The Downtown Urban Design District that governs building design in downtown Fort Worth may be getting bigger.
The city is considering expanding the district boundaries to include more of the north side of downtown – that is, the area east of the Intermodal Transportation Center up to Interstate 35, then north up to the Greenway, Rock Island and Samuels Avenue neighborhoods.
The area has been receiving a “sheer magnitude of interest” from developers looking to bring multifamily residential development, said Andy Taft, president of downtown advocacy group Downtown Fort Worth Inc. (DFWI). One of the latest projects is a 300-unit multifamily development at the site of the old RadioShack warehouse at 701 Hampton Avenue. Developer StoneHawk Capital is heading the project.
Anticipating more multifamily projects to come forward in that area, Taft said DFWI held several public meetings with the area’s neighborhood associations between 2014-2015 to discuss how to expand the district boundary. DFWI then worked with city staff to draw the new boundary.
Any new development that falls within the boundary will need to follow a set of standards and guidelines that govern building height, signage and other design elements.
“Expanding the standards creates an environment where the neighbors know what’s expected, where the developers know what’s expected and where the Downtown Design Review Board and city staff know what is expected, so everyone is singing off the same song sheet,” Taft said.
The city will continue to hold public hearings until June, when the city council will vote on the expanded boundary. The Downtown Design Review Board’s public hearing is April 7, while the Zoning Commission’s public hearing is May 11. The city council will vote on June 7.
In addition to expanding the boundary, the city is also considering changes to some of the district’s standards and guidelines. The proposed changes involve building heights, sidewalk width, signage and other design elements. The proposed changes can be found at DFWI’s website: http://www.dfwi.org/what-we-do/projects