Plans for a new luxury hotel in Fort Worth’s Cultural District are moving forward.
Bowie House would bring 120 luxury hotel rooms to a lot on the northeast corner of Camp Bowie Boulevard, which is currently vacant. Developer Jo Ellard said the property would also include 11 townhomes that wrap around the north and west sides serving as a buffer to the adjoining neighborhood.
Renderings of the project presented before the Fort Worth city council this week show a four-story hotel building. Ellard told NBC 5 on the phone Wednesday, the renderings reflect a conceptual idea and they are still in the design phase.
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The city council unanimously approved the zoning change Tuesday night after a roughly 30-minute discussion, including the presentation from Ellard and public comments from both supporters and neighbors in opposition.
Wade Chappell, executive director of Camp Bowie District, Inc., said there was not a single hotel within Camp Bowie boundaries.
“We are hungry for one and the tax base will definitely benefit,” Chappell said. “The quality of hotel that’s being promised, mahogany and brass steel is something that our shop owners, our property owners are all eager to get more folks in town and spend their tourism dollars here.”
June Naylor spoke in opposition and said she was not anti-development, but she felt that it needed to be “built in a commercially dense area”. She added the project would be proportionally out-of-scale to the buildings along the historic boulevard.
Miranda Benton also spoke in opposition, telling council members she was speaking for a large number of neighbors. One of the issues she brought up was the concern over traffic and parking.
“We’re concerned the traffic will back up onto Camp Bowie,” Benton said. “We feel like these things are going to have a negative impact on the sense of community that we have in this historic neighborhood. It needs to be strongly considered and taken seriously.”
On the issue of traffic and parking, Ellard told NBC 5 Wednesday, her team was “adamant” there would be no street parking allowed. The plan is to build an underground garage, Ellard said.
During the council meeting Tuesday, she said the current renderings and plans were the project’s fourth revision after input from neighbors. She told NBC 5, they plan to conduct another traffic impact study.
District 7 councilman Dennis Shingleton acknowledged some residents were not happy with the idea, but to “bear with me on this one”.
“You know that something is going to be built on that very, very lucrative commercial property,” Shingleton said. “In my opinion, I can’t think of anything better than a five-star hotel that is going to enhance not only the commercial aspect of Camp Boulevard but also that neighborhood.”
Ellard said the hope is to break ground on the underground garage in the first quarter of 2021.