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Monday, October 19, 2020
Real Estate Fort Worth council rejects controversial Crestwood rezoning

Fort Worth council rejects controversial Crestwood rezoning

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

By Scott Nishimura snishimura@bizpress.net

Fort Worth City Council members on Tuesday voted down a controversial rezoning request that would have allowed a two-story office building on the site now home to a 12-unit apartment complex on White Settlement Road at Bailey Street.

The council voted 6-3 to reject the rezoning, which had been recommended by the city’s Zoning Commission, with Councilman Dennis Shingleton, who represents the West Side district, making the motion.

Mayor Pro Tem Sal Espino and council members Jungus Jordan, Ann Zadeh, Kelly Allen Gray, and Gyna Bivens joined Shingleton. Mayor Betsy Price and council members W.B. “Zim” Zimmernan and Danny Scarth voted against Shingleton’s motion.

Residents of West Fort Worth’s Crestwood Association piled into the council meeting, trying to block the rezoning, saying it would represent the start of commercial encroachment into their neighborhood and lacked a compelling case.

“If permitted, this office building will be an island of commercial use inside a large, contiguous neighborhood,” Kathy Kelly, a Crestwood association leader, told council members.

Jim Schell, an attorney representing the property owner Chad and Mimi Stephens Investments LP, argued the office building would be an unobtrusive and appropriate use at the heavily trafficked intersection.

The apartments are run-down, he noted.

“It is generous to say they are tired,” he said.

Crestwood leaders, however, gathered more than 500 opposing signatures on a petition and argued there’s a market for a renovated multifamily complex at the intersection.

Stephens Investments recently purchased the 12-unit apartment building at 133 N. Bailey Ave., nestled into a leafy crook at the northwest corner of White Settlement and Bailey. It plans to demolish the building and build a two-story 9,200-square-foot office building.

The planned building would have four tenants of roughly equal size space, including the offices of Stephens Investments.

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