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Butler Place redevelopment plan being studied


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#1 JBB

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 09:20 AM

By development experts during a 5-day conference in December. Demolition and replacement with more modern public housing is the expected recommendation:

http://www.star-tele...le42150519.html

#2 Doohickie

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 11:47 AM

What would also help is demolition of the triangle of freeways that seal the whole thing off from the rest of the city, but we know how likely that is.

 

Okay, remove the freeways.  What do you have now?  A district that borders a train yard to the west, a row of homeless shelters to the south, and the Trinity River to the east.  Remove all the freeways and they're still isolated.


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#3 JBB

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 11:56 AM

The freeways (and the obstacles that Doohickie mentions) certainly limit the appeal to developers. I'm just hopeful that it doesn't end up being replaced with generic, suburban-style apartments and town homes.

#4 Doohickie

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 12:12 PM

The article mentions that it's quite a large parcel at 44 acres.  Perhaps they could look at a high-rise for house and develop the rest of the area as mixed use, along the lines of W7th with more affordable retail.  Maybe try to bridge (literally) the gap between Butler and the sliver just west of I-35, and enhance the access to downtown via 8th Street.  Redevelop the warehouses on 8th as kind of an entry into the area.  Get a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market or WinCo at the northern tip of the triangle and use it to not only service Butler but provide affordable groceries to the east end of downtown.


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#5 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 09:43 PM

Sounds like a good idea, but what happens to the people who currently live there when it's torn down?


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#6 JBB

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 10:07 PM

I would assume it will be done in phases. Like most multi-family housing, I doubt it's fully occupied all of the time. I'm sure they can also shift people around to other properties around town, similar to how they did when they closed Hunter Plaza.

#7 Austin55

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Posted 03 November 2015 - 08:39 AM

Butler Place's location is terribly impractical. I can't imagine a worse place for urban development in Fort Worth. Which is a shame since walkable development is especcially helpful for people who can't afford a car or need to be using that money elsewhere. Maybe the area is large enough to support itself a bit, since feeding off the surrounding neighborhoods does'nt seem very viable as they are not simple to access.



#8 renamerusk

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Posted 03 November 2015 - 10:57 PM

Butler Place's location is terribly impractical......

 

I tend to think that the location can be made very desirable because of its proximity to a park that fronts the river.

 

The solution might be a deck park over MLK Freeway that would connect the area to the park and the river.

 

FWHA could potentially realize a substantial bonanza; one that it could use to subsidize vouchers to pay for public assisted housing throughout the city, if it took this very interesting topography and changed it into an urban village of chateaus styled housing.



#9 Doohickie

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Posted 04 November 2015 - 12:04 AM

I think you've got to link it to something.  I was thinking about joining to to downtown, you to the park.  That also crossed my mind.  To be honest though I think that section of the river is especially scenic.  Maybe if they put a deck park in over the freeway they could also put some amenities in that part of the park.  There's already a community center there.


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#10 Austin55

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Posted 04 November 2015 - 08:28 AM

They are rebuilding 287 right now. If ever there was a time to plan to bury the highway, it was 5 years ago. 



#11 mmmdan

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Posted 04 November 2015 - 11:00 AM

It's interesting to look at this neighborhood on historic aerials. Before the highways went in it was a nice dense neighborhood with excellent connections to Lancaster.  The highways basically removed everything but the public housing and the school.  There were a few single family homes that were left between I-35 and the railroad, but they all slowly disappeared as time went on.



#12 John T Roberts

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Posted 04 November 2015 - 01:08 PM

It's also interesting to see that the neighborhood actually had fairly good connectivity to Lancaster, the neighborhoods to the south, and to downtown, considering all of the barriers set by just the railroads.  It's also interesting to see the clearly defined street grids of the neighborhood, and now those have been obliterated as well, by the construction of the freeways.



#13 RD Milhollin

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 09:31 AM

I hope the ULI study can make some positive recommendations to address the public housing problem represented by Butler Place. The area is like an island, as has been pointed out, and there are only four ways in and out. I am not aware of any shopping available other than a convenience store and a liquor store, and no employment opportunities outside of education close by. When I was more up-to-date on ULI, SmartGrowth, and other sustainable trends one of the tenets that was impressed on me was the need for mixed-income neighborhoods within mixed-use development to allow places for people working low income jobs to have a place to live along with the needed demographic to attract businesses to provide those jobs. TCC already has a presence, as well as the FWISD, so that is a major plus already. If the magnet arts school had been located here that would have been another major asset attracting the "creative class" that would help to rejuvenate and energize the area. Institutional housing is not the answer IMO; an "urban village" approach would seem to make a lot more sense. All the urban villages need to have a housing component for people with entry-level jobs so they can live close to work and not need to waste income keeping a car running. I hope that dispersing the warehoused residents into several neighborhoods closer to employment and other opportunities will be a part of the set of recommendations that result from this effort.

 

Infrastructure related: At some point there should be an effort to extend Luela Street under the two sets of railroad tracks between "Butler Island" and Downtown, connecting with either 12th or 14th Streets. This might be done in partnership with whichever railroad owns the triangle of land in-between that would then be freed up for more substantial development than rail and tie storage. A bus line established along that new street into the Butler area would allow for improved connectivity to all parts of the city, attracting middle-class residents needed to attract consumer-related businesses and accompanying jobs to the area. The street could also be the location for a future streetcar line connecting the downtown ITC/9th Street Station with Harmon Park, the Lancaster corridor, a rejuvenated Historic Southside, and Poly/Wesleyan. As the lower Riverside area area experiences its inevitable redevelopment there may be the need for a new Trinity River bridge taking Luela from "Butler Hill" over to Sylvania Avenue and Riverside Drive and the new developments that will rise along the margins of a fully-realized Gateway Park area. A central plaza or square should be established in "Butler Heights" where dense mixed use retail/housing, transportation connections, entertainment, etc. could be concentrated, with less dense uses surrounding it. The historic Terrell name and school needs to be preserved to provide an anchor for the neighborhood, maybe in the form of "Terrell Square" as the centerpiece of the redevelopment. The large footprint the current housing project occupies allows a fairly open palette for proper/traditional urban development, including pedestrian scaled blocks and shared parking between complementary uses (night/day, weekday/weekend, etc.)

 

There is reason for hope that some visionary reuse for this land might result from the upcoming workshop, but it will take commitment from the city leaders and from the existing local community as well as business leaders willing to take a risk by investing into this area.



#14 Austin55

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 03:41 PM

Another challenge to development here is the terrain. I had forgotten just how Hilly Butler is. However, I could see a developer using the natural landscape as an advantage.



#15 Doohickie

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 09:31 AM

Another challenge to development here is the terrain. I had forgotten just how Hilly Butler is. However, I could see a developer using the natural landscape as an advantage.


Yep. I've ridden bikes through there once or twice with the Night Riders and there are definitely some steep hills in there.
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#16 renamerusk

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Posted 09 December 2015 - 03:34 PM

This might need a new thread, but I'm not sure. Last night the plans for the FWISD STEM and Visual Arts Academy were introduced.  I was a skeptic, but this rendering/plan is pretty darn awesome. 

 

 

This might need a new thread, but I'm not sure. Last night the plans for the FWISD STEM and Visual Arts Academy were introduced.

 

Something tells me that Butler Housing, when it is "improved", will become part of this in the long term. 

 

Butler Place's location is terribly impractical......

 

I tend to think that the location can be made very desirable because of its proximity to a park that fronts the river.

 

The solution might be a deck park over MLK Freeway that would connect the area to the park and the river.

 

FWHA could potentially realize a substantial bonanza; one that it could use to subsidize vouchers to pay for public assisted housing throughout the city, if it took this very interesting topography and changed it into an urban village of chateaus styled housing.

 

I think you've got to link it to something.  I was thinking about joining to to downtown, you to the park.  That also crossed my mind.  To be honest though I think that section of the river is especially scenic.  Maybe if they put a deck park in over the freeway they could also put some amenities in that part of the park.  There's already a community center there.

 

The focus in the past has been to create a direct connection between this area and Downtown; and at almost any cost  The more practical focus may be to connect this neighborhood and the STEM Academy to Harmon Park and the river.  Build a wide deck over Hwy 287 and add affordable town homes with the academy as the centerpiece, and you will have a highly desirable neighborhood.

 

Connecting to Downtown can be achieved via the 4th Street corridor at a far lesser cost to implement.

 

It is becoming obvious that this is a gem in the rough.



#17 John T Roberts

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Posted 09 December 2015 - 09:49 PM

I was interviewed by the ULI regarding Butler Place on Tuesday.  It was an hour that was well spent and I thought was very interesting.  I was interviewed by a Landscape Architect from Detroit.  The interview took place at the I.M. Terrell Elementary School Campus, inside the earliest building.  RD, you and I have some of the same ideas and I discussed those at length.  I was also told that there is a consideration to extend Luella into downtown.  The first idea was to build a bridge over all of the railroad yard, but they found that was impossible because the freeway has already encroached too far west to get a roadway over the railroad with proper clearance within the current space allowed.  They have also looked at building a tunnel, but the distance will probably create safety issues. 

 

If any of you have the time to see and hear the results of the interviews that were conducted this week, there is a public meeting on Friday, December 11 from 8:30 until 11 AM at the I.M. Terrell Elementary School Auditorium.  The address of the school is 1411 I.M. Terrell Circle South. 



#18 BlueMound

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 11:57 PM

Panel calls for 'decking over' railroad yards on west side of Butler Place
Decking would create 70 acres of new public land
http://www.star-tele...le49398980.html

#19 Austin55

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Posted 12 December 2015 - 12:13 AM

A 70 acre deck?! Goodness. That seems overly ambitious and unnecessary to me honestly. Developable land is shrinking, but UWS, Southside, and in a few years Panther Island will all have space for expansion I'd think.



#20 Jeriat

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Posted 12 December 2015 - 02:59 AM

Panel calls for 'decking over' railroad yards on west side of Butler Place
Decking would create 70 acres of new public land
http://www.star-tele...le49398980.html

I'd LOVE this idea... but no. This shouldn't happen. 
Maybe a strip of land, or revamp the existing overpass, but that's about it. 


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#21 renamerusk

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Posted 12 December 2015 - 06:28 AM

My goodness! A waste of professional consultant fees. -  "A deck; where did that idea come from? :swg:

 

Sure it would be nice to have a seamless connection to Downtown, but is connectivity really necessary?

 

Now a deck over US287 to enhance what could become known as "New Left Bank", bantered around lately and mainly by me, could  revitalize Butler Place (BP) and spur development of the river frontage at the same time.

 

Now if you must connect BP to Downtown, hire Disney and build a monorail, skylink, etc.



#22 John T Roberts

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Posted 12 December 2015 - 08:12 AM

I'm not really thinking that decking is the answer, but when I was interviewed, I did recommend that connectivity to downtown should be improved.  I did not offer specific suggestions to remedy that situation.  I did suggest that connecting to the river to the east might be easier, but I didn't think that it would generate too much activity. 



#23 RD Milhollin

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Posted 12 December 2015 - 11:33 AM

What I read "loud and clear" in this article is the call for extensive talks with the railroads. They hold the key card in this part of town, and there at least two who control that massive (70 + acre) "wasteland" east of the buildings facing Jones Street.

 

I still believe there is the possibility that a joint effort between the city, state, federal governments, and the railroads could be reached in which the freight lines could be thinned out, consolidated, and sunk below grade (as discussed in previous threads here)  as a permanent solution to the Tower 55 bottleneck. In the process right-of-way for future HSR could be dedicated next to the existing TRE/Amtrak lines, and similar ROW set aside for future urban transit. Street ROW over the tracks would open up the "Terrell Hill" area as well as make available for urban development much land now lying fallow between the several utilized freight tracks. Yeah, some serious engineering work and construction would be needed, but as much as a "deck"? It would have been interesting to have the ULI group do a cost/benefit comparison. Air rights over the depressed tracks could provide revenue to the railroads, perhaps rents from any development in these areas could be dedicated to future maintenance of the "union" tracks and facilities constructed as part of this hypothetical project. 

 

A deck? I agree the best place for a deck would be over one or more of the freeways ringing the Terrell land.



#24 360texas

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Posted 12 December 2015 - 05:23 PM

It might be all about the money. Which entity will benefit financially ?

List named companies or private entities for whom will benefit the greatest ?


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#25 David_H

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Posted 12 December 2015 - 06:16 PM

Butler Place reminds me of Penn's Landing in Philadelphia. That area is also cut off from the rest of the city by an Interstate highway and a river. There was never a solution found (even with some decking) and it is a chore to try and get over there.

 

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#26 Austin55

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 08:57 PM

Butler Place needs help for sure,

 

 

http://www.fox4news..../56580247-story



#27 Jeriat

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 12:03 AM

Butler Place needs help for sure,

 

 

http://www.fox4news..../56580247-story

 

Let's be honest... this is the MAIN reason why they're trying to get rid of it. 


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#28 Mr_Brightside526

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 11:07 AM

My goodness! A waste of professional consultant fees. -  "A deck; where did that idea come from? :swg:

 

Sure it would be nice to have a seamless connection to Downtown, but is connectivity really necessary?

 

Now a deck over US287 to enhance what could become known as "New Left Bank", bantered around lately and mainly by me, could  revitalize Butler Place (BP) and spur development of the river frontage at the same time.

 

Now if you must connect BP to Downtown, hire Disney and build a monorail, skylink, etc.

 

I agree completely. If you want to deck something, then deck 287. That would provide access to a much larger area of land with more development potential to become a very attractive community along the river. Especially since you would be able to connect it to Top Golf to the north. Not to mention the engineering costs would be significantly less and you wouldn't have to deal with the railroad for approval.

 

Butler Place is actually the perfect place for a corporate campus while integrating the residential units needed into the land below it.

 

https://drive.google...iew?usp=sharing



#29 Volare

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 11:10 AM

“Market conditions are good,” Lander said. “It will take long-term planning, patience and persistence. Our panel learned Fort Worth thinks big. We think you’re up to it.”

 

Really?

 

Is this the same Fort Worth that hasn't built a skyscraper since the 80s?

The same Fort Worth that dumped a $25 mil Federal streetcar grant just to show the Feds we didn't want their money?

The same Fort Worth that doesn't bother building any infrastructure before 100k people move to a new part of town?

The same Fort Worth that refuses to adequately fund transportation, and then wonders why the T is a failure?

Perhaps they were talking about land area and our incessant desire to annex anything south of the Red River?

 



#30 Doohickie

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 10:51 PM

12246896_1021344624582854_84581447055969


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#31 Austin55

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 02:03 AM

The PDF put together by the Urban Land Institute can be found Here



#32 Jeriat

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 03:46 PM

The PDF put together by the Urban Land Institute can be found Here

 

Are they really going with calling one of those new neighborhoods "Station Square"? 

 

Because if they are, they'll be hearing from a certain blue hedgehog's lawyers... 

 

hqdefault.jpg

 

 

(so many memories listening to this song...)


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#33 BlueMound

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 08:47 PM

Could the Butler Place land be used as a location for a future Rangers ballpark (retractable roof) ?
It is highly unlikely that Arlington will ever let the Rangers slip away.
But still ?
Mac Engel's column in the Star Telegram
Mac sounds like he is in favor of FW making an effort to lure the Rangers away.
http://www.star-tele...le50141720.html

#34 Jeriat

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 03:42 PM

Could the Butler Place land be used as a location for a future Rangers ballpark (retractable roof) ?
It is highly unlikely that Arlington will ever let the Rangers slip away.
But still ?
Mac Engel's column in the Star Telegram
Mac sounds like he is in favor of FW making an effort to lure the Rangers away.
http://www.star-tele...le50141720.html

 

Well, so much for that. 


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#35 Austin55

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 10:41 PM

Driving down Spur 280 and seeing the columns rise to the east of Butler place gives little hope that the area has a positive future. I wish Spur 280 could've been torn down and rerouted so Butler would have been open to one side at least. 

That monstrosity of a highway going up east of downtown is just a mess. 



#36 Jeriat

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 11:06 PM

Driving down Spur 280 and seeing the columns rise to the east of Butler place gives little hope that the area has a positive future. I wish Spur 280 could've been torn down and rerouted so Butler would have been open to one side at least. 

That monstrosity of a highway going up east of downtown is just a mess. 

 

Well... there is that "Station Square" deck they were mentioning... 


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#37 dangr.dave

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 07:50 AM

http://www.nbcdfw.co...-409603765.html



#38 JBB

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 09:23 AM

I'm really surprised they seem to be taking it that direction.  I don't imagine that's going to be a very popular decision.



#39 renamerusk

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 10:08 AM

I'm really surprised they seem to be taking it that direction.  I don't imagine that's going to be a very popular decision.

 

 "relocate residents and sell/develop site"

 

 I find those ideas to be excellent social and sound investment ideas.

 

 Strenuously vetted, the 900 residents making up the families can be dispersed into single family dwelling and into some of the new apartments being built in the city.  Families placed in improved dwellings will be able to have access to builder schools, stores, parks, etc.  There will be a positive financial boost to FWHA and a reduction in expenditures from the general tax funds.

 

 There is little doubt that the site has enormous potential for private and commercial development.  The site comes ready made with street infrastructure complete with hills and easily fostered promenade to the river.  With the opening of FWISD STEM & Arts Academy and to Downtown, the site can become a second, smaller version of Panther Island. 



#40 Austin55

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 10:49 AM

Just to compare with a similar site- http://www.nbcdfw.co...-412733063.html

#41 renamerusk

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 11:53 AM

Just to compare with a similar site- ......

 

 What is the similarity?



#42 JBB

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 01:25 PM

Surrounded by freeways.

#43 Austin55

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 01:41 PM

Surrounded by freeways.

 

Beat me to it. 

 

oEmB0N9.png



#44 renamerusk

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 05:28 PM

However, while Irving is struggling to redevelop its freeway choking island, at Fort Worth has begun to redevelop its similarly distressed island with the building of the FWISD STEM&A Academy.

 

It will only take an innovative land bridge over Spur 280 to connect the neighborhood to a riverside park and future waterfront developments.



#45 JBB

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 04:04 PM

The project now has a developer:

http://www.star-tele...e140163518.html

#46 Austin55

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 01:52 AM

Interesting. JHP has done some pretty good stuff around here and elsewhere, usually more walkable type developments which is nice to see. I'm curious how this turns out for sure, and if it will have any mix of uses at all, a few affordable retail/market places could really go a long way for the area. 



#47 renamerusk

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 09:20 PM

Here were a couple of concepts that were put up,

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Surrounded by freeways.

 

Beat me to it. 

 

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 This just happens to be a very nice riverfront which has lagged behind other parts of the river.  With the Butler Housing Redevelopment ahead and the FWISD STEM& ARTS Academy coming, all that is needed is a deck style park to bridge the river development with BHR.

 

Together, they will create an impressive gateway approaching from the east. The future looks awesome.



#48 Doohickie

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 09:52 AM

It will only take an innovative land bridge over Spur 280 to connect the neighborhood to a riverside park and future waterfront developments.

 

I've ridden the existing bridge over 287 on my bike.  Just make that an all-way stop where it crosses the access road and I think it's good.

 

Of course a Klyde Warren-style makeover would be neat.


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#49 Doohickie

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 10:50 AM

Also, it would be good if Luella could be extended in a pedestrian friendly manner all the way to the southeast corner of downtown.


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