A. Lee Graham email@example.com
Determined to promote economic vitality in their part of town, Vernell Sturns and a few friends conceived an organization dedicated to boosting retail and housing options in Southeast Fort Worth. Thirteen years after that idea arose from a casual evening conversation, Sturns and others gathered for a luncheon celebrating Southeast Fort Worth Inc. “We had one thing in mind: what can I do to make Southeast Fort Worth a better community,” said Sturns, speaking at a July 11 luncheon that the nonprofit organization hopes to make an annual event.
Applause resounded through a Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth activities room along Campus Drive as Mayor Betsy Price joined other elected officials, city employees and area residents in celebrating strides made in bringing business to what some consider a neglected part of town.
Since sharing their vision with then-Mayor Kay Granger, Sturns and three fellow visionaries – Devoyd Jennings, Glenn Forbes and Wendy Shabay – challenged city leaders to help out. Many years later, the area teems with new businesses. Those include a new Walmart SuperCenter at Renaissance Square, as well as a Jack In The Box and McDonald’s restaurants and other recently opened businesses. Soon to open are Ross Dress for Less, Marshalls and a new strip center promising a 7-Eleven, GameStop, Subway and T-Mobile.
“It’s proof positive that Fort Worth is where people want to be, and Southeast Fort Worth is the prime target for redevelopment right now,” Price said at the luncheon. She pointed to several of the city’s mixed-use urban villages located in the area, including Polytechnic-Wesleyan, Berry-Stalcup, and Evans-Rosedale Handley.