Council report: Tax break for steel distributor; Color upgrade for W. 7th bridge?

Under construction in 2013. Photo by Alyson Peyton Perkins.

The Fort Worth City Council voted Feb. 9 to approve a five-year tax abatement for Triple-S Braswell, a wholesale structural steel distributor that plans to build an industrial building at 2950 Braswell Drive off Interstate 35W.

Triple-S Braswell plans to spend about $8.4 million to build a 130,000-square-foot facility, which will be used for wholesale metal distribution and retail. The project is expected to finish later this year, with the tax abatement agreement beginning in January 2017. If construction doesn’t finish on time, the tax abatement begins the following calendar year.

The value of the tax abatement is based on the cost of construction. Once construction is complete, the Tarrant Appraisal District will appraise the project and use that value to determine the amount of tax abatement. The estimated value of the tax abatement is currently $72,155, but the amount could change depending on TAD’s final appraisal.

“Construction of this facility represents a major commitment by the company to do business in Fort Worth and to invest in our city tax base,” said Sarah Odle, senior administrative assistant at the City of Fort Worth.

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If Triple-S Braswell decides to sell the property, the tax abatement can carry on to the new owner if City Council approves.

The property is part of the 28th Street-Meacham Neighborhood Empowerment Zone (NEZ). The zones are city-designated areas where property owners can receive incentives such as tax exemptions and fee waivers if they want to bring new development to the area. Fort Worth has 19 NEZs. The 28th Street-Meacham NEZ is between 28th Street and Meacham Boulevard.



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Color may be coming to the lights illuminating the bridge on West Seventh Street.

The city is considering improvements to the bridge’s lighting system, which shorts out during heavy rain, according to a city staff report.

The problem occurs in the junction box and conduit that connect to the light poles on the bridge’s median, as well as the lights on the bridge’s arches. When there’s heavy rain, the junction box and conduit fill with water and cause the system to short out.

The city is considering replacing the system with waterproof components, but may also replace the arch lighting altogether with LED fixtures that can change color for special events.

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The estimated cost for the improvements is about $200,000. Improvements should be finished in the next few months.

“It’s been a problem that’s going to turn out to be even better than it was, with the colored lights,” Mayor Betsy Price said.