Work to start by year’s end on downtown tower

By September 15, 2015Uncategorized

Construction on the $115 million Anthracite Building at Taylor and Sixth streets downtown will begin by the end of the year, with plans calling for it to be ready for tenants in two years. But the office tower, to be built at 640 Taylor St., has been reduced to 25 stories from 26 since it was announced in March, according to the owner, Fort Worth-based oil and gas company Jetta Operating.

The Downtown Tax Increment Finance Board approved $4.8 million toward the project Monday to cover infrastructure work in the public right-of-way. The bulk of the funds, estimated at $3.6 million, will pay for an electrical vault and two backup transformers required by Oncor that will go under the sidewalk to bring power to the structure.

The money will be reimbursed to the owners over three years beginning in 2018. The building will still have four floors of below-street parking and 11 stories of above-ground parking, but only 14 floors of office, residential and restaurant space, not 15, the company said. Under the agreement with the TIF board and Downtown Fort Worth Inc., Anthracite will be required to allow third parties to use the parking garage on nights and weekends and to offer valet parking for events at market rates.

Anthracite Realty Partners, the real estate operation of Greg and Laura Bird, bought the property in 2014 from the Fort Worth Club. The land covers three-quarters of a block bounded by Taylor and Lamar streets on the east and west, and Fifth and Sixth streets on the north and south. Morning-Star Capital, the company owned by oilman and Texas Rangers co-owner Bob Simpson, owns the building on the southeast corner of the block. Jetta currently has its headquarters in the nearby Fort Worth Club building at 777 Taylor St. Its 150 employees will move into the new structure. Laura Bird said she expects to announce another large tenant for the building once a lease is signed.

The building will have 230,000 square feet of Class A office space, 7,000 square feet of street-level retail space and 900 parking spaces. On the 12th and 13th floors, the building will have a combined 16,000 square feet of restaurant space and outdoor terraces, and conference, training and event space, a fitness center for building tenants and some executive suites. Earlier this year, the project was approved by the Downtown Design Review Board.

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