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Texas & Pacific Warehouse

Downtown Historic Buildings Historic Preservation Lancaster Corridor

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#51 Fort Worthology

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 07:27 AM

What would you like me to say? The renderings are fairly clear.

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#52 RD Milhollin

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 10:13 PM

Does anyone else get an odd feeling from the way a (faux) mansard roof tops a row of featureless windows set above Spanish/Mediterranean colonade? Maybe this is a very rough rendering and the architectural motifs have not really been decided on, but if they proceed as the drawing shows my take is an ungainly mis-mash of styles.

#53 making a difference

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 07:47 AM

QUOTE (Atomic Glee @ Oct 10 2008, 01:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>











#54 making a difference

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 07:56 AM

QUOTE (Atomic Glee @ Oct 13 2008, 08:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What would you like me to say? The renderings are fairly clear.

Hay, great to see you are on top of things as usual; I believe you showed up at a presentation we put on down at Texas and Pacific Lofts with Fernando Costa or JD Granger earlier this year. While I am an incredibly strong supporter of the Lancaster Corridor, I am pushing hard to ensure that this incredible makeover stays on track. As the immense Trinity River Project ramps up, the Lancaster Corridor may become the ant in the shadow of the elephant. I am concerned that retail has not begun on the north side of Lancaster, the talks on the Post Office have slowed, and moreover, it is next to impossible to get any form of answers on where the Texas and Pacific Warehouse plans now lie. The renderings are fantastic, but they are just that.
I think that it is imperative that the people of Fort Worth ensure that we finish one project as we begin others. This area will not be complete as long as the T&P Warehouse remains in the state it is in, and the Post Office remains a tarnished jewel.
If anyone has any updates on where either of these discussions are at please feel free; it will save us trying to weed through all the rumors:)
Sahne Luxton T&P Lofts Association.

#55 Willy1

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 01:07 PM

Unfortunately, now that the economy has totally tanked I doubt we'll see much new development in DT FW for a while, maybe even years. So, I wouldn't be surprised to see the T&P Warehouse remain vacant for quite a while. As much as I hate it, compared to other cities of similar size or similar growth rates, FW is rather conservative when it comes to building large-scale projects even in boom times. So, now that the economy has cooled off and FW's population boom seems to be slowing, I'm afraid project such as this one will have an even harder time getting off the ground. I think we'll see the stuff already under development finished, but then there will be a lag in new developments announced. The days of "Building and they will come" have passed for now, and I think FW missed the boat when it comes to a lot of vertical construction possibilites. The city has done a great job redeveloping old properties and restoring some of the beautiful old buildings to pristine conditions! I love that and I think that if the bubble hadn't burst, once DT FW ran out of old buildings to restore, then we would have seen serious vertical skyline changes. I think the focus on restoration is one reason the city has doubled in population in the last 20 years but only managed to build one high rise over 25 stories in the same period. And, given the city demolisted one 30 story building, it's sort of a wash. Although, the new Omni FW is shaping up to be a great replacement for the old CNB building. Given the current economic crisis, I just hope the TRV project doesn't get scaled back to some lame version of the once great plan.

Then again, if things get bad enough, maybe the government will implement some sort of Work Relief program like they did during the depression, resulting in new and significant construction projects. Some of FW's iconic buildings were built during that period.

#56 Bradleto

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 09:46 AM

I am not sure we "missed the boat" so much as we missed having a slew of empty vertical buildings... but I acknowledge your point and I think it is a valid one regarding the future.

Supply and demand seems reasonably balanced in Fort Worth, to me, though a significant recession could tilt the balance. I'd sure hate to be in the middle of a building project in New York right about now with the carnage there to the financial industry, former big consumers of commercial space.

Deleveraging will take a toll on many industries and commercial real estate will be more negatively impacted than most. I suppose what it may require is some sort of tax angle to attract capital again.

Here's hoping our (Fort Worth's) supposed economic diversity sees us through to the other end in good fashion. If so, I suppose we will be right back on track to build out the Metroplex.

Brad

#57 David Love

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Posted 19 October 2008 - 11:04 PM

Compared to the rest of the country where real estate is concerned, knock on wood, we seem to be weathering the storm rather well. I'm just assuming that's partly due to Fort Worth's slow and steady approach to building... okay, maybe slow and slower might be a better analogy.

I've welcomed the reality check, on some level anyway, since one of the great things about Fort Worth is its affordability, when I start seeing asking prices higher than big D and in some cases cities much much larger, it tends to worry me that we'll end up in the same situation as the rest of the country.



I've been curious about the water in the basement, was it just ground water that seeped in or did it drain down from higher floors and leaks in the roof?

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#58 Now in Denton

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 01:33 PM

QUOTE (Willy1 @ Oct 15 2008, 02:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Unfortunately, now that the economy has totally tanked I doubt we'll see much new development in DT FW for a while, maybe even years. So, I wouldn't be surprised to see the T&P Warehouse remain vacant for quite a while. As much as I hate it, compared to other cities of similar size or similar growth rates, FW is rather conservative when it comes to building large-scale projects even in boom times. So, now that the economy has cooled off and FW's population boom seems to be slowing, I'm afraid project such as this one will have an even harder time getting off the ground. I think we'll see the stuff already under development finished, but then there will be a lag in new developments announced. The days of "Building and they will come" have passed for now, and I think FW missed the boat when it comes to a lot of vertical construction possibilites. The city has done a great job redeveloping old properties and restoring some of the beautiful old buildings to pristine conditions! I love that and I think that if the bubble hadn't burst, once DT FW ran out of old buildings to restore, then we would have seen serious vertical skyline changes. I think the focus on restoration is one reason the city has doubled in population in the last 20 years but only managed to build one high rise over 25 stories in the same period. And, given the city demolisted one 30 story building, it's sort of a wash. Although, the new Omni FW is shaping up to be a great replacement for the old CNB building. Given the current economic crisis, I just hope the TRV project doesn't get scaled back to some lame version of the once great plan.

Then again, if things get bad enough, maybe the government will implement some sort of Work Relief program like they did during the depression, resulting in new and significant construction projects. Some of FW's iconic buildings were built during that period.


Very well said. Even in boom times Fort Worth is still very shy.


#59 Fort Worthology

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 01:43 PM

I can't agree with that. One need only look at 7th Street to see that we are hardly "shy." So what if it's not 20+ stories? Skyscrapers aren't all that. If I could only talk about the stuff I know about in the Near Southside that's in planning (but which I've promised to keep a lid on).

The T&P Warehouse is more due to, I'll just say it, a flakey developer than anything else.

Quality small-scale infill is more important to the health of the city than a couple of new skyscrapers and there is still a good roster of that in the works in the background. Just because it isn't talked about on the forum doesn't mean it's not in the works.

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#60 Recyclican

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 07:33 PM

QUOTE (Willy1 @ Oct 15 2008, 02:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Then again, if things get bad enough, maybe the government will implement some sort of Work Relief program like they did during the depression, resulting in new and significant construction projects. Some of FW's iconic buildings were built during that period.


Agreed x 700,000,000,000.00

I wish Congress had invested that money in local infrastructure instead of where it ended up.

QUOTE (David Love @ Oct 20 2008, 12:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've been curious about the water in the basement, was it just ground water that seeped in or did it drain down from higher floors and leaks in the roof?


From what I've heard, it came in through the roof. As AG eluded, flakey developer. If they had a real interest in redeveloping this site they would have stabilized it from further deterioration.

#61 John T Roberts

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 08:43 PM

I have toured the building twice in recent years. The water in the basement comes from one main source and several smaller contributing sources. The westernmost elevator hoistway has been completely removed except for the holes in the floors. This includes the exterior walls and roof of the penthouse. This makes a 10 story shaft within the building open to the air and to the roof for water to drain down into. In addition to this, the roof drains and associated pipes have also been removed, so any low spot on the roof collects the water and deposits that down on each floor below. The water eventually makes it down to the basement. Finally, most of the windows are broken; therefore, the wind can blow water into the building via those windows and that will make it down to the basement.

#62 Recyclican

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 09:25 PM

By the way, John was my source smile.gif

#63 RD Milhollin

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 06:21 AM

Looks like the threats on the Fort Worth Forum to turn the Paintball Palace into City Hall got the owner busy putting plans together. Is she just protecting the tax status of her property? A 2-foot high, 160 lb. roll of carpet with architectureal plans including detail of doorknobs set her back some, so maybe this is the real thing! Roof-top club... YES!

Posted on Thu, Aug. 06, 2009 Owner of T&P warehouse files plans for long-awaited project

By SANDRA BAKERsabaker@star-telegram.com

http://www.star-tele...ry/1525351.html

FORT WORTH — The owner of the long-vacant Texas & Pacific warehouse on Lancaster Avenue has taken steps in the past couple of weeks to set in motion the redevelopment of the nearly 80-year-old historic structure.

Dallas-based Cleopatra Investments has filed architectural and engineering plans and a building permit application with the city. The documents offer the first peek at what the project entails and are so large they resemble rolls of carpeting and weigh more than 160 pounds.

The paperwork, which spells out specifications from appliances to doorknobs, stands more than 2 feet high, owner Ola Assem said.

Roof clubhouse planned

Although construction may not start until next year and take a couple of years to complete, the latest steps are significant.

As part of the project, 335,230 of the building’s 580,000 square feet will be converted into 343 apartments, including 20 penthouses, on the second through eighth floors. About 39,000 square feet will be leased for shops and restaurants on the first floor, and the basement will mainly be used for parking, Assem said.

The first floor will also have a leasing office, lobby, lounge, and conference room/business center. The roof will have a pool, clubhouse, sun decks and a sky bar.

"We have a very unique, stunning 61,000-square-foot roof with beautiful historic structures," Assem said.

Other exterior modifications are planned, but the major one requested is an expansion of window size. Because the project is an adaptive reuse of an historic building, she’ll need special permission for that.

In addition to the city, the project needs approval from the National Park Service, Fort Worth Landmarks Commission, Lancaster Tax Increment Finance District board and Downtown Design Review Board. Construction costs have been placed at $40 million on the initial filings.

Overcoming obstacles

Assem has owned the eight-story building since 1998. She said she’s had plans ready as far back as 2001, only to have them stalled because of marketplace changes. She’s always planned to convert the building for apartments, but over the years, obstacles have challenged and slowed the behemoth project, she said.

To name a few, Assem said she waited for the completion of the Interstate 30 relocation to the south of the building; for Lancaster Avenue improvements to be completed; for the establishment of the Lancaster TIF; and to coordinate the project with the design for a connector planned for Lamar and Hemphill streets on the west side of the building.

Filing the construction plans, though, satisfies the first step in her 2007 agreement with the Lancaster TIF that required architectural and engineering plans be filed by Dec. 31, 2008. The deadline was extended to July 31, allowing Assem time to address delays caused by the Lamar/Hemphill connector design and right-of-way issues for a possible future commuter rail line on her property.

The project stands to receive $9.1 million in TIF money when certain development terms regarding the size and scope of the project are met. Assem is also applying for federal historic preservation tax credits.

Good market conditions

The T&P warehouse was built in 1931. It has been largely vacant since the 1970s. Most of the building is in good condition, but some areas are badly deteriorated, Assem said.

Market conditions, including strong occupancy at downtown offices and at nearby apartment communities, are in her favor moving forward, Assem said.

SANDRA BAKER, 817-390-7727

#64 Fort Worthology

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 07:25 AM

I'm still in the "I'll believe it when I see it" club. I still think she's a flake and never intends to do anything with it. Would love to be proven wrong.

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#65 Sam Stone

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 11:12 AM

My sentiments exactly, Kevin. Doesn't $40M sound low for a project of this scale? $40M/580k sq.ft. = $69/sq.ft. in order to turn that hulk into a habitable building.

It sounds to me like she just needed to file the plans by that date in order to stay in the game. Someone with experience and capital needs to take that building off her hands.

#66 longhornz32

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 11:52 AM

QUOTE (Atomic Glee @ Aug 7 2009, 08:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm still in the "I'll believe it when I see it" club. I still think she's a flake and never intends to do anything with it. Would love to be proven wrong.



I will be the first to admit that I don't know much about this project at all. Kevin, why do you think someone would hold on to such an expensive piece of property without serious intentions of development? Do you think her intentions are just to wait for the right opportunity to sell? That's some serious resources to be able to flip this kind of property.

$69k sq.ft. sounds awfully low knowing how bad of shape that building is inside.

#67 Fort Worthology

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 12:07 PM

QUOTE (longhornz32 @ Aug 7 2009, 12:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Atomic Glee @ Aug 7 2009, 08:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm still in the "I'll believe it when I see it" club. I still think she's a flake and never intends to do anything with it. Would love to be proven wrong.



I will be the first to admit that I don't know much about this project at all. Kevin, why do you think someone would hold on to such an expensive piece of property without serious intentions of development? Do you think her intentions are just to wait for the right opportunity to sell? That's some serious resources to be able to flip this kind of property.

$69k sq.ft. sounds awfully low knowing how bad of shape that building is inside.


"Why" could be an awfully complex answer, but you see it all the time in Fort Worth - people holding on to vacant lots or old buildings for years, sometimes even passing the decade mark, because they're paying undervalued taxes, or because they figure if they just wait ten more years they can make a killing, or...or...or...

She's had this thing since 1998 and it's just gotten worse since then. Pull the fargin' trigger already or sell it to somebody who will.

EDIT: For the curious, the TAD listing:

http://www.tad.org/D...cou...3D41I@L


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#68 WTx

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 03:13 PM

QUOTE
In addition to the city, the project needs approval from the National Park Service


Why does the National Park Service have a dog in this hunt? Does this have anything to do with endangered species?

#69 John T Roberts

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 05:43 PM

Yes, they do because the building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

#70 John T Roberts

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 06:32 PM

I also think the Texas Historical Commission will be involved because the building is also listed as a Registered Texas Historical Landmark. The warehouse just about the most designations and the highest level that any building can be designated in the City of Fort Worth.

#71 mr pipeline

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 01:26 PM

Still crossing my fingers that this will happen too, it took years and years to redevelop the terminal building, but eventually it happend. Once the owner has secured all the TIF and tax credit $$ they can squeeze out of the city, and a big name mix-use developer comes along, thats when the ball really seems to roll.

Driving around the building the other week, I'm always stumped by the partial red brick road work around back. Seems like extra bricks were left over from redoing Camp Bowie and ended up going towards covering the parking lot back there. Just my unlikely-theory blink.gif




#72 AndyN

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 10:52 AM

T&P warehouse redevelopment plans revealed
Posted Thursday, Nov. 05, 2009
By SANDRA BAKER
sabaker@star-telegram.com

Redevelopment of the historic Texas & Pacific warehouse on Lancaster Avenue in downtown Fort Worth will include a driveway through the center angry.gif of the building, a boardwalk along storefronts on the north side of the building, and the restoration and addition of thousands of windows.

The work, a portion of what’s needed to convert the nearly 80-year-old building into 343 apartments, was revealed Thursday at the Downtown Design Review Board meeting. The board approved the developer’s request to change the building’s facade.

The approval is a key nod that pushes the long-awaited redevelopment closer to reality.

Full story at Star-Telegram.com
Www.fortwortharchitecture.com

#73 jefffwd

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 12:16 PM

Hey - look what a driveway through the building did for Montgomery Plaza. I think it is a GREAT idea. Anything to help move this project along I am all for...

#74 Fort Worthology

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 12:32 PM

I think it's a terrible idea. I know this is a radical concept, but if you're going to be defacing a historic building by carving something through it, how about a PEDESTRIAN path? There's plenty of room to get cars to the south side on the existing eastern driveway. I can only imagine how unpleasant that central drive is going to be with cars funneling in and out all the time, Montgomery Plaza-style. And this one's not even going to have the benefit of open air above it like the MP driveway. The sidewalk is so wide in front of the warehouse that I can already picture the line of cars trying to get out from that center drive and turn onto Lancaster, blocking the whole width of it as people try to walk along the storefronts.

Cypress Equities did it the right way at West 7th - their long blocks are bisected by pedestrian paths. Much more pleasant, and safe, than having to wait/dodge cars entering and exiting.

Also in the article, it mentions that the small windows will be expanded by removing the brick under them and installing "fixed tinted windows." That sounds bad and really out-of-character for the building. When I hear "warehouse loft conversion," for some reason the phrase "fixed tinted windows" doesn't come along with that.

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#75 Sam Stone

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 03:22 PM

Are you F'ing kidding me?! Another hole in an historic building?! Again?! Seriously?! Who is on the DDRB anyway?! angry.gif angry.gif angry.gif angry.gif angry.gif

jfffwd, are you being sarcastic or what? When you compare what's being built just across the street, it's clear that the developers of Montgomery Plaza were a bunch of ignorant vandals who extorted millions of dollars from the city in exchange for a shoddy and still incompletely leased strip mall.

I apologize for the near-swearing and all the emoticons--know my reactions are usually more measured, but this is a bunch of BS.




#76 Fort Worthology

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 03:54 PM

QUOTE (Sam Stone @ Nov 6 2009, 03:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
jfffwd, are you being sarcastic or what? When you compare what's being built just across the street, it's clear that the developers of Montgomery Plaza were a bunch of ignorant vandals who extorted millions of dollars from the city in exchange for a shoddy and still incompletely leased strip mall.


Seriously. Montgomery Plaza should never, ever be held up as a model of a successful urban historic adaptive reuse. Especially when compared to what Cypress Equities, Museum Place Group, and Hughes have built at West 7th, Museum Place, and SoSeven, it's a joke. Turning that grand old building into a half-*ssed strip mall surrounded by excessive and unneeded parking, dinky/badly designed/inadequate sidewalks, and EIFS-clad tilt wall strips is an insult.

I don't think, from the descriptions provided in the S-T, that the T&P Warehouse is going to be anywhere nearly as bad, but some of this is really unnecessary and will be detrimental to the building and the human experience of using it. There is already car access to the rear of the property. There is no need to mutilate one of our most monumental historic structures just to punch a stupid driveway through it, especially when it'll turn what would otherwise be a huge uninterrupted strip of pedestrian-centric design into something bisected by lines of cars trying to get in and out. Combine that with the weird descriptions of the new windows, etc. and I am very skeptical of this proposal. I am honestly a bit surprised that HCLC would approve "fixed tinted windows" and a punched-through driveway for a protected Art Deco structure and that DDRB would be A-OK with breaking up some damn fine pedestrian infrastructure for a superfluous driveway.

I understand the desire to get the building redeveloped - it is a desire I share in a big way - but I can't believe that we would be so desperate that we would approve just any random idea that came up. We should have some higher standards and treat the building with respect.

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#77 djold1

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 08:18 PM

It's a tough choice. Totally respect the old T & P freight house as a structure and let it rot, or adapt it (desecration is a little too strong) into something that is useful and that is not a monumental blot. In its present state with the windows the way they are it really can only be used for a warehouse or possibly a parking garage. If those were viable alternatives I'm sure that something would have happened long ago.

The rendering in the paper with the altered windows is pretty attractive and it all fits together OK, in my opinion both as a building and set into the surroundings. I agree that the tinted window idea doesn't really fit. Lets not have more blank Orphan Annie eyes looking at the cityscape.

I'm uncertain about the passageway through the ground floor of the building from north to south. Given the way the structure is put together with the doors on the north side, I'm not sure that this would be too awful if there is some good reason for it. The opening is essentially already there. However, I also agree that to make a portal like this and allow cars to go through it is absolutely wrong. It the passage is added, then it should be pedestrian only.

My floorplan from 1931 shows that the massive interior concrete supports are only about 25 feet apart in a building that is 610 feet long. That's not wide enough for an auto passageway but one of more of these 25' sections would be fine for pedestrian use. I don't think anyone would contemplate removing 6 or more of the internal load bearing supports just for an auto passageway. That would be a huge investment for little return.

It's not really relevant but I am a fan of the Montgomery Plaza building as it stands. I like the passageway. However, I still feel as I said back then that the passageway should be pedestrian only. It should be closed off to powered vehicles tomorrow.

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#78 BlueMound

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 08:53 PM

Montgomery Plaza has been incredibly successful, both as a condo and and as a retail development.
Particularly during this difficult time in real estate.
MP has been the trailblazer and centerpiece of 7th Street redevelopment.

The above criticisms of the project are not only ignorant but incredibly naive.
The success of the MP project is BECAUSE of the drivethrough.

Some of y'all should do a little bit more research as to the retail leasing rate and condo selling track record of EVERY other development along 7th Street.
When you do, I think you'll regard your prior comments as very silly.

Like djold1, I'm a fan of MP.


#79 RD Milhollin

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 01:28 AM

QUOTE (BlueMound @ Nov 6 2009, 08:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The success of the MP project is BECAUSE of the drivethrough.


I for one would appreciate more detail on the analysis that lead to this conclusion.

#80 jefffwd

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 07:34 AM

QUOTE (Sam Stone @ Nov 6 2009, 04:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Are you F'ing kidding me?! Another hole in an historic building?! Again?! Seriously?! Who is on the DDRB anyway?! angry.gif angry.gif angry.gif angry.gif angry.gif

jfffwd, are you being sarcastic or what? When you compare what's being built just across the street, it's clear that the developers of Montgomery Plaza were a bunch of ignorant vandals who extorted millions of dollars from the city in exchange for a shoddy and still incompletely leased strip mall.

I apologize for the near-swearing and all the emoticons--know my reactions are usually more measured, but this is a bunch of BS.


No, I am not being sarcastic. I am a huge fan of Montgomery Plaza and the development that surrounds it. I hang out there quite a bit and it totally beats the old Montgomery Ward building and the poverty that surrounded it. I think the passagway is brilliant! If it had not been for MP there probably wouldn't be all the development "across the street".

As for the T&P warehouse... you should be thankful that anyone wants to step up and rehab it in any fashion. As it sits and rots now it is an eyesore and if not restored/reshaped soon it should come down!!! I know it is protected but I think there are far too many dead "historical" buildings in Fort Worth - that is one resaon why Dallas has such an amazing skyline and Fort Worth resembles Grand Rapids, MI. angry.gif

Dallas


Grand Rapids


#81 ramjet

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 08:12 AM

I'm with jefffwd and others on here who prefer an alive building to an eyesore, even with it's "historical integrity" pierced by a drive through. I'm also a big fan of Montgomery Plaza. I think some on this forum have become obnoxious condescending architecture snobs. Just 'cause one has a fancy blog, doesn't make one the last word on Fort Worth development. Jeez! Lighten up...

#82 jefffwd

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 08:19 AM

QUOTE (ramjet @ Nov 7 2009, 10:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm with jefffwd and others on here who prefer an alive building to an eyesore, even with it's "historical integrity" pierced by a drive through. I'm also a big fan of Montgomery Plaza. I think some on this forum have become obnoxious condescending architecture snobs. Just 'cause one has a fancy blog, doesn't make one the last word on Fort Worth development. Jeez! Lighten up...


VERY well put ramjet!!! Your statement is not only accurate but waaaaaaaaaaaaaay overdue! smilewinkgrin.gif Although I am not completely sure who you are referring to I believe it may end in "ology"? Just sayin'

#83 Sam Stone

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 09:03 AM

Wait a minute. This idea that you've either got to punch a hole in a building or it will just sit there as an undeveloped eyesore is a false dichotomy. That is not the ultimate choice we are always left with. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it is possible to rehab an historic building without punching a hole in it. T&P Depot: no hole. Santa Fe Warehouse: no hole. Santa Fe Depot: no hole. Transport Life building: no hole. Flatiron building: no hole. Kress building: no hole. Sanger Lofts: no hole. Waggoner Building: no hole. Baker building: no hole. etc., etc.

And this is not about architectural snobbery, it's about preserving our history and our heritage. Having a tangible link to our past is important. You know, it would sure make the drive between Downtown and the North Side a lot easier to punch a hole through the Tarrant County Courthouse. We could straighten out Main and N. Main that way. Why not do that?

When you compare MP and W7, think of how much more real property the developers of W7 contributed per acre than did the developers of MP. There is no reason that MP could not have looked more like W7, but instead most of it is surface parking and single story retail. Sure, the hole through the building gives you more retail frontage, but developing the whole site like W7 could have given you so much more. It just seems like such a waste of prime real estate. And the example of what could have been done is right across the street.

#84 ramjet

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 09:57 AM

QUOTE (Sam Stone @ Nov 7 2009, 09:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wait a minute. This idea that you've either got to punch a hole in a building or it will just sit there as an undeveloped eyesore is a false dichotomy. That is not the ultimate choice we are always left with. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it is possible to rehab an historic building without punching a hole in it. T&P Depot: no hole. Santa Fe Warehouse: no hole. Santa Fe Depot: no hole. Transport Life building: no hole. Flatiron building: no hole. Kress building: no hole. Sanger Lofts: no hole. Waggoner Building: no hole. Baker building: no hole. etc., etc.

And this is not about architectural snobbery, it's about preserving our history and our heritage. Having a tangible link to our past is important. You know, it would sure make the drive between Downtown and the North Side a lot easier to punch a hole through the Tarrant County Courthouse. We could straighten out Main and N. Main that way. Why not do that?

When you compare MP and W7, think of how much more real property the developers of W7 contributed per acre than did the developers of MP. There is no reason that MP could not have looked more like W7, but instead most of it is surface parking and single story retail. Sure, the hole through the building gives you more retail frontage, but developing the whole site like W7 could have given you so much more. It just seems like such a waste of prime real estate. And the example of what could have been done is right across the street.


T&P Warehouse is a heck of a long building (like MP). The idea of hole in the middle to improve access to the other side seems like a good idea to me. After all, it's not the Louvre - it's a crummy warehouse which has sat dormant for years. Time to bring it back to life...

#85 Fort Worthology

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 10:02 AM

QUOTE (ramjet @ Nov 7 2009, 08:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm with jefffwd and others on here who prefer an alive building to an eyesore, even with it's "historical integrity" pierced by a drive through. I'm also a big fan of Montgomery Plaza. I think some on this forum have become obnoxious condescending architecture snobs. Just 'cause one has a fancy blog, doesn't make one the last word on Fort Worth development. Jeez! Lighten up...


QUOTE
VERY well put ramjet!!! Your statement is not only accurate but waaaaaaaaaaaaaay overdue! Although I am not completely sure who you are referring to I believe it may end in "ology"? Just sayin'


How nice of you all. Took a surprisingly short time for this to turn into personal insults. If this forum has degraded to the point where no dissent, no criticism of this city, and no criticism or disagreement about development and architecture is allowed, and needless name-calling, then count me out. Y'all have fun.

And Sam - very well said. You summed it up better than I could have. It doesn't matter if it's the Louvre or not - it's a landmark piece of this city's architectural heritage and we shouldn't be so cavalier about chopping it up, or so desperate for any development that we toss all standards to the wind.

- Architecture/urban planning/transit blogger, Fort Worth Weekly

Fort Worth District 9 Zoning Commissioner


#86 jefffwd

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 10:52 AM

QUOTE (Sam Stone @ Nov 7 2009, 10:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wait a minute. This idea that you've either got to punch a hole in a building or it will just sit there as an undeveloped eyesore is a false dichotomy. That is not the ultimate choice we are always left with. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it is possible to rehab an historic building without punching a hole in it. T&P Depot: no hole. Santa Fe Warehouse: no hole. Santa Fe Depot: no hole. Transport Life building: no hole. Flatiron building: no hole. Kress building: no hole. Sanger Lofts: no hole. Waggoner Building: no hole. Baker building: no hole. etc., etc.

And this is not about architectural snobbery, it's about preserving our history and our heritage. Having a tangible link to our past is important. You know, it would sure make the drive between Downtown and the North Side a lot easier to punch a hole through the Tarrant County Courthouse. We could straighten out Main and N. Main that way. Why not do that?

When you compare MP and W7, think of how much more real property the developers of W7 contributed per acre than did the developers of MP. There is no reason that MP could not have looked more like W7, but instead most of it is surface parking and single story retail. Sure, the hole through the building gives you more retail frontage, but developing the whole site like W7 could have given you so much more. It just seems like such a waste of prime real estate. And the example of what could have been done is right across the street.


Why would you punch a hole through the Transport Life building, the Flatiron, Kress etc? That's like comparing apples to oranges. True the T&P is not the Louvre but let's call a pig a pig. The T&P Warehouse is a derelict monolith that is in dire need of restoartion. If that means cutting a hole through the long beast then do it. Just breathe some life back into that thing or get rid of it because it makes downtown look ugly from I-30. There seems to be so much progress along Lancaster recently that this just seems like the next logical step. Go Cleopatra Investments!!!

#87 Sam Stone

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 11:12 AM

The reason that the T&P has sat vacant and derelict for so long is because of the very same owner who is now proposing these changes: Ola Assem. She's owned it since 1998. She doesn't know what she is doing. If she did, she would have done something with it over a decade ago. You want to blame someone for the state it's in, blame her. And now we're trusting her to rehabilitate it?

#88 djold1

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 02:22 PM

I agree with Kevin that there's no need for any heat in this discussion. While I may not agree with some of you or all of you I certainly respect your point of view. And because a lot of this is subjective, there is no real right or wrong.

For purposes of conversation & comparison I have linked to my copy of a 1932 Railway Age article on the T & P reconstruction. It gives a great look at the whole area.

For those of you that feel the building is untouchable from an historical standpoint I would challenge you to come up with something workable that would put the building back in play and then spell it out. I've always thought that objection is not useful without providing solutions. Easy to object, but really hard to be constructive.

QUOTE
The windows on the north and south sides will be expanded by removing about three feet of brick below the existing windows and installing fixed, tinted windows that will have a horizontal line to mimic the mortar lines of the brick on each side. The existing windows are more than six feet off the floor, so adding the bottom window not only allows more light, but would let residents look outside. The developer is also being allowed to put windows on the west side, where none exist, as well as restore the more than 2,500 existing windows.


If you can live with alterations, can you live with the expansion of the window size and the addition of windows on the west end? This is the major change to the exterior anyway. Personally, if the rendering is fairly true and the spirit of the existing windows is maintained and the windows have features, then I think it would be OK as an adaptive reuse. Almost nothing works without doing something to the windows.

QUOTE
In addition, a 9-foot-wide boardwalk will be built under an existing 12-foot concrete canopy on the north side, and the existing dock doors will be opened and rebuilt to create storefronts. Shoppers and residents will have several access points to the building along the boardwalk, architects said.


Not a structural change so it's just a treatment to an existing feature. As long as it fits in, is this controversial? If so, why?

QUOTE
Also, the center of the building will be designed to allow car access to the south side for parking.


I am assuming that this reference is to cut a portal for cars from the north or Lancaster street side through the building to what will probably be parking at the back on the south. I'm surprised that this even came up because of the structural problems that will occur vs. any real utility. Look at the floorplan of the building in my link.

In my opinion, this change is certainly not something that is necessary for the building to become useful. It's kind of a bad optional feature that may have been floated to see what the reaction might be. If it was, then we certainly took the bait.

If a pedestrian passway is useful, that would be easy because the big rolling door openings could be adapted and no structural changes would be necessary.

Instead of a p*ssing war, what about some contructive thoughts to get this building back in play?


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#89 cbellomy

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 03:07 PM

It wouldn't be so hard to put this building back in play. With TRE and the NE<->SW line stopping a block down the street, it's a no-brainer to convert the building to Class A office space with datacenter capability. Fort Worth could really use an answer to the Infomart, and this building is well-suited for that kind of use, especially with its location.


#90 Sam Stone

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 04:09 PM

Oh, I should note that my objections are mostly limited to the drive-thru hole. I've always figured they would need to put windows into the western portion of the building--in fact, it was my understanding that the building originally had windows there and they were later filled in. And I understand the need to enlarge existing windows in order to comply with residential safety standards. I'd suspend judgment on any of those things (including the tint) until I saw more detailed renderings.

There is no denying that the building's size and construction present challenges to redevelopment. It was built as a railroad freight warehouse and that doesn't lend itself to easy conversion. I would think that drives at each end would provide adequate access for cars to and from the accompanying parking garage. It would also be perfectly reasonable to provide open air pedestrian walkways through the ground floor of the building. that wouldn't require altering the facade. But I think that it is a stretch to say that the redevelopment can't work unless there is car access right through it. I think that in that case the burden of proof should rest on the developer to demonstrate why the whole thing won't work unless they have a drive in the middle of the building. Surely there is an alternative to this. Maybe it's more expensive, but we deserve to have it presented to us, don't we?

#91 djold1

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 05:43 PM

QUOTE
it's a no-brainer to convert the building to Class A office space with datacenter capability.


There are some brain cells alive and working out there. This a good creative start. I think you would have to work on the windows if it were to house regular offices, but if you just wanted a secure IT fortress that's a fine idea just as it is. How about moving all the City & County IT into this location?

QUOTE
But I think that it is a stretch to say that the redevelopment can't work unless there is car access right through it.


I haven't see anything in the Star-Telegram article nor have I read anything elsewhere that said that the cars had to go through. Or have I missed something?

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#92 ramjet

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 06:18 PM

QUOTE (jefffwd @ Nov 7 2009, 07:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Sam Stone @ Nov 6 2009, 04:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Are you F'ing kidding me?! Another hole in an historic building?! Again?! Seriously?! Who is on the DDRB anyway?! angry.gif angry.gif angry.gif angry.gif angry.gif

jfffwd, are you being sarcastic or what? When you compare what's being built just across the street, it's clear that the developers of Montgomery Plaza were a bunch of ignorant vandals who extorted millions of dollars from the city in exchange for a shoddy and still incompletely leased strip mall.

I apologize for the near-swearing and all the emoticons--know my reactions are usually more measured, but this is a bunch of BS.


No, I am not being sarcastic. I am a huge fan of Montgomery Plaza and the development that surrounds it. I hang out there quite a bit and it totally beats the old Montgomery Ward building and the poverty that surrounded it. I think the passagway is brilliant! If it had not been for MP there probably wouldn't be all the development "across the street".

As for the T&P warehouse... you should be thankful that anyone wants to step up and rehab it in any fashion. As it sits and rots now it is an eyesore and if not restored/reshaped soon it should come down!!! I know it is protected but I think there are far too many dead "historical" buildings in Fort Worth - that is one resaon why Dallas has such an amazing skyline and Fort Worth resembles Grand Rapids, MI. angry.gif

Dallas


Grand Rapids



That building on the left in downtown Dallas always reminds me of a gargantuan nose hair clipper. And who knew Grand Rapids had such skyline moxy? Still not better than FW's though - (please no one screech, quit the forum, or throw a drag queen fit, thanks! devil.gif )

#93 djold1

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 06:53 AM

Yesterday afternoon (11/07/2009) I ran a little scout down to the T & P area. Not much traffic, not many people around. Parking was easy and it was a beautiful fall afternoon. This forum discussion had raised some questions in my mind as to some details. I have uploaded a PDF with some pictures I took:

T & P pictures.

The eastern end has normal windows because that is where the office work was done for the old depot. The north and south side of the western end of the building have no windows. This may be as much as 25% of the entire building. And of course the west end has no windows. I suspect that this western end of the building was used as cold storage.

I tried to get some closeup detail of the various windows and the 12' canopy as well as the well preserved brick driveway. Also some existing concrete steps up into on of the doorways. I paced off the width of two typical doors and it is about 20+ feel including frames.

The windows appear to be standard industrial steel frames. If a double pane insulated version of this same window was used on the new and expanded windows they probably wouldn't be too expensive and would look original.

The long south side had tracks running all along it in between this building land another lower freight building to the south which is no longer there. One of the southern elevation pictures shows a door to a sub-basement at the western end. I would have loved to snoop that but time was running out.

I also tried to get some detail of the ornamention which is distinctive and really makes the building.

I am curious as to the fate of the old red brick Star-Telegram warehouse to the west. Is there anything going on with that?

The two T & P buildings and the Post office really make a monumental demarcation to the central business district and a good visual shield from the Interstate. It is unfortunate that the insignificant new condo construction next to the T & P terminal was allowed. It is semi-tacky and totally out of scale. I would like to see the entire south side of Lancaster developed with imposing and significant buildings like these three.

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The Fort Worth Gazette blog
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Large format reproductions of original antique and vintage Texas & southwestern maps
 


#94 vjackson

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 07:54 AM

1. I was in FW yesterday and got a look at Lancaster Ave and love how it's turning out. But it still doesn't have a real pedestrian feel to it, and I saw not one pedestrian on it.

2. I think Mongtomery P is god awful...the surburban shopping strip and monstrous parking lot behind the warehouse that is. However, I love the "hole" and really think it adds character to a, although historical, but drab and plain old building.

3. I don't really think a hole is needed in the T&P. It's beautiful and unique as it is. But as someone else said, it's not the end of the world if a hole is put through it. And if it get this thing developed then I'm fine with the hole.

4. Now, before everyone get their panties in a bunch about the hole, I have to ask: How viable is this redevelopment plan? This building has had several false starts over the years. Is financing in place for this? Most real estate experts are saying the DFW condo, apartment, office, and retail markets are all overbuilt or slow right now. So how realistic is a project this big actually getting started in this economic climate?


#95 FoUTASportscaster

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 09:07 PM

QUOTE (jefffwd @ Nov 7 2009, 08:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As for the T&P warehouse... you should be thankful that anyone wants to step up and rehab it in any fashion.



Ahhh yesssss, the Growth Machine at work. Anything is better than nothing so let's support it all.

Many of Dallas' inner neighborhoods are suffering right now because of that very thought. I'd rather have sat on it and done it right from the beginning than have something NOW.

QUOTE
I know it is protected but I think there are far too many dead "historical" buildings in Fort Worth - that is one resaon why Dallas has such an amazing skyline and Fort Worth resembles Grand Rapids, MI.


As a downtown resident, I'd trade you Dallas' skyline for Fort Worth's street scene in a New York minute. Dallas is dead almost all non-office hours. Everytime I have visited Fort Worth during different hours and days, there has been activity.

QUOTE (Sam Stone @ Nov 7 2009, 10:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wait a minute. This idea that you've either got to punch a hole in a building or it will just sit there as an undeveloped eyesore is a false dichotomy. That is not the ultimate choice we are always left with. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it is possible to rehab an historic building without punching a hole in it. T&P Depot: no hole. Santa Fe Warehouse: no hole. Santa Fe Depot: no hole. Transport Life building: no hole. Flatiron building: no hole. Kress building: no hole. Sanger Lofts: no hole. Waggoner Building: no hole. Baker building: no hole. etc., etc.

And this is not about architectural snobbery, it's about preserving our history and our heritage. Having a tangible link to our past is important. You know, it would sure make the drive between Downtown and the North Side a lot easier to punch a hole through the Tarrant County Courthouse. We could straighten out Main and N. Main that way. Why not do that?


If you pieced all the demoed buildings from Dallas's past, you'd get a great walkable city. I agree with you, Kevin and other against this idea. You don't know what you have until its gone.

But, once again, it is the Growth Machine and the Spatial Fix at work. People like Jeff are so eager for any development that developers can dictate the terms. If a developer tried to pull this in a real city like San Francisco, Chicago of New York, the application wouldn't be in the hands of the reviewer for two minutes before being denied. Here in Texas, we ask if we can give them a tax abatement in the process.

#96 John T Roberts

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 11:16 PM

I was going to weigh in on this Friday, but I became busy with some personal things over the weekend. On Sunday, I hosted one of my twice a year architectural tours on bicycle. This time, I did the West Side and for the first time since I started these tours in February of 2008, the developments along West 7th Street are far enough along to show off their design and layout. Granted there are still vacant lots in these development, but there is enough new construction there to begin to see some of the design techniques used to promote more efficient urban design. We rode through all of the developments, and all of the riders commented that Montgomery Plaza was the least urban of any of the developments, even though it used a historic warehouse as a part of the project.

This is a forum where ideas and opinions can be discussed. I respect everyone's opinion, and even if I disagree with it, I do not take those comments personally, nor do these comments offend me. However, we should keep personal attacks out of this. Also, I think we forget about some of the comments that were made a few years back. Generally speaking, I'm a preservation purist. However, I do realize that without modifications, these large warehouses could not be brought back to use. I have never been a fan of the Montgomery Ward hole in the front facade. However, after seeing the entire design of the development, I did state that I thought that utilizing the railroad loading and unloading "court" as a main axis for the development would create the best urban space within the project. I knew that the two wings of the building would serve as a great pedestrian walkway where shops could front. I actually don't have a problem in doing that as a part of the design. The only problem that I had was the demolition of the lower five floors of the building to make the "hole" so large. I personally feel that the architects and developer could have done something that was more sympathetic to the facade and still accomplished the same goals. Something similar to the old archways on the ground floor could have been replicated and allowed one way traffic to enter or leave the light well area. Maybe even the original entry could have been rebuilt, allowing vertical access into the parking and residential levels. Granted, this would be tight, but it might have been successful. If the light well was all pedestrian, then two arches next to each wing would have been adequate for pedestrian traffic. Part of the developer's argument was that the Super Target had to be seen. In case you haven't noticed, the drive is not exactly on axis with one of the entries at the Super Target. When looking through the hole, it is very difficult to see the Super Target clearly. As for the "big box" portion of the project, I think it is very poor design. Here is what I think should have been done in that area. I applaud the developers for bringing a street grid into the project, but those "big box" stores should have been built up to a building line created on those new blocks. Then parking garages should have been constructed toward the railroad tracks and in the center of those blocks with access to the stores. If that was done, then Montgomery Plaza would look more like Crockett Street in West Seventh than Cityview or the Shops at Northeast Mall.

I now need to tie this to the T&P Warehouse. Believe it or not, I do not have a problem with lowering the windows. The reason is that if you lease the building for either office or residential, a person would want to look out. Those windows are at least 6'-0" above the floor. Lengthening the windows would be a requirement to make this building viable. I am concerned about the use of fixed glass panels down below the sills of the existing windows. I would think that a divided light window matching the office windows in the building would be more appropriate. I also think that the western part of the building also require windows to be cut into the facade. From what I know about the history of the building, that section was always cold storage and it never had windows. I also have a problem with "cutting" holes through the building. If the existing overhead door openings were used on the first floor and these cut through areas were created only for the pedestrian, then I think the concept would work. This would also be keeping with the historic character of the building. You could even leave the overhead doors in place for this and close them, if security was needed. I would think that any type of large opening in the building would not need to remove columns in order to make it successful. The success of the renovation of the T&P Warehouse will depend on the details. Introducing automobiles into this area could create unnecessary congestion. I would prefer to see more information on the project before I make my final opinion.

I finally have one more thing to say. It appears to me that some people on this board still cannot grasp the concepts of historic preservation. Please do not take this comment personally. The stand that extremely historic and architecturally significant buildings that are vacant should be demolished if they can't be redeveloped is very narrow minded. If that attitude is taken, once they are torn down, there is no way to bring them back and they are lost forever. I do realize that these structures are blight, but with each of these derelict buidlings still standing, there is hope that they can be adaptively re-used.

I've ranted enough. That's my 2 cents, for what it is worth.

#97 AndyN

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 12:37 AM

Anyone been to the old Hard Rock Cafe empty lot on McKinney Avenue in Uptown Dallas lately?
Www.fortwortharchitecture.com

#98 Recyclican

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 06:37 AM

QUOTE (djold1 @ Nov 7 2009, 05:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE
it's a no-brainer to convert the building to Class A office space with datacenter capability.


There are some brain cells alive and working out there. This a good creative start. I think you would have to work on the windows if it were to house regular offices, but if you just wanted a secure IT fortress that's a fine idea just as it is. How about moving all the City & County IT into this location?


I have been saying for a few years now that this building, frankly, wouldn't need much of an adaptive reuse in order to be a successful (and lucrative) investment.

Located just a few miles south on I-35W is the Federal Government's Southwest Region National Archives.

In addition to what djold1 suggests with housing City and County records, this building could operate very efficiently as a data/physical warehouse. The owner(s) could lease the building's middle floors out as storage to the locals/feds and sit on some nice fat contracts earning a conservative profit from the building.

The ground floors of the T&P could likewise be converted into retail, offering a more lucrative (perhaps more risky) investment.

The top couple of floors of the warehouse could be converted into office space or condominiums. Again, a more lucrative investment, though with the security of the middle floors being leased for warehouse use by the government, it would be a healthy balance.

The added bonus would be that this would require much less alteration to the facades of the building - certainly no holes would need to be cut out of the middle of it!

#99 ramjet

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 08:52 AM

QUOTE (John T Roberts @ Nov 9 2009, 11:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I was going to weigh in on this Friday, but I became busy with some personal things over the weekend. On Sunday, I hosted one of my twice a year architectural tours on bicycle. This time, I did the West Side and for the first time since I started these tours in February of 2008, the developments along West 7th Street are far enough along to show off their design and layout. Granted there are still vacant lots in these development, but there is enough new construction there to begin to see some of the design techniques used to promote more efficient urban design. We rode through all of the developments, and all of the riders commented that Montgomery Plaza was the least urban of any of the developments, even though it used a historic warehouse as a part of the project.

This is a forum where ideas and opinions can be discussed. I respect everyone's opinion, and even if I disagree with it, I do not take those comments personally, nor do these comments offend me. However, we should keep personal attacks out of this. Also, I think we forget about some of the comments that were made a few years back. Generally speaking, I'm a preservation purist. However, I do realize that without modifications, these large warehouses could not be brought back to use. I have never been a fan of the Montgomery Ward hole in the front facade. However, after seeing the entire design of the development, I did state that I thought that utilizing the railroad loading and unloading "court" as a main axis for the development would create the best urban space within the project. I knew that the two wings of the building would serve as a great pedestrian walkway where shops could front. I actually don't have a problem in doing that as a part of the design. The only problem that I had was the demolition of the lower five floors of the building to make the "hole" so large. I personally feel that the architects and developer could have done something that was more sympathetic to the facade and still accomplished the same goals. Something similar to the old archways on the ground floor could have been replicated and allowed one way traffic to enter or leave the light well area. Maybe even the original entry could have been rebuilt, allowing vertical access into the parking and residential levels. Granted, this would be tight, but it might have been successful. If the light well was all pedestrian, then two arches next to each wing would have been adequate for pedestrian traffic. Part of the developer's argument was that the Super Target had to be seen. In case you haven't noticed, the drive is not exactly on axis with one of the entries at the Super Target. When looking through the hole, it is very difficult to see the Super Target clearly. As for the "big box" portion of the project, I think it is very poor design. Here is what I think should have been done in that area. I applaud the developers for bringing a street grid into the project, but those "big box" stores should have been built up to a building line created on those new blocks. Then parking garages should have been constructed toward the railroad tracks and in the center of those blocks with access to the stores. If that was done, then Montgomery Plaza would look more like Crockett Street in West Seventh than Cityview or the Shops at Northeast Mall.

I now need to tie this to the T&P Warehouse. Believe it or not, I do not have a problem with lowering the windows. The reason is that if you lease the building for either office or residential, a person would want to look out. Those windows are at least 6'-0" above the floor. Lengthening the windows would be a requirement to make this building viable. I am concerned about the use of fixed glass panels down below the sills of the existing windows. I would think that a divided light window matching the office windows in the building would be more appropriate. I also think that the western part of the building also require windows to be cut into the facade. From what I know about the history of the building, that section was always cold storage and it never had windows. I also have a problem with "cutting" holes through the building. If the existing overhead door openings were used on the first floor and these cut through areas were created only for the pedestrian, then I think the concept would work. This would also be keeping with the historic character of the building. You could even leave the overhead doors in place for this and close them, if security was needed. I would think that any type of large opening in the building would not need to remove columns in order to make it successful. The success of the renovation of the T&P Warehouse will depend on the details. Introducing automobiles into this area could create unnecessary congestion. I would prefer to see more information on the project before I make my final opinion.

I finally have one more thing to say. It appears to me that some people on this board still cannot grasp the concepts of historic preservation. Please do not take this comment personally. The stand that extremely historic and architecturally significant buildings that are vacant should be demolished if they can't be redeveloped is very narrow minded. If that attitude is taken, once they are torn down, there is no way to bring them back and they are lost forever. I do realize that these structures are blight, but with each of these derelict buidlings still standing, there is hope that they can be adaptively re-used.

I've ranted enough. That's my 2 cents, for what it is worth.

Thanks for the thoughtful opinions – and thanks for delivering them in a way and tone that doesn’t dismiss opinions of those who may disagree with you as boneheaded or somehow unenlightened.

That being said, I respectfully disagree with you on Montgomery Plaza. I love the hole in the middle and I love how it opens up to the shopping center behind it. But most of all, I love the ease of access to its merchants. After many visits to Mockingbird Station, Park Lane Place, and the West Village in Dallas, all terrific places on foot, I have come to dread driving to and in them. Getting to the merchants in these developments is challenging in my opinion. The clogged traffic in the narrow driving lanes and parking in the multi-tiered garages gives me the heem-jays. And I don’t think the multi-tiered garages, particularly at Park Lane Place, are any more aesthetically pleasing than the parking lot at Montgomery Plaza.

I’m not sure you’re suggesting that Montgomery Plaza should have been like the developments in Dallas, but for me, its current configuration is terrific. I hope that the West Seventh development does a better job at managing traffic and parking than its forbearers across the turnpike.

And before folks jump on me for defending driving and ease of parking (I know very politically incorrect these days), I’m just being real. Perhaps someday when we can all ditch our cars and utilize public transit and live near where we work and play, assuming that ever happens outside of Manhattan and Center City Philadelphia in the US, parking lots and garages will become obsolete. Fort Worth and Dallas are nowhere near being carless communities. If they move that way someday, maybe by then it will be time to redo Montgomery Plaza into an urbanist’s dream development.

By the way, I think a similar hole for the T&P warehouse would be just as utilitarian and interesting as the one in M-P. (And I still don’t get why a warehouse is such a historical treasure – but I’ll leave that assessment to those smarter and more attune to such things than me…)


#100 jefffwd

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 09:59 AM

QUOTE (John T Roberts @ Nov 10 2009, 01:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I was going to weigh in on this Friday, but I became busy with some personal things over the weekend. On Sunday, I hosted one of my twice a year architectural tours on bicycle. This time, I did the West Side and for the first time since I started these tours in February of 2008, the developments along West 7th Street are far enough along to show off their design and layout. Granted there are still vacant lots in these development, but there is enough new construction there to begin to see some of the design techniques used to promote more efficient urban design. We rode through all of the developments, and all of the riders commented that Montgomery Plaza was the least urban of any of the developments, even though it used a historic warehouse as a part of the project.


@John: Is there any chance that your bicycle tour group rode through the Montgomery Plaza hole about 2:30ish? If so, I saw you guys as I was having lunch on the patio at Gloria's.





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