A planned high-rise condominium project is generating buzz of a revival of condo building in downtown Fort Worth.
“We are certainly hoping that happens,” said Andy Taft, president of Downtown Fort Worth Inc. “We’re hearing that some apartment developers with projects underway might turn some of the units into condos.”
Condo building has slowed in recent years, leaving a shortage in the market and rising demand. Real estate brokers and downtown advocates like Taft have been waiting for a developer to announce a major project like The Worth.
A project of Houston-based developer Zamco Properties, The Worth, will be a 24-story luxury condo tower with 115 units. The development will be located near the Tarrant County College campus south of the Trinity River.
Spanning a full block, the development will face North Henderson Street and will be bounded by West Bluff Street, Mills Street and West Peach Street. It is expected to have panoramic views of downtown, the Museum District, the Trinity River and Panther Island.
Dallas-based GDA Architects has been chosen to design the tower in transitional style, bringing together contemporary elements such as walls of glass as well as classic treatments such as large balconies.
Other amenities include valet parking, concierge services, owners’ lounges, a fitness center and saltwater pool surrounded by cabanas, an outside kitchen, fireplace and spa.
The architecture firm’s notable projects include The Vendome, Residences at the Stoneleigh and Museum Tower in Dallas; and Windrose Tower at Legacy West in Plano. The firm has also designed the 32-story apartment high-rise for Southern Land Company in downtown Fort Worth.
Zamco Properties, a residential development firm specializing in upscale multi-family and mixed-used developments, foresees The Worth as an unparalleled project for Fort Worth.
“We saw the demand for a condominium project like The Worth in this neighborhood,” Robert A. Zamorano, president and CEO of Zamco Properties, said in a statement. “It is currently the only high-rise project of its kind planned for Fort Worth with an exclusive location that can’t be replicated in the entire city.
“There are no other high-rises in the city that come close to this level or luxurious sky-high living,” he said.
Taft said The Worth is precisely the type of development suited to downtown Fort Worth.
“This is very exciting for us,” Taft said. “Not only because this will be condos but because it is high-rise condos, which makes more efficient use of land. High-density development is consistent with the planning and zoning of downtown.
“This is exactly what we wanted and envisioned would happen downtown,” Taft said.
Only 11 new townhomes hit the market last year and those were the first condo/townhome units to be constructed in nearly a half-dozen years.
Financing and liability concerns were among the issues that contributed to the slowdown in this segment of the residential housing market.
In 2016, 479 condos and townhomes were sold throughout the city. Of those, 94 were in downtown, accounting for 19.6 percent of the sales of these units, according to the North Texas Real Estate Information System Inc. and reported in the Downtown Fort Worth Inc.’s 2016 annual report, the latest available.
During 2016, 11,781 single-family homes were sold compared with the 479 condos and townhomes, according to the data. Condo and townhome sales in Fort Worth greatly lagged compared to Dallas, where sales of those properties accounted for 37.6 percent of all residential sales across Dallas and 4.1 percent of all sales throughout Fort Worth.
Based on industry standards, Fort Worth should have about 24,000 condo and apartment units, approximately 3 percent of the city’s population of more than 830,000, according to the 2016 annual downtown report.
With nearly 8,000 residents, downtown had about 4,000 apartment units and another 2,400 in 2016. There were 926 owner-occupied residences in downtown in 2016, with 887 of those units built between 2003 and 2016. The median sales price of a downtown residential unit was $262,750 in 2016.
The attraction of living downtown, steps away from shops, restaurant and entertainment opportunities, has boosted demand for condos at a time when there are too few available, said Mary Margaret Davis, a broker and Realtor specializing in downtown and urban sales.
“There’s a lot of demand but we’re seeing dwindling inventory so there are less sales because there is so little to sell,” she said. “That’s why a lot of us are so excited about (The Worth) and are anxious to see it happen.”
Dallas-based Al Coker & Associates, a marketing and sales firm specializing in luxury condominium sales, has been retained for The Worth.
“Our perspective homeowners will include those individuals who want to be in the heart of it all, actively involved with the best this city has to offer,” Coker said in a statement. “They will enjoy a luxury ‘lock and leave’ lifestyle with miles and miles of panoramic views in a neighborhood enhanced with museums, entertainment and outdoor leisure activities.”
A sales office for The Worth is expected to open near the site this year. The office will have detailed renderings and finish-out samples.
This report contains material from the Fort Worth Business Press archives.