Near Southside Booster Fort Worth South Changing Its Name to...Near Southside Inc.

Fort Worth South, Inc., the economic development organization responsible for advancing the city’s Near Southside, is changing its name to resolve confusion.

Fort Worth South, as of Friday night, changed its name to Near Southside, Inc., Paul Paine, president of the organization announced at its annual banquet at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel. Near Southside, Inc. will go live with its newly branded web site March 1, Paine said.

Near Southside, Inc. promoted numerous upcoming developments during the evening, whose theme was “The Geography of Innovation” and included several presentations, ranging from  development of small technology-related businesses on the Southside, to the city’s budding music and film industries, and healthcare-led efforts to prevent child maltreatment.

Developments included new details about the University of Texas Southwestern’s Monty and Tex Moncrief Medical Center, announced last year and planned on the site of a hospital that was under construction at the northwest corner of South Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Opening in the first quarter next year, the center will have three floors and 105,000 square feet, 10 clinics, lab services, and an imaging center. The clinic space includes exam and procedure rooms for multiple specialties, which will include urology, ophthalmology, dermatology, physical medicine, rehabilitation, neurology, upper respiratory and musculoskeletal care. Construction will be underway this spring on the facility, which will include a dramatically overhauled facade over the previously planned building.

UT Southwestern confirmed last summer it was buying the site and would build a medical center, with a $25 million gift from the Moncriefs, who backed the construction of the Moncrief Cancer Institute on Magnolia Avenue in 2012.

Among other projects highlighted was the proposed Fort Worth Housing Authority mixed-use, mixed-income project on the T transit parking lot at West Vickery Boulevard and South Main Street. The Housing Authority, with architect Bennett Benner Partners, continues to work on drawings for the residential and commercial project, which also now has a potential hotel in the mix.

Also disclosed were plans for a mixed-use project that developer Trey Neville is working on at 1201 8th Ave., across the street from Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth. Neville is completing plans for the multistory project, which will include 9,600 square feet of retail and a covered patio on the ground floor, 11,200 square feet of office space above the ground floor, and a rooftop bar.

City Council member Ann Zadeh, whose district includes the Near Southside, briefed the packed ballroom on the progress the city revealed this week toward finding funding for the long-delayed Hemphill Connector, the planned tunnel project beneath Interstate 30 and the Union Pacific Railroad that would link Hemphill Street on the Near Southside to downtown.

City officials said earlier this week that the North Central Texas Council of Governments, Texas Department of Transportation and possibly Tarrant County may be able to fill a big funding gap.

Near Southside, Inc. presented developer Tom Reynolds with the annual Kline-Watts award for contributions to the area.