Fort Worth

Fort Worth's Berry Street Continues Makeover

Area is one of 16 'urban villages' targeted for revitalization

Parts of Berry Street in Fort Worth used to be known as "Scary Berry."

But now, a long-term effort to spruce up the street from Texas Christian University to Interstate 35W has completely changed the image, say city leaders and residents.

"No more Scary Berry," said Councilwoman Ann Zadeh, whose district includes the Berry Street Corridor.

The Fort Worth City Council got an update on the project Tuesday night.

In 2007, Berry Street was one of 16 designated "urban villages" – neighborhoods the city has targeted for improvement.

The projects were slow to start because of the financial crisis that soon followed.

But in recent years, the city has invested in new streets, flower-filled medians, and brick-lined sidewalks along Berry Street.

As part of the urban village, the city also offers economic incentives to businesses.

"And when the private development comes alone, we participate in a partnership where we fund some of the public improvements, along with the private development, and you get more bang for your buck," Zadeh said.

Longtime Fort Worth resident Cherryl Williams likes what she sees.

"It kind of gives a nice friendly atmosphere to the city," she said.

A new bank is going up at the corner of Berry and University, and they're planning to build a new rail station at Berry and Cleburne Road, which could spur even more development.

There are still problems to be solved, like a drainage problem that causes flooding during heavy rains.

But the changes are a big improvement from the way Berry Street looked not that long ago.

"It looks nicer and it makes the city look prettier," Williams said.

Other urban villages include Magnolia Avenue and West 7th Street.

City leaders say they are models for future development.

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