A historic part of Fort Worth is now even closer to a major transformation.
On Thursday morning, city leaders broke ground on phase one of a multi-part plan to improve the beloved Stop Six neighborhood.
Cowan Place Senior Living, which will be located at East Rosedale Street and Stalcup Road, will feature 174-units designed for seniors 62 and up.
The development is part of a bigger plan to build an urban village on the west side of the Lake Arlington area, alongside numerous other projects planned across the neighborhood to bring massive commercial and residential development opportunities to residents. It's an effort city leaders hope will help with the high unemployment, crime, and poverty that has affected the neighborhood for decades.
Cowan Place will be part of a total of 1,000 mixed-income rental units with a community hub, an aquatics center, and other amenities planned for the urban village.
"You'll see a focus on walkable streets, we have parks and green space – a lot of emphases will be put on an aquatic center that we hope to get there after the bond election. So really great things that Stop Six just hasn't seen in 50 years coming back to that neighborhood, to make it sustainable for the next 50,” said Mary-Margaret Lemons, Fort Worth Housing Solutions president.
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The progress has been a long time coming. In the last 10 years or so, there has been over $120 million of public investment in the Stop Six area.
Fort Worth’s housing authority and the city partnered back in 2013 to come up with a transformation plan for the community as part of the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative.
After years of planning, community input, and putting together a huge battle plan to apply for grants and put the project on paper, the city of Fort Worth won a $35 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in April 2020.
“When we really started this idea of applying for this huge grant we went over to City Hall and said, 'Will you guys be our partner?' And the resounding answer we got from everybody was, 'Yes.' Everybody says now is the time for Stop Six,” said Lemons.
In recent years, there have been a number of old buildings being torn down and vacant land being prepared for construction.
That includes the demolition of the 1950s-era J.A. Cavile Place public housing community in Stop Six in the spring, which helped make way for the work that will be done for Cowan Place. Families were temporarily moved out so the land could be cleared and prepped.
The goal is to get everyone moved back in once construction is complete on the different housing projects.
‘We actually have a number of individual units set aside that our former Cavile residents can come back to. So our goal is to move our Cavile residents back to the neighborhood,” said Lemons. "This project for our seniors will have a lot of amenities targeted just for them. So not only library space, but space for a beauty shop to be in the bottom of that apartment complex, as well as a place for medical doctors to come in and do on-site visits.”
The four-story Cowan Place development will also feature stucco, brick, and metal facades in a contemporary design. Other amenities include a theater, fitness studio, billiards, and crafts space.
“We worked really hard with the transit authority so Trinity Metro has been a great partner in making sure that we have public transportation and access right out the front door for these residents,” said Lemons.
Community input has been a major part of the planning process over the years. Things really gained momentum in January, when the city put a call out for local developers to send in ideas on what these projects should look like.
Then in April, residents filled out surveys to pick which one they wanted.
Cowan Place construction will take about 24 months, with leasing expected to begin in 2023.
Overall, Lemons said all six phases of the Stop Six transformation should be completely finished within 10 years.
The Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative is a collaboration between Fort Worth Housing Solutions, the City of Fort Worth, Fort Worth ISD, McCormack Baron Salazar and Urban Strategies Inc., with support from area agencies.