 07:45 AM

I'm more interested in this project now that I have seen what it will look like inside. I'm not highly excited because I think the building is fantastic already. I guess hotel rooms would be better than offices, as more people will get to see this fantastic building. The rooftop deck looks neat.

My only huge complaint is the planned exterior lighting. The current lighting is far better.

- Dylan


#35 John T Roberts

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 10:16 AM

I don't think the exterior lighting is going to change.  Although faded out somewhat to highlight the new stair, the renderings appear to have the upper three floors illuminated.  Lighting at the top of the building has been there off and on since it was built.



#36 Jeriat

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 12:21 PM

Just slightly off topic... well, maybe it still is, but I'm wondering what we could do with the current tenants when all this comes to be. My thougts: 

- Ojos Locos = taking up the spot in the Kress Building where the Fox & Hound used to be. I'm not sure how much square footage is required, but it would keep it on the same street. And I tend to think of Houston St as a "Beer Corridor", great for bars and places like Ojos.... 

- Picchi Pacchi = The Cassidy 

 

- the cigar place (don't know the actual name) = The Cassidy (facing Throckmorton)

- Subway = ... eh, one less Subway in downtown wouldn't hurt. 


I know it's the business and all, but if there's a way to keep those spots, (except Subway, for obvious reasons) I would. 


7fwPZnE.png

 

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#37 John T Roberts

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 03:16 PM

Jeriat, I thought the same thing about Ojos Locos.  The old Fox & Hound space would be perfect for them in the Kress Building.  I'm not sure Picchi Pacchi could afford Sundance, but it is an idea.  There is also a barber shop in the Sinclair Building that will be displaced.  The tobacco shop could work in the Cassidy.  Finally, I think the Subway has already been replaced by the new one on Houston Street. 



#38 dangr.dave

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 08:45 AM

Yes; the poor Kress looks so lonely without any tenants on the ground floor.  Throw some scantily clad Ojos Locos women there and the space should do well.  Is that Kress space still going to still be one long space that opens on both Houston and Main, or will the space be divided for a tenant on each side?



#39 John T Roberts

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 09:08 AM

I would hate to see it subdivided, since the owners of the building made sure that the interiors of the Fox & Hound did not significantly impact the original interior of the Kress store. 



#40 Doohickie

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 05:27 PM

Just slightly off topic... well, maybe it still is, but I'm wondering what we could do with the current tenants when all this comes to be. My thougts: 

- Ojos Locos = taking up the spot in the Kress Building where the Fox & Hound used to be. I'm not sure how much square footage is required, but it would keep it on the same street. And I tend to think of Houston St as a "Beer Corridor", great for bars and places like Ojos.... 

- Picchi Pacchi = The Cassidy 

 

- the cigar place (don't know the actual name) = The Cassidy (facing Throckmorton)

- Subway = ... eh, one less Subway in downtown wouldn't hurt. 


I know it's the business and all, but if there's a way to keep those spots, (except Subway, for obvious reasons) I would. 

 

The Subway has already relocated to 7th and Houston.

 

The other business is Shelton GIvens Barber Shop.  Shelton (who's pushing 80) retired last year, leaving Charles in charge.  I got a haircut there today and Charles said he's looking into other downtown locations.  They are waiting for leases to expire but if people can get out earlier they're okay with that.  I've been getting haircuts there on and off for almost 20 years.

 

And actually... how 'bout putting the cigar shop in the former Radio Shack location on Commerce and 3rd?


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#41 Jeriat

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 05:54 PM

 

Just slightly off topic... well, maybe it still is, but I'm wondering what we could do with the current tenants when all this comes to be. My thougts: 

- Ojos Locos = taking up the spot in the Kress Building where the Fox & Hound used to be. I'm not sure how much square footage is required, but it would keep it on the same street. And I tend to think of Houston St as a "Beer Corridor", great for bars and places like Ojos.... 

- Picchi Pacchi = The Cassidy 

 

- the cigar place (don't know the actual name) = The Cassidy (facing Throckmorton)

- Subway = ... eh, one less Subway in downtown wouldn't hurt. 


I know it's the business and all, but if there's a way to keep those spots, (except Subway, for obvious reasons) I would. 

 

 

And actually... how 'bout putting the cigar shop in the former Radio Shack location on Commerce and 3rd?

 

 

That would directly compete with the Silver Leaf... 

But I guess if we can have a CVS across the street from a Walgreens, a McDonald's across the street from a Burger King, and a Starbucks across the street from 3 other Starbucks, I guess have two cigar places next to each other wouldn't hurt. 


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#42 John T Roberts

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 06:29 PM

I doubt that the Tobacco shop would relocate to RadioShack's former space.  Usually there are no compete clauses in the leases, which would actually mean that since Silver Leaf is already in Sundance, it is unlikely that a similar shop would open in any Sundance property.  I don't know the details on any lease contract, so this is only speculation on my part.



#43 Doohickie

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 10:36 PM

I never heard of Silver Leaf, not being a tobacco aficionado myself.  I just thought it might be a fit size-wise.


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#44 renamerusk

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 11:21 AM

Post #31 - Comments & Questions.

 

Comments: Lots of information written in the Fort Worth Star Telegram and Fort Worth Record about the city's growth and an Automobile Show in April 1920, some 95 years ago.

 

Questions:

p.125, 131 - the basement restaurant - where is there an elevator for disable/wheelchair patrons?

p.149 - what river and mid-rise building is being shown in the picture?

 

Otherwise, nothing to criticize about this project. :wub:



#45 John T Roberts

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 11:38 AM

It's not shown, but the southernmost of the three existing elevators goes down to the basement.  I have taken it down there.  On page 149, they are using this image as an example of the glass handrail they are planning to use.  The photograph is not from Fort Worth.



#46 renamerusk

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 11:57 AM

It's not shown, but the southernmost of the three existing elevators goes down to the basement.  I have taken it down there.  On page 149, they are using this image as an example of the glass handrail they are planning to use.  The photograph is not from Fort Worth.

 

Ok. I came to that as being the possible solution.

 

One thing though.  if you want to enter the restaurant from 5th Street, there is not a direct passage to the elevator;  you will be required to go through the main lobby; perhaps a direct connection to the elevator is needed. Removing or opening the west wall in the 5th Street Vestibule would give direct access to the restaurant below.



#47 John T Roberts

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 03:26 PM

According to the plans, you have to go into another space to get downstairs from the steakhouse entry.  Straight ahead of you when is a door that leads to the building lobby, and the elevators are immediately to your left.  If you want to walk down the stairs, you have to go through a set of double doors on your right to enter the stairway.  I don't see this as a problem because you have to go through a door to either take the elevator or walk down the stairs.



#48 Urbndwlr

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 05:09 PM

Any update on this hotel project?
 

Anyone have any insight into the quality of the Marriott Autograph Series hotels?  I really hope these guys do a good job, since Fort Worth has a gaping hole in quality, particularly non-convention-style hotel rooms.  Omni/Worthington/whatever the Hotel Texas is - all are fine for convention type hotels, but we really could use a handful of more interesting hotels that are more suited for leisure travelers - still would work for people visiting for business too.



#49 Doohickie

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 12:23 AM

It's going foward.  The first floor tenants have to be out by the end of the year, per Charles at the barber shop.  Subway already moved.  Charles is looking at other locations downtown.  Not sure about the cigar shop or Picci Pacci.

 

Marriott Autograph are very high end, exclusive hotels.  My boss is a big Marriott guy and he likes to cash in his points to stay at them when the opportunity presents itself.  The outside marking will be a small-ish sign saying something like Autograph Collection, and nothing else that says Marriott.  And that's it. 


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#50 Jeriat

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 07:50 AM

It's going foward.  The first floor tenants have to be out by the end of the year, per Charles at the barber shop.  Subway already moved.  Charles is looking at other locations downtown.  Not sure about the cigar shop or Picci Pacci.
 
Marriott Autograph are very high end, exclusive hotels.  My boss is a big Marriott guy and he likes to cash in his points to stay at them when the opportunity presents itself.  The outside marking will be a small-ish sign saying something like Autograph Collection, and nothing else that says Marriott.  And that's it. 


Maybe Pacci Picci can take up space in The Cassidy?

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8643298391_d47584a085_b.jpg






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Downtown, Historic Buildings, Art Deco, Adaptive Reuse

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