Housing Authority gets set to formally launch Hunter Plaza rebuild

By Scott Nishimura snishimura@bizpress.net

(UPDATE: The Fort Worth Housing Authority launched the redevelopment of the old Hunter Plaza apartments on Wednesday. Click here for that story.)

The Fort Worth Housing Authority is hosting a “wall-breaking” Wednesday to launch the impending demolition and rebuild of the downtown Hunter Plaza apartments into a mixed-use, mixed-income development.

The event will be 10 a.m. at Hunter Plaza, 605 W. 1st St. Several dignitaries, including City Councill members Ann Zadeh and W.B. “Zim” Zimmerman, chairman of the project-partner Downtown tax increment finance district, will wield sledge hammers and be assigned to knock a hole in the side of the old Hunter Plaza.   “This four-year journey has been a valuable lesson in the power of the public/private partnerships we have in Fort Worth,” Naomi Byrne, the Housing Authority’s new CEO, said.

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The estimated $29 million redevelopment will include market rate and affordable units. Part of the old Hunter Plaza will be saved because of its historic designation. Completion is expected in December 2015.

The residential units will include 114 one-bedroom units and 50 two-bedroom units ranging between 550 and 850 square feet. The apartments will be loft-style.

The project will include about 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail and commercial space.

The development’s public partners include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, City of Fort Worth and Downtown tax increment finance district.

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Private partners include PNC Bank, Stonehenge Capital, Community Bank of Texas, and Bank of Texas, and Carleton Development LTD. BOKA Powell is the architect, and SEDALCO Construction the contractor.

The old Hunter Plaza building was built in 1954. It was originally the Fortune Arms Hotel, and the Housing Authority purchased the building in 1971. In 2010, Hunter Plaza was vacated and sealed.

FWHA develops, owns and operates quality affordable and accessible housing. Today, it owns 1,003 public housing units, 2,821 affordable housing units, and 525 market-rate units; administers more than 6,300 housing vouchers; and operates two homeownership programs.