By David Berzina
Are you looking for space to open a boutique in a pedestrian village where you can live just a few yards from your workplace? Fort Worth has a neighborhood for that.
How about a large warehouse for an aviation manufacturing company that is surrounded by a wide range of retail and residential options for employees? Fort Worth has a neighborhood for that, too.
What about a modern tower with advanced technology for a professional services firm? I know just the right places.
Fort Worth is not a one-size-fits-all community, which is essential when working to attract companies that are as diverse as our neighborhoods. Companies of all sizes want a presence in neighborhoods with characteristics that align with their brands and with the lifestyles of their employees and customers, so the distinctive “personalities” of our neighborhoods turn out to be one of the city’s best-selling features.
One of Fort Worth’s most iconic neighborhoods is Downtown. Brand new skyscrapers and fully restored historic buildings line the bustling streets of this business district, offering visitors a glimpse of the city’s past, present and future. The heart of Downtown Fort Worth is Sundance Square, a nationally acclaimed 35-block shopping and entertainment village that draws millions of visitors annually. With a robust daytime business presence and a vibrant nightlife, the characteristics of Downtown appeal to a wide range of professional service firms, boutique stores, hotels, restaurants, entertainment facilities, performance halls and residents seeking upscale urban living.
The success of Downtown’s revitalization is resonating in other Fort Worth neighborhoods like Near Southside. Once a dilapidated neighborhood severely impacted by urban flight, the 1,400-acre medical district just south of Downtown has transformed into a trendy urban village, thanks to millions of dollars that were invested in renovating historic buildings, streetscapes and other projects. Old buildings have been renovated for eclectic boutiques, salons, art studios, nationally recognized local restaurants and craft breweries, medical offices, law firms, townhomes and apartments.
The district benefits from the presence of major healthcare facilities, such as Baylor All Saints Medical Center, Cook Children’s Medical Center, Texas Health Harris Methodist, JPS Health Network, Plaza Medical Center and the Moncrief Cancer Institute. With approximately 39,000 jobs, Near Southside is the second-largest employment center in Tarrant County. The community has mainly focused on fostering local entrepreneurs, and these efforts have paid off for Near Southside with a tax base that has more than doubled to about $548 million since 1997.
Like Near Southside, the nine-mile Camp Bowie Historic District has also morphed into a thriving community for local entrepreneurs. Formerly the training site of the 36th Infantry Division, Camp Bowie is now home to some of Fort Worth’s most elite businesses, luxury spas, antique shops, high-end car dealerships, top-of-the-line electronics stores and upscale boutiques.
A district generating tremendous economic impact for Fort Worth is AllianceTexas. Located in north Fort Worth, and spanning both Tarrant and Denton counties, the 18,000-acre master-planned, mixed-use community is designed to provide business, retail, recreation and residential options for every lifestyle and age range.
Anchored by the Alliance Global Logistics Hub, one of the world’s premier inland ports, the development is a highly desirable location for logistics companies, shippers, ecommerce fulfillment centers and manufacturers from around the world. It is also home to technology companies, data centers and professional services firms seeking space that ranges from hundreds of acres for corporate campuses to a few thousand square feet of flexible office space. It is the largest employment center in Tarrant County with more than 45,000 jobs, and its economic impact since 1989 exceeds $60 billion.
West 7th is one of Fort Worth’s newest districts, and in just over five years, it has already made an indelible mark. Situated at the convergence of six intersections, this 13-acre gateway to the Cultural District offers close access to the city’s prominent museums and to major employment centers. The pedestrian-friendly village features high-concept restaurants, boutiques and lifestyle retailers, along with professional offices, urban residential lofts and apartments. The project is near Montgomery Plaza, formerly a historic Montgomery Ward regional warehouse that has been converted into luxury condos and retail space for national chains and local shops.
The establishment of West 7th had the added benefit of spurring redevelopment of the adjoining Linwood residential community, which was hit hard by an F3 tornado in 2000. Dozens of abandoned lots have been filled in with modern townhomes.
As Fort Worth continues to grow and evolve, so will its communities. For example, we are already getting an idea of the characteristics that Panther Island/Central City will add to Fort Worth. While still in its infancy, this waterfront Trinity River Vision project offers access to concerts and festivals at Panther Island Pavilion, as well as to watersports. The project includes revitalization of the 1,000-acre Gateway Park, which will be the largest urban-programmed park in the area with first-class recreational amenities.
With neighborhoods this diverse, it’s easy to see why Fort Worth is a premier destination for business relocation and expansion opportunities. We’ve got just the right place for the needs of any company, no matter its size, culture or target audience.