Council Notes: Spinks Airport hangar project gets council’s OK

Plans to construct new hangars at Fort Worth Spinks Airport are ready for takeoff.

The Fort Worth City Council voted Jan. 26 to initiate the project, allowing developer Copeland and Bullard to move forward in building two 3,600-square-foot hangars and one 12,000-square-foot hangar with parking and office space.

The hangars would be used to store the aircraft based at Spinks, which is running out of space. Spinks Airport currently has about 40 facilities that house more than 270 aircraft, and the airport is continually seeing interest from businesses and others that wish to house their planes at Spinks, according to Assistant Airport System Director Aaron Barth.

“There’s a need for hangar space because most, if not all, hangar space that is currently at the airport is filled up,” Barth said. “These folks recognized the need and are interested in filling that need.”

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The hangar project costs an estimated $1 million. Construction is expected to begin within 30 days and finish by May.

Building new hangars was one of the stipulations in the leasing agreement Copeland and Bullard made with the city in January 2015. Copeland and Bullard agreed to lease 45,776 square feet of land on the east side of Spinks for 20 cents per square foot annually, which totals to $9,155.20 a year.

Along with new hangars, Spinks is also building a two-lane, 1.4-mile service road connecting the east and west sides of the airport so fuel trucks can safely get to the fuel station at the east side of the airfield. Typically fuel truck drivers now have to coordinate with air traffic control and drive over active runways being used by airplanes, Barth said.

Funding for the service road comes from both the city and the Aviation Division of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). In 2014, the City Council accepted a grant from TxDOT’s Aviation Division that would pay for most of the project. TxDOT planned to contribute $2.6 million, while the city planned to contribute $300,000.

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TxDOT found, however, that its grant alone wasn’t enough to fund portions of the project, so in November it asked for an increase in the city’s contribution to $460,497. The city had already paid $28,400 for the design phase of the project, so that brought the city’s total to $488,897, beyond the $300,000 it originally planned to pay. The council voted Jan. 26 to amend the agreement with TxDOT and allow the city’s contribution to be raised.

The total cost of the road project is about $3.1 million. Construction is expected to begin in May and finish toward the end of the year.

“We’re excited to see interest in the airport from a developmental standpoint,” Barth said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing the needs be met for the demand of aircraft that want to be based here.”

Spinks Airport, located at 450 Alsbury Court, is a general aviation airport used for corporate flights, recreational flights, training and other various services.

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Pate Ranch zoning change

The council approved a zoning change in the Pate Ranch area along Chisholm Trail Parkway.

The change involves two tracts of land both spanning a little more than 10 acres each. The Sid Richardson Foundation owns one tract and Provident Realty Advisors — the owners of Pate Ranch who are planning a development project on the 468-acre property — owns the other.

Because the Bryant Irvin Road realignment project would have created an oddly shaped tract for Provident Realty, Provident and the Sid Richardson Foundation decided to swap land. That way, Provident owns the land east of Bryant Irvin and the Sid Richardson Foundation owns the land west of Bryant Irvin.

“It cleans up the boundary line,” Provident Realty President Jay Hawes said.

The land swap required the city to rezone both properties to match the zoning in the land’s respective surrounding areas. The Sid Richardson Foundation’s land went from A-5 one-family to FR general commercial zoning, while Provident Realty’s land went from FR to A-5.

Provident Realty plans to build housing and retail development on the Pate Ranch property. David Berzina, executive vice president of economic development at the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, announced Jan. 21 that the Pate Ranch project would be renamed Tavolo Park.

Council Notes

• Think “ice cream truck,” but with fruits and vegetables. That’s what city officials hope to see driving through neighborhoods in the near future, so the city is discussing amendments to the city code and zoning ordinance to make that happen. Currently, mobile vendors and pushcarts can sell produce but not in residential areas. The city plans to make zoning and code changes so that mobile vendors and pushcarts can sell in residential areas, with incentives for vendors that sell produce. The city plans to meet with neighborhood associations and discuss zoning changes with the Zoning Commission before the council votes on the amendments on March 1.

• The city is hoping to expand Fort Worth’s presence in the sports industry by working with Phoenix-based consulting firm Huddle Up Group. The Huddle Up Group, along with the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau, is analyzing Fort Worth’s sports venues, sports market and other aspects to come up with strategies to increase sports tourism. The Huddle Up Group has worked with several cities including Tulsa and Detroit and is currently working with the Bryan-College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau to find strategies to increase sports tourism in that area.

• With so much development coming to Fort Worth, the city is discussing ways to preserve open space for parkland and walking areas. Councilman Sal Espino said the city needs to be more active in preserving open space, whether that means having another bond program for parks or finding additional ways to provide funding to acquire parkland. Planning and Development Director Randle Harwood said the city plans to maintain its goal of having 6.25 acres of park space per 1,000 people.