Fort Worth Housing Solutions is moving its headquarters to the renovated, open concept office building at 1407 Texas St. in downtown Fort Worth.
The purchase of the Texas Street property closed Dec. 18, 2020. The FWHS Board of Commissioners approved a contract last week with Fort Worth-based Bennett Benner Partners to do interior design and renovation work.
The 26,000-square-foot building features office space, work stations and spacious conference and meeting rooms on three levels, including the basement, and includes a third-floor observation deck overlooking the city.
The Texas Street building was originally built in 1955 and renovated in 2015, when it housed Simpl.fi, a Fort Worth-based digital advertising business that has moved to the Historic Stockyards.
JLL marketed the building after Simpli.fi left in the first quarter of 2020. The building was originally designed by renowned Fort Worth architect Preston Geren.
The move follows the December closing of Butler Place, the city’s last public housing community, located on 42 acres on the eastern edge of downtown. The 412-unit community opened in 1940 and was closed as part of FWHS strategy to deconcentrate poverty and allow residents to use rental assistance at homes of their choice across the city.
FWHS has operated from the historic Carver-Hamilton Elementary School building adjacent to Butler since 1995. The agency is working with its Butler Advisory Committee on preservation efforts related to the historic school building and with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on dispensation of the Butler property, which is currently restricted for public housing use.
“The 2020 closing of Butler was a milestone for our city – it gave families the opportunity to relocate to neighborhoods with better access to jobs, transportation, quality schools and services, such as grocery stores,” FWHS President Mary-Margaret Lemons said. “This shift allowed our agency to move to a headquarters with better access for the people we serve and the modern amenities and technology we need to support them.”
The Butler site also includes the Amaka Early Childhood Learning Center, which is operated by the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth. FWHS leaders are in discussions with the YMCA about ways to provide early childhood education in the neighborhoods the agency serves.