Following up on our previous article, the Fort Worth City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday, June 13, 2023 to approve a contract with local architecture firm Elements of Architecture. The firm, which is based in Fort Worth, has partnered with The City on a number of other municipal projects, including the Fort Worth Convention Center and the Will Rogers Memorial Complex.
The approved $378,000 contract covers programming and design for remodeling the City Hall building (formerly the Pier 1 Imports HQ). Specifically, about 200,000 SF on the second and third floor are being targeted. Included in the remodel is consolidation of police divisions and structured parking for both employees and police vehicles.
The City Council is expected to add $1.4mm to the contract for construction documents and administrative services in the total $1.8mm design phase. Construction is estimated to cost another $28.4mm, bringing the total bill to $30.2mm. Funding for the project will be sourced from the Crime Control and Prevention District capital Projects Fund.
The results of the project should pay dividends for residents:
- 425 employees in the Central Patrol division, now at facilities at 501 Jones and 1289 Hemphill streets, and a former police and fire training facility at 1000 Calvert St., will move.
- Additionally, staff is considering relocating the Police Communications division to the building. That move would include 150 employees.
- The lower level of City Hall could be programmed for other City functions that would benefit from a downtown location.
- In all, 1,600 City employees are relocating from the current City Hall and 14 other City-owned and leased locations.
- Construction on a new City Council Chamber and a second parking structure at the Future City Hall are also anticipated to begin in the coming months.
While municipal projects aren't as sexy as high-rises and data centers (who said nerds can't be cool?), investors can still find fruitful opportunities even if they are not working with the municipality. In addition to the positive externalities resulting from enhanced public safety, a new employment hub for 1600 city employees and newly vacant assets formerly occupied by The City can mean opportunity for the savvy dealmaker.