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So where is Fort Worth's urban growth?


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#1 Austin55

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 02:11 PM

We are always hearing about how FW and the DFW area is among the fastest growing in terms of population in the country.  But I look through the city compilations threads on Skyscraperpage and some of these cities are building some great stuff. Nashville, for example. You've all how how drastically Austin has changed in the past years, and there's not signs of slowing down with new construction.

Now I understand that we've had some new apartment and condo construction in places like W7, some in Southside, and along Samuels notably, and while it's all nice to have, there's not a lot currently going and none of it has been particularly significant, especially outside of the W7 area. Phoenix apartments is huge but most of the other Southside developments are rather mediocre. Small conversions and townhome style units mostly. Downtown, despite being incredibly nice, has seen nothing really in the ways of new hi-rise residential growth, unless you discount the Omni. The Tower is somewhat cheating since it was an already existing structure. And those two examples are both more than 4 years old now. And at the same time there seems to be plenty of existing real estate downtown and other urban areas in the forms of empty and surface lots. 

There's just been very little in the way of large new residential buildings built. The two projects that come to mind since 2010 (Stayton, recently built, and Trinity Terrace III, proposed) are both retirement centers. Thats a bit... boring.

Are the taller structures being absorbed into the smaller developments? Is there just not much demand in place anyway? Are developers waiting on the TRV?

Office growth has not been so fast either. Pier 1 turns 10 this year. Carnegie turns 6. Chase Bank turns 12. Again, there have been some smaller developments (and they've been fantastic, such as SSP, Caceria, etc) and large renovations (Cityplace) but nothing more really. In FW, Ernst & Young just leased 8,600 sq ft. in the Westbrook. In Cleveland, E&Y built this, 450,000 sq ft highrise. 

Is suburban growth far outpacing urban growth? Am I just seeing things through a wrong point of view? Is there really a holdup on urban growth? Is transit or parking causing an issue? Is downtown to expensive to develop? What's going on exactly?

And again, I just want clarify that I don't expect FW to start erecting 800 footers tomorrow, and I really appreciate the development we have. Something just feels a bit off.  



#2 FWFD1247

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 04:22 PM

I ask myself the same question all the time and is actually how I stumbled across this forum that I have grown to love. I moved from Austin almost 3 years ago and just got back from a family visit for my wife's birthday. We spent a little time in DT and it's amazing there seems to be as many cranes as there are Skyscrapers and gorgeous buildings seem to have popped up every time I visit, and then I come home to see our rather boring skyline. I enjoy the Omni and a couple other buildings, but I would love to see a prominent skyline that to me feels welcoming and memorable to put us on the "map".

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#3 JBB

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 05:13 PM

I think the answer is pretty easy: the city has spent the last 2 decades aggressively annexing territory to the north and west and they spent a great deal of effort supporting a billion dollar pipeline to funnel residents out of the south side of the city (CTP).  And that pipeline runs through acres upon acres of open land ripe for development.  The annexed land to the north had acres upon acres of open land and so does the territory to the west.  Urban development is going to happen, but it's going to be a lot slower than most would like.



#4 Now in Denton

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 11:12 PM

Are the taller structures being absorbed into the smaller developments? Is there just not much demand in place anyway? Are developers waiting on the TRV?

 

 

Some would say. Street Landscaping with trees . Can pass as a park . But you hit it on the head. I say that is exactly what happened from Pier1 on. "taller structures absorbed into smaller developments" Nothing wrong with smaller buildings. I love them myself. But it has been way overdone in Fort Worth. And now little is left for open space. It's not LEGOS after all. We cant just stack up a 10 story on top of a 16 to open up space. Bad planning I say. Here in Fort Worth. And I agree nothing more sad then a empty skyscraper. But how can one say their was no need for one 50 story office tower here in Fort Worth in the last ten years ? 



#5 dfwerdoc

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 03:39 AM

land is plentiful and cheap and we don't mind driving .. in fact we love our cars and trucks. we want parking and are hooked on surface parking. there's a lot of development but it's just all happening horizontally and you're not going to convince anyone to go vertical unless it makes financial sense. lastly if you visit the various starbucks you get a sense there's a white flight that's happened to above the loop where everyday there's an announcement of something new being build 



#6 Austin55

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 05:56 AM

You are right JBB. 

There's plenty of land available downtown, Southside as well. There's no need to go crazy vertical yet, with all this extra land. I'd rather see those lots built with something. 2 storeys for all I care. But some height would be nice. But places like Sundance plaza, Trinity Park, Magnolia street are nice. I want to live close by these places, and I figure other people do to. I wish there enough to and to accommodate that height would be necessary. 

I definitely can't argue with the notion that Texas has plenty of land, definitely is ripe for suburbanism. 

 

---

Comparing a few cities using Skyscraperpage's diagrams. Since 2004 and only counting buildings over 10 floors, FW has built 98 floors of highrises. Tulsa, 18. OKC, 64, most in a single building. Kansas City, 72. San Antonio, 211, across many smaller buildings. Austin has built a staggering 791. Charlotte, 420. Columbus, 30. 

So looking at it in that regard, things seem a bit better. Despite lagging behind places of similar size such as Charlotte and Austin, we are well ahead in others, and that's not including the low rise urban development Southside and W7 which is fantastic. In this light, things certainly look better. 

So what do those cities do differently? Speaking in urban terms. Both Charlotte and Austin are growing faster than FW. Are more of the people moving into those places looking at city life rather than the suburbs? Both seem to have more of an urban geared culture, Austin especially. What's behind that? I think a lot of people here know Downtown is nice, but they come to urban neighborhoods as a vacation rather than realistically looking at it as a place to live. That's how I got started into it. When I was young my parents would drive me downtown to go watch the Brahmas or eat someplace fancy. I'd live in downtown now if I could (hard to do for a 19 year old college student) I hear Magnolia Ave. and the W7 area referred to as "Entertainment Districts". That's not what they are, they are neighborhoods. People live there. To many people in DFW are adapted to mall lifestyles, driving to that place for fun, food, et, then driving home. I think that's how some of those places are treated. Not thinking that living in such places is the way to go.  Does anyone else on the forum see this as an issue? What could be done to fix it?



#7 Fort Worthology

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:33 PM

It's definitely a fact that there's plenty of land around the edges of town here for sprawl to keep happening unchecked.  That's a ruinous attitude that will spell disaster for us in the future - "we've got plenty of land - let's use it in the most wasteful way possible" - but only a handful of people at City Hall and in the population care at all.  So we get token nods to developing the central city that results in some apartments here, an office there (along with the requisite 7,000 parking garages because we can't do transit well in Fort Worth), while we do absolutely nothing to either slow down the outward spread, or even to change its form to something more environmentally and economically sustainable.


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#8 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 03:15 PM

It's definitely a fact that there's plenty of land around the edges of town here for sprawl to keep happening unchecked.  That's a ruinous attitude that will spell disaster for us in the future - "we've got plenty of land - let's use it in the most wasteful way possible" - but only a handful of people at City Hall and in the population care at all.  So we get token nods to developing the central city that results in some apartments here, an office there (along with the requisite 7,000 parking garages because we can't do transit well in Fort Worth), while we do absolutely nothing to either slow down the outward spread, or even to change its form to something more environmentally and economically sustainable.


What Kevin said.

I'll just add that it's worth considering the fact that Texas didn't suddenly gain a whole bunch of land in the past hundred years. America was great at building dense, well proportioned, well connected and vibrant cities and towns in the past. It's not as if all of a sudden someone turned around and said "oh hey! I never noticed all that land that is stretching out and away from the city! We could build everything out there instead!"

#9 FWFD1247

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 03:50 PM

I agree and we need to make it desireable for people to claim that they are from Fort Worth and differentiate us from the Big "D's" to the east. I believe building a gorgeous skyline and capitalizing on what we are already known for.

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#10 Now in Denton

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 12:11 PM

I don't believe we have plenty of land at all in the central business district . Now here comes the color map someone will post . :laugh:



#11 Fort Worthology

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 04:04 PM

What?  We have *lots* of land in the central business district that could be developed.  Outside of Sundance (and even in Sundance's own periphery), downtown is still pretty broken up by parking lots and even the occasional vacant lot.  There are big tracts of nothingness on the eastern side, the northwestern side, the western side, the southern side, etc.  Even in the core, there are full-block parking lots interrupting things (XTO's lots, the remaining Sundance lots, etc.)  If you think that the FW CBD is significantly built-out, I'd invite you to go look at a number of our competitor cities who have built denser, active downtowns over the years while the city leadership kept repeating the mantra that we have the "best revitalized downtown in America."


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#12 Now in Denton

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 04:34 PM

Room for downtown skyscrapers. And we both made it very clear where we stand on that . And we both know what will be built on what is left of available lots. More 4 story lawyer buildings and Landscaped 7-Eleven's .  



#13 ramjet

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 05:31 PM

Wow.  Some serious negativity on this particular thread.  I guess I get the desire for more high rise buildings there, but I think Fort Worth has a fine skyline.  A few of you throw out Austin and it's development as something to envy.  For me, and I know I'm a minority opinion, Austin ain't all that.  Sure, they've added several tall buildings over the last few years in Austin.  Mostly all residential high rises. Mostly rentals.  Repeat, rentals.  Have you noticed the architecture and design of those residential high rises?  About the nicest way I can describe most of them is "effete" and they've definitely got a "sell by" look to them in my opinion.  It will be interesting in about 10 - 15 years what condition they are in.  (I'm sure Westchester Plaza in Fort Worth was considered quite impressive in its day.)  Austin perhaps has some greater density than Fort Worth.  But only in a small part of it - around the flagship Whole Foods, Congress Avenue, 2nd and 3rd streets for a couple of blocks each, and the Drag through UT - do the buildings have any pedestrian interaction at street level.  Fort Worth may not have as much density overall, but there are several walkable areas where there is something to see and do on the street, just as Austin does. I have lived in Austin for 7 years now and only get to visit Fort Worth on occasion.  To me, the changes there have been just as dynamic as those in Austin.  I do think Austin has a better PR machine.  And if Austin had a forum such as this, I think it would read a bit brighter than this forum does sometimes.  You got it good up there, folks.  The future looks bright for both cities.



#14 FWFD1247

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 06:34 PM

I don't believe there is negativity, rather a desire to see the city that we love ( I speak for myself and assume the rest share the same view) prosper and further gain redemption for us being a world renowned and model city. I am well aware that what works in Austin, Dallas, Charlotte, etc. may not work for us, but that's fine. I know people talk about how Dallas tears down "old" buildings and build up all the time where Fort Worth likes to preserve and reuse historical buildings in other ways that's cool, I believe I read somewhere about how New York made a company keep the outside structure of an old building and turn it into a skyscraper, best of both worlds, that may be our "thing". I personally don't know how or what way we should go Architecture is not my niche, mine is public safety and helping in what ways I can for this awesome city. I believe our biggest issue is that we ARE the 16th largest city in the nation we are larger than Miami, Seattle, Boston, Denver, Detroit, Atlanta, New Orleans, Las Vegas, etc. and yet we are merely viewed as a "Suburb" of Dallas. People are coming and jobs are coming here and I believe building a stronger CBD and Skyline will only help with people being proud to say that they live in Fort Worth and not just the DFW area. Sorry for the long rant but I suppose I am passionate for the subject.

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#15 Austin55

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 12:05 AM

Great points FWFD1247 and Ramjet

@Ramjet- I certainly would worry about Austin perhaps having to much. Surely that boom is not sustainable, is it? I'd rather the steadied and calculated pace that offers more variety over time. Either way, I think most of whats going in Austin is positive and beautiful, at least for now. 
 

Personally, I love the pace of W7. Would love to see similar pace of development that is going on there, both under construction and proposed, in other parts of the city, such as Southside, Berry, and some of Fort Worth's other urban villages. At the same time, It'd be nice to see downtown adding a little bit of height. like, 10-30 stories. Nothing to much. Not yet anyway. But I'm just not sure if there is a demand from buyers or an interest from developers or the city to fund such things. And I'm not sure how that could be created, or if it even needs to be. Streetcars perhaps? Does it have to do with zoning? Marketing?

Other note- Look at what Sundance plaza has done. There is certainly way more buzz being generated by that then any skyscraper would. It's bringing people into the city, people are taking pictures there, and those umbrellas and Westbrook's clock are quickly becoming local landmarks. With the press coming, it may not be long before those are what the nation thinks of when they think Fort Worth.  

Great discussion everyone thanks. 



#16 dfwerdoc

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 02:54 AM

 "in the nation we are larger than Miami, Seattle, Boston, Denver, Detroit, Atlanta, New Orleans,"

 

​that's the problem we don't have the miami heat or the seattle seahawks, or boston red sox or the denver nuggets or the detroit redwings or the atlanta braves or the new orleans saints. we have downtown inc and dr horton that's kept us a sleepy village and given us urban sprawl  for their benefit. i want businesses to move here and .. for us to get rid of that eyesore of a building that's sitting on i30 as an introduction to our city. 



#17 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 09:21 AM

 "in the nation we are larger than Miami, Seattle, Boston, Denver, Detroit, Atlanta, New Orleans,"
 
​that's the problem we don't have the miami heat or the seattle seahawks, or boston red sox or the denver nuggets or the detroit redwings or the atlanta braves or the new orleans saints.


Certainly that helps, but then again... exactly which professional sports franchise does Austin have?

#18 John T Roberts

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 10:24 AM

Dfwerdoc, when you say "get rid of" the eyesore building sitting on I-30, I'm assuming that you are referring to the T&P Warehouse, and you are talking about demolition, or rehabilitation?



#19 David Love

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 10:30 AM

I believe Fort Worth never stopped growing, even in the midst of the worst parts of the depression. The new square, Lancaster, 7th street, to name just a few, were long overdue, Fort Worth has been concentrating on infrastructure, roads, bridges, traffic improvements and the effort is starting to pay off.

 

Once the rest of the country's metropolitan areas catch up or emerge from their slowdowns the monies that flow between cities and states will improve as will the prospects for new downtown high rises.


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#20 David Love

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 10:51 AM

I believe City Hall should restore and move into T&P, it sorely needs to be rescued, I think it’s too much for any “for profit” entity to take on now and if it sits much longer it’s going to be too far gone to save. It’s large enough to accommodate ALL of the city’s current needs for space as well as several years to the future.  Due to the era it was built in, materials and construction techniques used as well as what it was initially designed for it’s the perfect building from a security perspective, then factor in that it was intended to move large quantities of “stuff” in and out quickly and safely. It’s at the end of the rail line making it super easy for commuters and off site parking.

 

Turn the Post Office into micro apartments, leaving the ornate main area for common areas which are necessary for that type of setup, with a few retail options to cater to residents and visitors perhaps. The high ceiling structure would make for some interesting two story micro dwellings with living areas down and sleeping and bathrooms up.  Units in size from 300 to 600 square feet, would allow for 200 to 300 units in the 99,000 square feet.


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#21 renamerusk

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 04:55 PM

 "in the nation we are larger than Miami, Seattle, Boston, Denver, Detroit, Atlanta, New Orleans,"

 

​that's the problem we don't have the miami heat or the seattle seahawks, or boston red sox or the denver nuggets or the detroit redwings or the atlanta braves or the new orleans saints..... i want businesses to move here and .. for us to get rid of that eyesore of a building that's sitting on i30 as an introduction to our city. 

 

What each of these cities has is its own airport.  Sports id has marginal appeal to a business; what does matter is convenient air connectivity point to point.  I'll say it again, again.  Fort Worth deserves its own "Love Field".  With a Fort Worth Air Code; and regional service to the city, Fort Worth would get businesses to move here as well as thousands of daily id and exposure that comes with an airport. 

 

Fort Worth over everyone.



#22 JBB

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 07:43 PM

I believe City Hall should restore and move into T&P, it sorely needs to be rescued, I think it’s too much for any “for profit” entity to take on now and if it sits much longer it’s going to be too far gone to save

 

 

That's some high unintentional comedy right there.  "It's too expensive for the private sector to fix it, so let's have our broke city government do it."



#23 FWFD1247

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 11:34 PM

 "in the nation we are larger than Miami, Seattle, Boston, Denver, Detroit, Atlanta, New Orleans,"
 
​that's the problem we don't have the miami heat or the seattle seahawks, or boston red sox or the denver nuggets or the detroit redwings or the atlanta braves or the new orleans saints. we have downtown inc and dr horton that's kept us a sleepy village and given us urban sprawl  for their benefit. i want businesses to move here and ..


True and I think the metroplex is clearly big enough to support 2 teams Dallas claims one and We claim the other. I believe it will be a great rivalry, there can never be too much football in Texas, maybe there can be a shared home like the New Meadowlands, I'm sure Jerry would love that.
personally I believe as opposed to the city council trying chase pennies by trying to attack public safety benefits, they should be going after dollars and attracting more business to come to Fort Worth and possibly make it beneficial for a company to build something to add to our "bland" skyline. My 2 cents...

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#24 Fort Worthology

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 11:15 AM

I don't even care about adding to the skyline - I'd just love to see us try and halt our wasteful, sprawling ways, change development zoning and standards such that new development on the periphery is built in a more walkable, interconnected, sustainable way (most of what gets built on the edge of town is being built in a manner that pretends nothing has changed since, oh, 2002), and drive more development of small and modestly-scaled projects in the central city, interconnected with a better transit system.  I look at my own central city urban neighborhood main street - one of the best and most successful in Fort Worth - and I see it almost totally unchanged in terms of the building stock over the last 7-10 years.  I see it still pockmarked by the *exact same* vacant lots it had 7-10 years ago, right in the middle of what is supposed to be one of the "hottest" streets in town.


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#25 David Love

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 05:16 PM

They have rezoned downtown and the close in areas to allow for more walkable developements, it's just development has been put on hold in most places.


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#26 Fort Worthology

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 09:20 AM

They have rezoned downtown and the close in areas to allow for more walkable developements, it's just development has been put on hold in most places.

 

I know, and that's not what I'm talking about - I'm saying that if we're hell-bent on continuing to build further and further out, the new developments on the periphery should not be thought of as housing "pods" and retail "pods" and office "pods" and instead be thought of as a series of villages of their own, interconnected and at least reasonably walkable.  The zoning for the exurban parts of the city needs to be changed.  It's environmentally damaging and in the long-term will not be economically sustainable for a wide variety of reasons.

 

And yes, I know it'll never happen, not with this council at any rate.

 

As for the central city - we're going to keep seeing things stall out without us building a real transit system.


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#27 cberen1

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 02:17 PM

The key to Fort Worth's continued urbanization is going on in W7, Magnolia and South Main.  I think W7 has or will soon hit critical mass.  The Left Bank development and the Linwood redevelopment will make or break the area.  Magnolia is doing just fine, needs to not lose steam.  South Main is a big question mark for me.  More people need to throw some money at that one, but if people decide it's safe to live and walk around down there, watch out.

 

As those projects fill out, and with fewer and fewer rehabs left to be done downtown, new office construction is inevitable.  I count over 40 city blocks that could easily be built up if someone was so inclined.  About 15 of them would make a lot of sense for a high rise building.

 

It'll get built.  But, if you don't like the pace, go rasie some money and make it happen faster.  Ultimately that's what happens anyway.  Someone decides to initiate action.



#28 Austin55

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 02:41 PM

The other thing I wonder about is how the TRV will affect things. I think (hope) that once progress becomes visible, and that more people will have confidence that it will happen then wont, the areas around it will begin to change. That large block between White Settlement, Jacksboro and University could become W7 north, and may turn some of its focus to the river up north. Samuels will probably continue with it's big block apartment building (the Tower 55 fix ought to help this to) and I'd imagine North Main will pick up. And this isn't accounting for the Panther Island area itself. However I sort of wonder if off site areas will grow faster because they would perhaps be cheaper. 

I'd also wonder if growth there would slow it down it places such as southside. As Cberen said, I think much of W7 will be out of room at that point. 



#29 Now in Denton

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 01:22 PM

I believe Fort Worth never stopped growing, even in the midst of the worst parts of the depression. The new square, Lancaster, 7th street, to name just a few, were long overdue, Fort Worth has been concentrating on infrastructure, roads, bridges, traffic improvements and the effort is starting to pay off.

 

Once the rest of the country's metropolitan areas catch up or emerge from their slowdowns the monies that flow between cities and states will improve as will the prospects for new downtown high rises.

 

Fort Worth population did drop in population in the 80's .Unless your talking about annexation ?



#30 renamerusk

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 02:44 PM

We are always hearing about how FW and the DFW area is among the fastest growing in terms of population in the country. ...Is suburban growth far outpacing urban growth? Am I just seeing things through a wrong point of view? Is there really a holdup on urban growth? Is transit or parking causing an issue? Is downtown to expensive to develop? What's going on exactly?...And again, I just want clarify that I don't expect FW to start erecting 800 footers tomorrow, and I really appreciate the development we have. Something just feels a bit off.  

Austin, I actually took as your point for starting this thread as not so much about “where is urban growth" physically in Fort Worth but rather “why is urban growth" physically missing; and to be more to the point, missing in the CBD.

For a very long time and still somewhat now, I theorized that there is a conspiracy in place that “regulates” growth in the CBD.  A more in-depth look at what goes on in downtown would be to recognize the unique dynamics at play in Fort Worth’s downtown.  For better or for worse, a huge swath of a downtrodden downtown was purchased legally. The good result has been the downtown has been rejuvenated; the bad result has been that this swath of downtown performs like a “800 lbs gorilla mall” that intimidates outside developers who are adverse to taking on risk in a market so dominated by one very well connected developer.  When downtown needs a new hotel, then this developer declares that his mall will build it.

Then there is one other major developer who takes interest in refurbishing the city’s stock of old buildings; and even though this interest is noble, it does play a role by reducing the need for new construction

To say that the unique dynamics at play in downtown is a bad thing goes against all the good that it has generated; but to say that the unique dynamics has, unintentionall or not, tampered speculative development would not be going too far.  I recall such sentiment being expressed by a group of developers from  Dallas who consider Fort Worth more of a risk because of the monopolistic like control exerted by one or two developers.  Fort Worth must have a greater diversity of developers and the end of the virtual monopoly before it can experience the speculative urban growth happening right now in other downtown Texas cities.  

I predict that at some time, once the “mall” has exhausted all of its land holdings; and the last old building has been refurbished, then developers from the outside will be keen to put their money in Fort Worth.  Coming around from a conspiracy to the market we have at play is my two-cents.
 



#31 dfwerdoc

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 04:18 PM

 

We are always hearing about how FW and the DFW area is among the fastest growing in terms of population in the country. ...Is suburban growth far outpacing urban growth? Am I just seeing things through a wrong point of view? Is there really a holdup on urban growth? Is transit or parking causing an issue? Is downtown to expensive to develop? What's going on exactly?...And again, I just want clarify that I don't expect FW to start erecting 800 footers tomorrow, and I really appreciate the development we have. Something just feels a bit off.  

Austin, I actually took the point for starting this thread not so much about “where is urban growth" physically in Fort Worth but rather “why is urban growth" physically missing and more to the point missing in the CBD.

For a very long time and still somewhat now, I theorized that their is a conspiracy in place that “regulates” growth in the CBD.  A more in-depth look at what goes on in downtown would be to recognize the unique dynamics at play in Fort Worth’s downtown.  For better or for worse, a huge swath of a downtrodden downtown was purchased legally. The good result has been the downtown has been rejuvenated; the bad result has been that this swath of downtown performs like a “800 lbs gorilla mall” that intimidates outside developers who are adverse to taking on the risk in such of market so dominated by one developer.  When downtown needs a new hotel, then this developer declares that his mall will build one.

Then there is one other major developer  who takes interest in refurbishing the city’s stock of old buildings; and though this interest is noble, it does play a role that reduces the need for new construction

To say that the unique dynamic at play in downtown is a bad thing goes against all the good that it has generated; but to say that the unique dynamic has tampered speculative development would not be going too far.  I recall such sentiment being expressed by a group of developers from  Dallas who consider Fort Worth more of a risk because of the monopolistic like control exerted by one or two developers.  Fort Worth must have a greater diversity of developers and the end of the virtual monopoly before it can experience the speculative urban growth happening right now in other downtown Texas cities.  

I predict that at some time, once the “mall” has exhausted all of its land holdings; and that the last old building has been refurbished, then developers from the outside will be keen to put their money in Fort Worth.  Coming around from conspiracy to market at play is my two-cents.
 

 

to prove your point if you look at west 7th arguably the most vibrant area in our city, it was 4 dallas developers (south 7th, west 7th, montgomery plaza and museum place) that put that together and took the risk. 



#32 dfwerdoc

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 04:27 PM

Dfwerdoc, when you say "get rid of" the eyesore building sitting on I-30, I'm assuming that you are referring to the T&P Warehouse, and you are talking about demolition, or rehabilitation?

sorry for the delayed response john. i really don't know enough about the condition of the building now or its historical significance to have an opinion on demolition vs rehab. what i do know is that when that building was last occupied as a business (not a haunted house in october) a corvette sold for 5000 dollars and nixon was our president. to think somehow someway some private enterprise is going to use up 500,000 square feet and make money doing it, is far fetched. right now and for the 10 years that i've stared at it, it's been an embarrassment. 



#33 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 04:57 PM

 

Dfwerdoc, when you say "get rid of" the eyesore building sitting on I-30, I'm assuming that you are referring to the T&P Warehouse, and you are talking about demolition, or rehabilitation?

sorry for the delayed response john. i really don't know enough about the condition of the building now or its historical significance to have an opinion on demolition vs rehab. what i do know is that when that building was last occupied as a business (not a haunted house in october) a corvette sold for 5000 dollars and nixon was our president. to think somehow someway some private enterprise is going to use up 500,000 square feet and make money doing it, is far fetched. right now and for the 10 years that i've stared at it, it's been an embarrassment. 

 

 You've got to consider the role of Madame Cleopatra of Dallas and the games she's been playing with the City for what feels like must be at least 10 years.



#34 Fort Worthology

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 09:03 AM

Yep.  The building itself can be rehabbed and made profitable as a mixed-use conversion - I remain convinced it will never happen as long as Cleopatra owns it.


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#35 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 09:41 AM

In all these years of negotiations, agreements regarding TIF funds, and threats of condemnation, she has 1) pumped the water out of the flooded basement 2) had some pretty conceptual drawings made to demonstrate that she really was one day going to rehab the property and 3) had a gas well drilled on the property. While I would be thrilled to see her actually follow through on her promises, I can't see from this point when exactly that day would come.

The only thing worse for Fort Worth than an absentee property owner from California is an absentee property owner from Dallas.

#36 renamerusk

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 11:26 AM

My opinion (and it's not based on any direct evidence, just my feeling) is that it will never happen as long as its current owner still owns it, despite the PR-friendly talk of last year.

 

 

In all these years of negotiations, agreements regarding TIF funds, and threats of condemnation, she has 1) pumped the water out of the flooded basement 2) had some pretty conceptual drawings made to demonstrate that she really was one day going to rehab the property and 3) had a gas well drilled on the property. While I would be thrilled to see her actually follow through on her promises, I can't see from this point when exactly that day would come.

The only thing worse for Fort Worth than an absentee property owner from California is an absentee property owner from Dallas.

 

Awfully sad and discouraging; yet there will be a time when the city's patience pays off.

 

But really, perhaps the city is doing the right thing and just waiting her out.  After all, the warehouse, considering it current state, is a well constructed building that will last for many, many years; and much longer than any mere mortal could hope to be around.

 

It is likely that the current owner is hoping for a payday like the one that Dallas is poised to give to a structure; though not as substantial as the T&P Warehouse,  but,  like our warehouse, occupies a prominent site in downtown Dallas.  Will they or will they not?

 

Fort Worth may just need to keep on taxing the heck out of the owner and strictly enforce code violations that will allow the warehouse to remain largely intact. At some point, the owner will feel the financial pain; and our future generation will be the beneficiary.  Patience is needed.

 

Dallas poised to give money:

 

http://www.dallasnew...-skyscraper.ece



#37 JBB

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 01:12 PM

Here, here.  Very well said.



#38 Fort Worthology

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 02:12 PM

"Patience" above and beyond the years upon years she has sat on that building, allowing it to rot and fill up with water and debris, you mean.

 

I get "property rights" and all that but jeebus, do it or get off the pot.


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#39 renamerusk

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 07:05 AM

"Patience" above and beyond the years upon years she has sat on that building, allowing it to rot and fill up with water and debris, you mean.

 

I get "property rights" and all that but jeebus, do it or get off the pot

 

Would I love to see the redevelopment of the T&P Warehouse?   Yes!, but here is the situation -

 

The city has the authority to tax and to regulate.  If the city chose to engage in a property rights battle with the owner of the T&P Warehouse, it would be expensive and success would be highly doubtful.

 

Some who have a professional engineering perspective of the warehouse say that it is and continues to be structurally sound; and this is an evaluation that we may view as something to be positive about overall. 

 

The city is in a situation not unlike a "hostage taking".  When dealing with a hostage taker, the prudent approach is to evaluate the level of the crisis, to apply pyschological pressures; and to wait or be "patient" in order to achieve the desired outcome.



#40 JBB

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 12:47 PM

to think somehow someway some private enterprise is going to use up 500,000 square feet and make money doing it, is far fetched.

 

 

Yes.  Far fetched indeed.

 

south-side-on-lamar-night-sign.jpg



#41 renamerusk

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 01:09 PM

 

to think somehow someway some private enterprise is going to use up 500,000 square feet and make money doing it, is far fetched.

 

 

Yes.  Far fetched indeed.

 

 The Sears store is more indicative of Fort Worth's Montgomery Ward Store project; and that, quite frankly,  has not gone as well as hoped.   



#42 David Love

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 01:10 PM

I still think T&P has a lot of potential, it's just going to take a cooperative effort between the city and private entity (or entities) to take advantage of it. As we were discussing yesterday The Tower was slated, or being considered for implosion, until the city coughed up some tax abatement's to make it lucrative enough to be saved and developed. 

 

...but then again, it took Boeing stating "they'd never relocate their headquarters to a city with two high rises covered in plywood" to get the city off its butt to make something happen.


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#43 Now in Denton

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 01:51 PM

But are we getting off our butts ? Do we contact our Mayor and council reps ? And I'm not talking only one time. Are we letting them know what we want for our city? Weather it is us who are "skyscraper" people like myself. And those of you who are not. Most members here love and care so deeply for Fort Worth. But most here don't have Bass as a last name. And most of us will never be mayor.

 

But we have a voice. So why not let our city leaders know our opinion. Not just on election night. Keep talking. Year after year. Mayor after mayor . Council member after council member.Nothing wrong with voting. Nothing wrong with giving your opinion on a member's forum. And hope city leaders will read them. But a call or email to city hall is always worth a try.



#44 RD Milhollin

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 02:19 PM

To return to the thread topic for a moment: The urban growth was planned to be happening downtown and in the several urban villages established and recognized by the city: 

 

http://fortworthtexa... labeled(1).pdf

 

Not a lot of urban type growth seems to be happening outside of downtown except in West 7th and Magnolia. To a lesser extent there has been progress in Six Points, Berry/University, and Bluebonnet Circle. Berry/Riverside is decidedly suburban in nature, as exemplified by the Mega-Mart complex and the sea of unused parking, and Ridglea seems surprisingly quiet. Berry/University development seems to be completely dominated by University development (not surprisingly); so what is going on any of the others? Sure Hemphill/Berry got a Neighborhood market, but it is far from being designed as urban-oriented, and even what was built required an agonizing slog through corporate blackmail and misinformation and resulted in watered-down standards that will no doubt be followed by future endeavors. 

 

Is it the lack of transit; was this plan so dependent on transit that it will not happen in its absence? Blame it on the recession? Lack of public education on the benefits of urban form? Suburban wannabe mentality? Is this plan past-date? What, if anything, can be done to encourage sensible, sustainable development in a city that doesn't seem to want it?



#45 John T Roberts

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 03:03 PM

RD, you raise some good questions.  I do think that part of it is the lack of transit, but I'm not so sure that the plan was really so dependent that it will not happen in its absence.  I also think the recession has been a big factor in the lack of development in these urban villages.  I do think that lack of public education on the benefits of urban form has influenced this, as well.  I see so many developers who have always done things the suburban way, and they have made money from these projects, so they think "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".  They don't want to change their philosophies because their old model has always worked for them.  On your next two questions, I really can't answer.  On your last question, I feel the only way to accomplish this is to set up the design standards, tell the developers and the public that you are required to build in this manner, and there will NOT be any variances heard or granted for any project in those areas.  Then, maybe the city could see if these design standards are working and if the developers are willing to give in.  I guess if no development occurs for a certain length of time, then the city could look at revising the standards.  Maybe Fortworthology has some better ideas.



#46 McHand

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 01:26 PM

I'm no Fort Worthology, but I have an opinion. 

 

I think we are all looking at this backward.

 

We can't focus on urban villages if there is no real carless link between them.

 

We need to laser-focus on transit and walkability in this city.

 

Let me expound.

 

I recently spent some time in São Paulo, which is a very urban city, whose bairros are linked by an extremely efficient metro system, and whose neighborhoods are all mixed-use. 

In other words, moving around São Paulo is not about isolating yourself in a car and moving from one "village" to another. It is about this experience of moving through neighborhoods on foot and the interaction with other humans and their activities.

Paulistas are a social bunch.  Every street corner boasts a cafe/convenience store. Doors at street level stores and restaurant are wide open. This is the norm, rather than the upscale exception to the rule.

The Metro is very inexpensive and everyone uses it. Motorbike traffic is high.

Of course, there are cars.  Taxis abound. Many people own cars. 

But many do not, because it is not an absolute necessity.

 

Unless and until Fort Worth is a city where neighborhoods are linked carlessly, we will not be truly urban.


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#47 Austin55

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 04:30 PM

I've noticed a nice uptick of announcements in the past few months since I started the this thread.

At least 4 large Southside apartment projects, the Jetta Building and Lancaster Hotel downtown, at least 2 projects in the Stockyards, The Eye works building and some snaller developments along W7. This all on top of proposed things like Lamcaster Place and the Trinity Terrace expansion.

#48 Fort Worthology

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 07:50 AM

I'll get optimistic when they're actually turning dirt.


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#49 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 08:21 AM

I've noticed a nice uptick of announcements in the past few months since I started the this thread.


Perhaps you could start a few more threads...

#50 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 01:02 PM

...including one specifically for skyscrapers. B)


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