FORT WORTH- If there is an area of Fort Worth in more desperate need of a hotel, longtime Cultural District observer and historian Larry O'Neal can't think of it.
"We need it bad," says O'Neal from inside his personal museum on West 5th Street. "We've got the Stock Show, the redevelopment there, and then a lot more."
O'Neal reviewed a revised set of plans, sketches and renderings that emerged Monday for a high-dollar hotel project at the corner of Camp Bowie Boulevard and Van Cliburn Way. It's being proposed by Illinois-based Heart of America Group.
The plans call for a 170-room structure that is ten stories high and features a Texas limestone facade. It would contain a top-floor bar and restaurant, along with a pool overlooking the Fort Worth skyline.
"I heard people talking about it before. It's too big, too tall. A hotel? That's what hotels are, big and tall," says O'Neal.
O'Neal is referencing concerns that surfaced earlier this year when initial plans for the project were unveiled.
As WFAA media partner the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported, area museums like the Kimbell and Amon Carter weren't enthusiastic about the hotel's size because it could jeopardize some of the views and design features of the museums.
Representatives from the museums didn't say on Monday what they think about the revised plans.
City Councilman Dennis Shingleton, who has been working to reach a compromise with developers and entities in the highly-regarded Cultural District, also wouldn't say much, only insisting nothing is final.
In an email, HOA Group Founder Mike Whalen said the limestone, fewer rooms and lower height are part of a revised plan.
Numerous other local architects and representatives from cultural organizations declined to discuss the project on the record.
But one source did stress that even the updated plans appear to fall outside of current zoning for the area, and said ultimately any groundbreaking will require further city council scrutiny and a variance approval.
The council is expected to discuss the project again next week when it returns from a summer recess.