Scott Gordon

Fort Worth Launches Plan for ‘Medical Innovation District'

Fort Worth city leaders plan to develop a "medical innovation district" in Near Southside, which is already dominated by large hospitals.

Fort Worth's Economic Development Director Rob Sturns outlined his plan on Tuesday for the city council.

He called it "a work, live, play area where you can bring together your medical facilities, researchers, small businesses, neighborhoods and develop this neighborhood where those things can happen."

The focus will be on recruiting entrepreneurs to start medical or science-related businesses and team them up with the bigger established medical facilities already in the area.

The area already has a system of tax incentives in place, Sturns said, so the plan is more about vision than money.

Entrepreneurs like Art Clapp have already staked claims to the area.

Clapp retired from working for a big pharmaceutical company and started his own business called Nuvothera. It makes and markets tumeric pills, a dietery supplement to treat inflammation.

"Because of the very small particles, it's very easily absorbed through the blood stream," he said.

Clapp's company also sells a treatment for psoriasis.

His small office is tucked in a building along Interstate 35 on the eastern edge of the neighborhood.

"It's all about innovation and growth," Clapp said. "Being a community, you see the infrastructure that goes around one company. You know, there's a whole infrastructure that goes around building these things. What did they used to say? Build it and they will come."

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