Council hears report on planned changes to American Airlines new headquarters

In its work session the Fort Worth City Council on Tuesday discussed a proposed reinvestment zone and enhanced community facilities agreement with American Airlines for its headquarters and road improvements along Trinity Boulevard.

Dating to Nov. 10, 2015, the council approved a tax abatement agreement with American and the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Board for development of a corporate headquarters facility on property at the airport located within the city of Fort Worth. The city agreed to abate a maximum of 75 to 90 percent of the incremental real and personal property from the site for a period of one year, provided the company expend at least $200 million in real property improvements on the reinvestment zone by Dec. 31, 2019.

American Airlines now wishes to construct the headquarters with multiple buildings, which would require a portion of it to be built to the north of the existing reinvestment zone on land controlled by the company. In order for this property to be covered under the tax abatement agreement, the council must also designate it as a reinvestment zone and hold a public hearing.

“We are expanding the original zone to allow for additional buildings as a part of the American Airlines headquarters expansion,” Sturns said.

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As part of the project American Airlines will also be expending an estimated more than $1.65 million on the construction of deceleration lanes, signaling, and sidewalk and street light improvements on Trinity Boulevard and American Boulevard. American Airlines has agreed to provide at its expense, all necessary rights-of-way and easements across the property they control.

The Fort Worth Economic Development Department has recommended helping with the cost of the public infrastructure (road improvements) through an Enhanced Community Facilities Agreement (ECFA) in the amount of $950,000.

“The ECFA was part of the original discussions to provide funding for the infrastructure needed to facilitate the development of a comprehensive corporate campus,” Sturns said. “We are glad to see American expanding their footprint in Fort Worth and look forward to continuing our long partnership with them.”

As stated in the original agreement, all work must be completed by Dec. 31, 2019.

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The tax abatement reinvestment zone is expected to be on the council’s June 6 agenda, while the tax abatement amendment and ECFA will be on the June 13 agenda.