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#1 John T Roberts

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 07:49 PM

Thanks to Austin55 posting the link to the FAA site, I have found the heights of some Fort Worth buildings that I did not have previously.  They are:

 

Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center = 254 feet

Western Place = 193 feet

Lone Star Tower at the Texas Motor Speedway = 162 feet

Texas Motor Speedway = 153 feet

 

New Cook Children's South Tower = 120 feet

Height to the top of the antenna on top of the AT&T Building = 342 feet



#2 Citygeek

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 03:39 PM

Wonder if Fort Worth will ever build some tall buildings?



#3 John T Roberts

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 08:19 PM

Tall buildings will be built if there is ever a need for them.  I want to add that the building heights that I found were for some of the shorter buildings in the city.  The tallest is the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center and the part of the building that makes it the 14th tallest in the city is the spire.  The roof is much lower.



#4 Now in Denton

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Posted 09 November 2014 - 06:29 PM

I wonder what the Plains Capital buildings on I-30 on the West side of Fort Worth is ? Being so far from downtown. I don't think those buildings have ever been mentioned ?



#5 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 09 November 2014 - 10:08 PM

We lost two office towers with the 2000 tornado and have gained a few mid-size office buildings since.

 

Have we even regained the office space we lost in 2000? With continued population growth, I would imagine we could support a new office tower.


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#6 John T Roberts

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Posted 09 November 2014 - 10:27 PM

The Plains Capital Towers were originally built as Western Place.  Therefore, I now have their height at 193 feet.  Before I found their height they were placed in the Fort Worth's Tallest Building list, but only ranked by their floors.



#7 JBB

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 12:33 AM

Between Chase, Pier 1, Caceria, The Carnegie, the 2 Sundance plaza buildings, and whatever Radio Shack is still using for office space I'm their complex, I would guess office space is very close or above pre 2000 levels. Transport Life was vacant at the time and has since reopened and City Place was vacant for nearly a decade in between.

#8 Urbndwlr

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 12:16 PM

Downtown Fort Worth has more office space now than it had in 2000.  I don't have the numbers handy but off the top of my head, Sundance Square Management has built: approximately 600,000 SF of space, Radio Shack is approx 900,000 (approx 80% of which i think is education space now), Pier 1 is approx 460,000 SF, Cantey Hanger is 80,000 SF, Whitley Penn is 40,000 SF, Northwest Legal Aid - maybe 20,000 SF, I think City Place has made some formerly obsolete retail space available for office use.  So, counting Radio Shack as zero, in case it becomes 100% TCC at any point, the rest of the new office development since 2000 works out to about 1.2 MM SF of new office space.  The 500 Throckmorton (former Bank One Tower) conversion to condo only eliminated about 500,000 SF I think.  So we'd have a net gain of approx 700,000 SF.  This is rough math.  

 

One other note is that companies are occupying space more densely now than they used to.  So our overall Downtown employment might have grown by 30% and yet office absorption would grow by only 15-20% because more more efficient space use.  That can only go so far though and we'll need more quality office space that works for 21st Century needs.  



#9 johnfwd

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 07:53 AM

A few intuitive thoughts on building heights, from a non-architectural perspective.

 

In the past, tall buildings were situated in downtowns for a variety of reasons, but mainly due to economic efficiency factors such as density, land scarcity, and square footage costs.  Also, the hierarchical characteristic of corporations has been, until recently, a driver of height rather than horizontal (the CEO gets the penthouse view!).

 

These factors still work to influence the building of skyscrapers in downtowns, but less so today.  With corporations downsizing and being more horizontal in organizational structure, there's less a need for very tall buildings for office space.  And financial penny-pinching may influence developers to go easy on construction costs (maybe even if economies of scale mean it's cheaper to build up rather out on the small lots downtown).

 

A major factor that seems to work both ways (i.e. high profile vs. low profile) is the relatively recent introduction of residential condominium towers downtown.  Some residents prefer to live "high up" for a nice view of the landscape.  Ergo, tall towers.  However, if there are too many tall towers densely located, then some eyeball views of the landscape are going to be blocked.  In the past, irate residents have even sued on dubious claims that they're rights to a clear view of the landscape have been violated by an adjacent skyscraper that blocks that view!  Not so much around these parts.  But, as you might imagine, the southern Florida area had some lawsuits awhile back because of those tall condos blocking residents' views of the beach.

 

In regards to the foregoing, I'm aware of the height-restriction controversy that erupted recently in our own cultural district.  The idea being that tall buildings in that environs would block one's view of the museums, or something like that.

 

One other deterrence to greater building heights is related somewhat to historical preservation.  Historically, of course, buildings were not as tall as they are today.  So a developer would be hard-pressed to argue for the construction of a 30-story building in a historical preservation district comprised of 6-story buildings.

 

I, like a lot of others in this Forum, would like to see more skyscrapers in downtown Fort Worth...mostly for reasons of pride and vanity.  That's what makes me puzzled by the seeming humility of some of the prominent stakeholders in downtown (e.g., the three new 6-story office buildings around Sundance Square when a vain developer might have built at least one skyscraper adjacent to the plaza).  But maybe they're thinking is more along the lines of environmental aesthetics rather than height hubris. 



#10 John T Roberts

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 08:55 AM

You know they were thinking about environmental aesthetics when they designed the buildings around the plaza.  A 30 story tower would have been very inappropriate at the plaza.  You also mentioned that a developer would be hard pressed to build a 30 story building in a historic district.  With Sundance Square, the historic district is not official, but by the work the Bass Family has done, it's there.  Most of the buildings are designated Demolition Delay, but you could see that the properties are contiguous and if upgraded to a Historic and Cultural Landmark Status, the buildings would comprise a district.  Also, the Mural and Land Title Buildings are desginated as Historic and Cultural Landmarks with the city; therefore, the adjacent Westbrook and Commerce Buildings do respect their smaller scale.



#11 JBB

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:32 AM

I can accept the fact that SS management erred on the side of aesthetics when it came to their choice of buildings in the new plaza. But suggesting that other developers are exercising "humility" with their choices is absurd. I hate to be the one to always beat the economics drum on here, but I find it hard to believe that developers would leave money on the table and go small in the name of humility. When there's more money in going tall, developers will go tall. I've never in my life understood why supply and demand is such a foreign concept to some.

#12 Austin55

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:46 AM

If you want to know why they didn't build a big building on the Plaza go to Burnett Park.

#13 John T Roberts

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 10:11 AM

Austin, Burnett Plaza is a great example.  The building puts too much shade in the park for too many hours during the day.  I always thought that it should have been built one more block to the west.  They also should have saved the Medical Arts Building, but all of that is water under the bridge.



#14 Austin55

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 11:49 AM

PS I checked the FAA proposal for things like cranes/buildings, etc today but found nothing new. 



#15 johnfwd

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 03:52 PM

I can accept the fact that SS management erred on the side of aesthetics when it came to their choice of buildings in the new plaza. But suggesting that other developers are exercising "humility" with their choices is absurd. I hate to be the one to always beat the economics drum on here, but I find it hard to believe that developers would leave money on the table and go small in the name of humility. When there's more money in going tall, developers will go tall. I've never in my life understood why supply and demand is such a foreign concept to some.

Maybe I was using the term "humility" too loosely, but I was trying to make the point (as I have in previous posts) that some people DO build very tall buildings because they are wealthy megalomaniacs.  Maybe I'm wrong, but do you really believe the guy in Dubai spent billions to build a 162-floor skyscraper because of Market Demand?  I'd be curious to know what the vacancy rate is in that office building.



#16 JBB

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 04:06 PM

Fair enough. Though, I would say that's the exception and not the rule. Comparing what goes on in FW with Dubai is marble-to-bowling balls at best. I would say that, for the most part, ego projects don't typically get very far in US markets (ex: the ridiculous tower proposed in Midland).

Just a quick Google search shows that the apartments in Burj Khalifa were 80% occupied in 2012. I couldn't find much info on office occupancy.




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