Fort Worth council discusses improvements for new construction

In its work session, the Fort Worth City Council discussed a proposed enhanced community facilities agreement with Hunt Southwest Mercantile LLC for construction of a 655,000-square-foot facility and improvements to North Sylvania Avenue. The new facility would be at the corner of North Sylvania and Quorum Drive.

The proposed site is an asphalt road that would be considered insufficient for commercial traffic. The Transportation and Public Works Department has suggested widening North Sylvania into a two-lane arterial road with a center turn lane.

“The Hunt Southwest Enhanced Community Facilities Agreement [ECFA] allows the city to leverage the development of a distribution facility in an existing business park to develop needed infrastructure in the area,” said Brenda Hicks-Sorensen, assistant director of the Fort Worth Economic Development department.

“The road improvements along North Sylvania Avenue align with the city’s Master Thoroughfare Plan and enhance the corridor for both the business tenants and residents.”

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The developer intends to invest a minimum of $20.5 million in the construction by Jan. 31, 2018. In addition, the developer will improve about

1,900 linear feet of North Sylvania, including demolition of existing asphalt road, grading, paving of new road and sidewalks, re-paving of driveway entrances, utility relocations and installations, street lighting, fire hydrants, and landscaping that will be completed to city specifications by Jan. 31, 2018.

The estimated total cost for the work is $2 million.

In addition, the developer has committed to securing tenants to occupy at least 50 percent of the building by Dec. 31, 2019. The developer will also work to provide at least 50 jobs via tenants in the facility by Dec. 31, 2019, and will make to efforts to use Fort Worth certified minorities/women business enterprise companies for at least 25 percent of the public improvement costs.

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In return, city staff has proposed an ECFA for the reimbursement of 50 percent of the infrastructure costs or $1 million, whichever is less. If the developer does not have the building at least 50 percent occupied by the deadline, the city’s reimbursement obligation will be reduced from $1 million to $500,000. The source of funds for this reimbursement will come from the 2007 Critical Capital Projects Fund, and the city expects to receive $1.7 million in incremental new taxes from this development over the next 10 years.

This item will come before the council for consideration on Dec. 13.