From the Star-Telegram by Sandra Baker
Plans are moving forward to build apartments and possibly some shops on a 2-acre tract along Vickery Boulevard that currently serves as a parking lot for the T&P Station. Talked about for more than a decade, the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, which owns the land, partnered with the Fort Worth Housing Authority about a year ago to develop the property. The agencies, along with city staff and representatives from Fort Worth South, will take part in a two-day workshop next week run by the North Texas chapter of the Urban Land Institute in an effort to prod the project along. An eight-member panel headed by Donald Gatzke, dean of the University of Texas at Arlington’s architecture school, will include four other architects and three developers. The workshop will be held Aug. 25-26 at the Amphibian Theater, 120 S. Main St. The public can see their presentation at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26.
Dana Burghdoff, Fort Worth’s deputy planning director, said the group will have an intensive two days, interviewing stakeholders and a group of South Main Street property owners, and then working on a design. The workshop format is used by the land institute nationwide, she said. Panelists will look at other near south-side developments and consider constraints to the site to create a proposal that will complement the historic T&P Lofts and the T&P Warehouse buildings. The project will likely involve two buildings for 150 to 200 one- and two-bedroom apartments, with commercial uses on the first floor, she said. “Ideally, the Housing Authority sees the first floor as being for commercial use, whether that’s a day care or for some services like a coffee shop or dry cleaner,” Burghdoff said. The Housing Authority would lease the property from the The T. The property is just to the south of the T&P Lofts, west of Main Street. The T&P Station serves the Trinity Railway Express and will be a terminus for TEX Rail, the 27-mile commuter rail project for Tarrant County. The panel will also explore funding options and options for replacing about 300 surface parking spots for commuters, said Mike Brennan, planning director for Fort Worth South, a nonprofit advocacy group. Brennan said the workshop format was selected because it involves the community at an early stage and the approach involves a broad range of expertise.