Fort Worth

As Fort Worth's Near Southside Boom, Business Owners Worry Construction Could Derail Progress

Fort Worth's Near Southside is the city's biggest hot spot for development right now. But just as new businesses are coming online, the city is planning a major road reconstruction project. It will impact streets between I-30 and Magnolia north to south and from Jennings to I-35 east to west.

South Main Street is the big corridor through the booming area known as South Main Village. But after nearly two years, there are still construction cones out along South Main and now that work will soon be moving into the side streets, business owners are worried people won't be able to get to all the new shops and restaurants that are opening up.

At a town hall meeting Monday night, the city promised to work closely with nearby business owners. They're planning to start construction this October on the 10 million dollar project.

The infrastructure in the area has been decaying for decades. So water and sewer lines will be replaced then the road is being resurfaced on 11 streets.

New businesses like HopFusion Ale House, open for just a year and a half now, worry they'll be cut off from their customers and suppliers that bring in 30,000 pounds of ingredients every month off Bryan Avenue. Bryan is due for extensive upgrades.

"If we don't have access to that door, we can't get ingredients in that door and we can't get beer out of that door for an extended period of time, it's not good,” said HopFusion’s co-owner Macy Moore. “I don't know how we would be able to continue to operate."

Mike Brennan, incoming President for the group Near Southside, Inc. said work on Bryan and the other surrounding streets won’t be nearly as involved as South Main was.

"We're going to strive to do better and have a smoother process with less disruption to businesses," Brennan said.

The city says they'll do their best not to completely close any streets while work is underway, and they're promising to work with business owners if they need accommodations like a temporary driveway.

Monday night’s meeting was just the beginning of the process, it’s still in the design phase. The city plans to hold more meetings and keep stakeholders involved as work progresses.

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