Developers pleased with progress in Fort Worth's 'next hot neighborhood'

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by LAUREN ZAKALIK

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaalauren

WFAA

Posted on March 28, 2014 at 6:04 PM

FORT WORTH -- Fort Worth's medical district, just south of downtown, hasn't always had the best reputation.

"This was an area where nobody would have invested to build an apartment complex, let alone live here," said Paul Paine, president of Fort Worth South, a non-profit focused on the revitalization of the near Southside.

That mentality is changing dramatically.

"Now it’s become one of the most popular places in all of Fort Worth," he said.

Realtors we spoke to back that up; this, they say, is Fort Worth's next hot neighborhood.

In recent years, restaurants and shops have popped up on Magnolia Avenue, the heart of the near Southside. Paine said pair that with a growing employee base in the medical district, and people are finally deciding to work and live here. New buildings, like The Phoenix, opened directly in response to that growth.

"As of this past week, we are 60 percent leased," said developer Stephen Eisner.

Paine added that ongoing contract talks with developers could also lead to the number of rental units doubling in the next three years.

"If everything were to happen, we’d add another thousand [units]," he said.

One of those projects is 801 Vickery. It's a dilapidated former grocery distribution center that will be high-end lofts come next spring.

"There’s a big demand for housing here - particularly rental - that’s high quality," said developer Taylor Farden.

Tammy McGhee has worked in the area for years. Six months ago, she finally made it her home.

"It's changed quite a bit," she said, adding that the area used to be a place you didn't "necessarily [want] to live."

"It's close to my work and I've always liked this neighborhood," she said.

A neighborhood known for being "in transition" has transitioned into the place people were hoping for.

E-mail lzakalik@wfaa.com

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