Historic Fort Worth church set for new life as mixed-income housing community

Cielo Place at 3111 Race St. courtesy photo

A ribbon-cutting on Dec. 16 will bring new life to a 100-year-old landmark church in Fort Worth.

Saigebrook Development and Accolade Property Management announced Dec. 10 the official unveiling of Cielo Place at 3111 Race St.

This mixed-income housing community in Central Fort Worth will give new life to the historic Riverside Baptist Church, initially designed and built by architects Easterwood and Easterwood in 1924 and expanded in 1951 and 1958.

Over the decades, the building has played an essential role within the community. The newest iteration, Cielo Place, is a residential community consisting of more than 90 units and fully furnished clubhouse spaces including a community room, business center, leasing offices, fitness center, cyber lounge, and outdoor spaces inclusive of a playground, community pocket parks, gathering spaces, and bicycle parking.The official opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of Cielo Place will take place on Dec. 16 at 10 a.m. in the renovated sanctuary and include remarks from Texas State Representative Ramon Romero, District 9 City Councilmember Elizabeth M. Beck, investor partners, and project leadership.

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Saigebrook Development and consultant, O-SDA Industries said they worked hard  to uphold the historical significance of the building. The last-ever church service at the church was held Christmas Eve 2018 and the building received a historic designation through the National Register for Historic Places in late 2020.

 “Cielo Place provided a unique opportunity to preserve history while creating new opportunities for the community,” said Lisa Stephens, owner and president of Saigebrook Development. “A lot of hard work and care went into the development plan and it presented a variety of learning opportunities for our team. As we peeled back the layers of this building—painstakingly preserving and restoring the woodwork, stained glass windows, light fixtures, and structural components—we also peeled back layers of history and learned so much about the history of this church, and the community that has gathered here over the years. It is an honor for us to continue the legacy of that community, and to build a new mixed income community where 91 families can call the Riverside Baptist Church home.”

Cielo Place will consist of 91 total units with a mix of studio (550 sq ft); one-bedroom, one bath (650sq ft); two-bedroom, two-bath (850 sq ft); and three-bedroom, two-bath (1050 sq ft) options. Saigebrook Development tapped Miller-Slayton Architects and Interior Design firm Ink & Oro to preserve and maintain the integrity of the stunning historical architecture and design and infuse it with modern amenities.

Preserved design elements include the church’s original stained glass windows, even within the residential units, light fixtures, classroom numbers, and exterior facade.

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As a centerpiece for the community’s common area, several rows of pews from the original sanctuary, the original altar and baptismal, along with the stained-glass window behind it are untouched. Cielo Place will make the clubhouse available for neighborhood requests and needs – continuing to invite the neighbors into the space. Accolade Property Management pre-leased 100 percent of the building in about 60 days.