Chris Van Horne, NBCDFW.com
The city has big plans to add residential, retail and office space into a two-block section of West Lancaster Avenue in the southern end of downtown Fort Worth.
A part of Fort Worth that hasn't been touched in almost four years could soon get a major face-lift.
A $35 million project in the works would add residential, retail and office space into a two-block section of West Lancaster Avenue between Throckmorton and Monroe streets.
On Tuesday, a city committee approved paying a development consultant $535,000 to look at designing the project.
City leaders say the project the city would greatly improve the south end of downtown.
“What we see in the north part of [down]town -- the growth of mixed-use development, retail shops, restaurants, all of that -- we hope to bring to the south end of downtown as well,” Fort Worth spokesman Jason Lamers said.
Like most city projects these days, it would be a private-public partnership. The city would work with some private developers and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth.
“It gives us an opportunity to be in the middle of what's happening in downtown Fort Worth,” diocese spokesman Pat Scavina said. “There's no better place in North Texas than downtown Fort Worth these days.”
The diocese already has a presence just up the street from the proposed site.
St. Patrick Cathedral is along Throckmorton Street, and a Parish Pastoral Center is set to be dedicated in November. The diocese will lease some of its land currently being used for ground parking to build a parking garage for the development.
“And then, in return, we get some spaces in the parking garage,” Scavina said. “And then we make a commitment to purchase at least two floors of the office building.”
Scavina said the diocese would then consolidate many of its central city functions into that location.
In total, the project will consist of 230,000 square feet and include 450 parking spots and 90 apartments.
With the Trinity Railway Express and The T within walking distance and bike lanes and large sidewalks already in place, it could become another urban village.
“We really want this to be walkable, bike-able, pedestrian-friendly, retail-oriented development,” Lamers said.
The project is still months away from being designed and years away from completion.
The city hired L2L development to start plans on the project.