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Housing Authority reopens Knights of Pythias as lofts

🕐 1 min read

By Scott Nishimura snishimura@bizpress.net

The Fort Worth Housing Authority on Wednesday officially opened an 18-unit apartment development in the hull of the historic Knights of Pythias community hall in downtown’s Hillside.

The opening of the13,228-square-foot development, which includes 10 affordable-rate and eight market-rate apartments, helps fill in a hole in the downtown map and its residential inventory, representatives of the Housing Authority, city, federal Housing and and Urban Development department, and Downtown Fort Worth, Inc., said.

“This is just a small dent in the need,” Barbara Hulston, the Housing Authority CEO who recently retired and is welcoming her successor, Naomi Byrne, this week, said in an interview.

“But what’s significant about this is the affordability downtown. There’s not a lot of affordability downtown.”

Quadco Management Solutions began leasing the property Feb. 27, and it has one vacancy left: a two-bedroom, one-bath, 845-square-foot market rate unit for $1,900.

Four of the market-rate units in the complex are 745 square feet and rent for $999. The Housing Authority pays for water; tenants pay other utilities. The apartments come with complete appliance packages, including washers and driers.

The affordable rent apartments are targeted at people who make 80 percent of area median income.

The Fort Worth developer Phillip Poole held the property and envisioned four condominiums with parking, but he wasn’t able to get it financed, so he sold the property to the Housing Authority.

“The Housing Authority had the funds, could step in,” Poole said during Wednesday’s opening. “They’ve done an outstanding job.”

The Housing Authority borrowed $950,000 from the city through Community Development Block Grant money, and $1.5 million from CommunityBank of Texas, and it doubled the original building footprint in the redevelopment.

The 87-year-old building had been vacant and deteriorating for years.

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.

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