Plans for Stockyards redevelopment starts to take shape

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by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

WFAA

Posted on June 26, 2014 at 11:09 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 27 at 12:37 AM

FORT WORTH -- At a public zoning meeting on Thursday night, more than 50 concerned citizens and store owners from the historic Stockyards area got a better picture of what lies ahead for the area's redevelopment.

Two weeks ago, the city council approved more than $25 million in tax incentives for a California developer to start revamping part of the stockyards.

A zoning change for much of the area will be the next official step.

At the meeting, there was still some concern over just what the changes could mean.

"It will allow things over here that aren't allowed right now?" asked one man, who said his family owned three properties in the area.

City planning and zoning staff said a change to "mixed use/planned development" would allow for some differences. But they also stressed that creating an additional "form-based" district solely for the Stockyards could help outline specific do's and don'ts that will help preserve the western heritage and look of the area.

"I think that is doable," said Dana Burghdoff, the deputy director of planing and development.

Earlier this month, a number of local business leaders and historical folks expressed concern over the idea of Majestic Realty, based in California, partnering with the Hickman family, which owns most of the Stockyards land, to build up the area.

Mayor Betsy Price tweeted out a statement that said she is convinced Majestic wants its project to fit in with the area, and that most of the additions will be things like "…unique destination retail, craft breweries, farmers markets, and signature restaurants."

There also are loose plans for a hotel project.

Jarrell McDonald, who owns three stores along North Main Street, said the entire concept sounds like a winner.

"Hopefully, it'll do same thing for north Fort Worth that the Bass boys did for downtown Fort Worth” he said. "Anytime somebody spends $175 million of their own dollars, they are gonna do it right.”

McDonald acknowledge there might be some negatives. Most property owners will probably raise tenant rents quicker than merchants or restaurants want to raise prices.

Other owners at the meeting expressed concern about parking, pointing out that many customers already complain about finding a spot.

A zoning hearing for the project is set for July 9 at 10 a.m. downtown at Fort Worth City Hall.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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