Downtown boutique hotel development may soon take shape

Scott Nishimura

(Correction: Andy Taft’s remarks have been corrected to clarify he was not speaking about a site across from the Intermodal Transportation Center.)

Development of a boutique hotel at Sundance Square in Fort Worth is “front burner” material these days, Ed Bass, Bass family principal in its 35-block downtown development, says.

“We’re studying all aspects,” Bass said earlier this week in a brief interview, when asked by The Business Press about persistent rumors that a Sundance hotel announcement is imminent.

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“We’re studying how it might be configured architecturally, how it would tie in with parking. We know we want more parking than the hotel alone would utilize. We’re figuring out how to maximize the street life with retail, figuring out what type of hotel it would be.

“We’re trying to move that along; that’s on our front burner right now,” Bass said in the lobby of Sundance’s Wells Fargo Tower at the City Center, moments after meeting with reporters as election results rolled in on funding for the $450 million Will Rogers Memorial Center arena Bass has championed.

At the grand opening a year ago of the Sundance Plaza city square, Bass indicated the next developments for Sundance would be a boutique hotel and parking, and town homes and apartments, on property on the east side of Sundance off of Calhoun Street.

In an Oct. 29 talk at a Fort Worth conference on transit-oriented development, Andy Taft, president of the Downtown Fort Worth Inc. economic development nonprofit, made a reference to a “500-unit village” that he said Bass had announced. Taft says he mistakenly conflated Bass’ remarks with a long-proposed redevelopment of the T&P Warehouse on West Lancaster Avenue.

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Sundance representatives say nothing is imminent.

Asked about that, Bass said, “we began the Sundance Square master plan as an architectural account at (David M. Schwarz Architects) in 1987. It may be the longest living account that any architectural firm in America still has open.

“We’ve looked from time to time at various things east of these (City Center) towers, all of that surface parking (Sundance owns). We’ve looked at corporate campuses, we’ve looked at high-rise development. One of the things we’re really going to go back and look at is residential, city-core neighborhoods. It will include high-rise, it will include town homes. My dream is it will be anchored with a park.

“It would really be a residential population (blending with) all the offices, restaurants, entertainment of the downtown,” he said. So we’re looking at that. I dream of residential neighborhoods. They really are dreams, but they’re dreams right now.”​