Downtown Fort Worth TIF reaches parking agreement with four garages

By Scott Nishimura

Fort Worth’s Downtown Tax Increment finance district has reached proposed parking agreements with Sundance Square and the owner of the 777 Main office building.

The TIF board will consider them at its scheduled Oct. 29 meeting, 9 a.m. in the pre-council chamber at Fort Worth City Hall.

According to an agenda for the meeting posted Friday, the TIF staff has reached lease renewal agreements with four garages: 777 Main, owned by Cousins Properties; 215 Commerce St. and 400 Jones St., the City Center garages owned by Sundance Square; and the Chase Bank garage, 420 Throckmorton St., also owned by Sundance Square.

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The agenda provided no other details, and it wasn’t known whether the lease renewals continue free parking in the garages.

“We’re told they have agreements; that is all I know,” City Councilman W.B. “Zim” Zimmerman, chairman of the TIF, said in an interview.

“I’m assuming that the terms they’ve met are favorable to both sides, and if it passes Wednesday, it’ll be great news for everybody,” Dione Kennedy, CEO of Performing Arts Fort Worth, which runs Bass Hall, said in an interview.

Leases with seven downtown garages that offer free leisure parking subsidized by the TIF district expire between this fall and 2018, and the TIF board and downtown stakeholders have been wrangling over the future of free parking and what the tradeoffs are if free parking isn’t continued at its current levels.

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The TIF itself expires in 11 years, and a list of $30 million in other priorities is hunting for money. The current project and finance plan has about $30 million in unallocated funds left, and doesn’t include more money for free parking after the current leases expire.