City Moves to Improve Northside Neighborhood

Northside neighborhood improvement

Next on the City of Fort Worth’s initiative to improve neighborhoods: Northside.

Photo from City of Fort Worth website

by Rebecca Williams 

Next on the City of Fort Worth’s initiative to improve neighborhoods: Northside.

Northside marks the third neighborhood chosen for the city’s Neighborhood Improvement Program, and work has already begun. The City of Fort Worth has devoted about $3 million, a half-cent allocation of the municipal property tax rate, to the revitalization of the area.

Councilman Carlos Flores, a Northside native, is spearheading the project, aided closely by Mayor Betsy Price and Northside community stakeholders, particularly the Northside Neighborhood Association. The goal of the project is to increase vitality in the community and reduce crime.

The city chose Northside for this program due to multiple negative indicators, including high rates of poverty, crime, blight and unemployment. The area is located close to downtown and the Fort Worth Stockyards.

The city hopes to instill a sense of security by improving the overall infrastructure of the area, including updating the curbs, gutters and streetlights. There is also a focus on neighborhood cleanup of vacant lots and alleyways.

“We have legacy families that have been here for generations,” Flores said during a tour of the neighborhood Wednesday. “They continue to be here. Why? It’s home. As humble as it may be, it’s still home. They’re proud of it, and that is one of the distinguishing features of this community. We are proud.”

The last two Neighborhood Improvement Projects, the first in the Stop Six neighborhood and the second in the Ash Crescent neighborhood, have seen significant improvement. Stop Six, for example, has witnessed a 23 percent decrease in crime, a 24 percent increase in property values and a 48 percent increase in permitting or economic development activity, according to the city.

The city will hold a community meeting Feb. 19 at the Northside Community Center, where members of the community are invited to share their ideas and input to help the city best prioritize the funds. Additionally, residents of the Northside can also expect a by-mail survey between now and March 22 regarding the project. The survey will also be available online.

“We hope to improve and uplift this community and make it feel more a part of Fort Worth,” Flores said. “There are some that have the feeling that they’ve been forgotten ... Well, the time has come. We’re addressing it. We’re on top of it, and with staff’s help, we will make it happen for everyone.”