Fort Worth has decided it won't let Dallas have all the fun with convention center renovations. The Fort Worth City Council has approved $94mm worth of funding, with $44mm of that going toward the Fort Worth Convention Center. The remaining $50mm will be used in expanding the scope of the Future City Hall project. These ambitious projects will be financed via Series 2023 Combination Tax and Revenue Certificates of Obligation.

Fort Worth residents have reasons to be pleased with this. The expansion of the Future City Hall will boost its employee count from 900 to 1600 as the city consolidates its departments under one roof. This will both allow for the disposition of the buildings made redundant and let residents conveniently fulfill all their municipal needs at one location.

The Future City Hall aims to be both aesthetically pleasing and practicalSource: City of Fort Worth

The Future City Hall is not ground-up new construction. Rather, the city has opted to repurpose the former Pier 1 Imports HQ at 100 Energy Way. The building, constructed in 2004, is set to host its first City Council meeting in Fall 2023. All departments are expected to have made the move to the new location by Q1 2024.

The Fort Worth Convention Center's $44mm in funding will similarly bring a number of amenities and spaces together. Phase I of the expansion will feature an industrial sized kitchen, upgraded loading docks, and a realignment of Commerce Street to clear room for a convention hotel. Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates (TVS) is partnering with local firm Bennett Partners for architecture and construction.

The Convention Center expansion will be split into two phasesSource: City of Fort Worth

The Convention Center, which was constructed in 1968 and has not been renovated in the past 20 years, generates $125mm annually in local tax revenue from its visitors. The City estimates that these renovations could potentially double that.

For municipal projects, the timing likely could not be better. Access to (relatively) low cost financing lets cities take advantage of the slowdown in new construction to ensure a timely and budget-friendly project.