The face of downtown Fort Worth could change in the near future as city leaders are in the preliminary stages of planning to build a large municipal complex.
Early discussions show a new eight-story 253,400 square-feet municipal complex and central library, and an adjacent eight-story parking garage with 1,200 spaces. The estimated cost for both would be around $150 million.
The new complex would be from the current City Hall south to Lancaster Avenue.
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"We are at the very beginning stages of this discussion," interim Assistant City Manager Kevin Gunn said. "We’ve done a little bit of analysis about how many people and how many cars those employees represent.
"The city owns or leases about a dozen different facilities in the Downtown or nearby area," Gunn added. "So, we are looking to bring all those folks down to a central location."
The new complex would allow for the consolidation of several city buildings and facilities. This could include selling several buildings including the Central Library and Gas Building. The sale of the buildings would help fund the project.
The city also pays almost $700,000 each year for downtown leases.
Citizens can send their input by emailing FWConnection@fortworthtexas.gov
Gunn laid out some of the early points of the proposed project:
- Create a store front, one-stop shop for development, utility and customer service interactions with the City along with the efficiencies of collocated staff
- Reduce operating costs by terminating facility leases and eliminating recurring facility maintenance costs
- Achieve the highest and best use through the sale of certain properties
- Contribute to commerce and the tax base by returning these properties to the tax rolls
- Proceeds from sale will partially fund the project
- Continue the momentum of development along Lancaster Avenue, Texas Street, and the broader area in southern Downtown
- Address transportation, mobility and green space items in and around the proposed complex
- Public/Private Partnership opportunities for commercial/retail development in conjunction with the municipal buildings.
"We are proposing to look for funding in the 2022 bond program which would likely by a May election for that program," Gunn said.