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City rejects both proposals to redevelop Fort Worth Community Arts Center

The Fort Worth Community Arts Center sits in the heart of the Cultural District at 1300 Gendy St.
Marcheta Fornoff
Fort Worth Report
The Fort Worth Community Arts Center sits in the heart of the Cultural District at 1300 Gendy St.

More than seven months after presenting plans to the public, the city of Fort Worth has rejected the two finalists’ proposals to redevelop the Fort Worth Community Arts Center.

The city began exploring options to redevelop the site following a 2022 building assessment that outlined $26 million in necessary repairs — a number that has grown to about $30 million due to inflation.

“The 1300 Gendy site is a jewel of Fort Worth, both in its incredible history and cultural significance and also in its immense potential as part of the world-class Cultural District in the heart of our city,” Mayor Mattie Parker said in a statement to the Fort Worth Report. “We only have one opportunity to get this project right.”

The city will update its website with information on next steps for the redevelopment phase later this summer, according to a city statement.Creating a “world-class cultural hub” and finding an economically sustainable plan to run the space was a top priority outlined by the city-appointed task force.

That group also recommended that the developers consider current tenants, like the nonprofit Arts Fort Worth, in their plans and work to preserve at least some historic aspects of the building. Those recommendations were not explicitly listed as requirements.

“As a City, we need to be more clear on our vision,” Parker’s statement continued. “And I am confident as we move forward we will be able to find that visionary project that all residents of Fort Worth can be excited about and proud of for generations to come.”

The city noted that plans by both finalists had good elements, but neither ultimately checked all of the boxes.

“I’d like to thank the two development teams that took the time to respond to the city’s call for proposals,” Robert Sturns, economic development director for the city, said in a statement. “We appreciate their interest in this project, as well as their enthusiasm for Fort Worth and their support of our city’s creative potential.”

In the same statement, Assistant City Manager Fernando Costa expressed his gratitude for the task force’s work and the participation from the community.

“We encourage those residents to stay involved as plans for the site continue to evolve,” he said.

More than 300 residents attended a March 2023 meeting that invited public input on the building. Wesley Kirk, who runs the Support Fort Worth Art community group, applauded artists and residents for speaking up.

“Because of your voice and your attention, the city understands that the community cares deeply what happens with the Community Arts Center,” Kirk wrote in an Instagram post. “Whatever happens next, hopefully the city understands that the community must come first.”

Development teams Garfield Public/Private LLC and Goldenrod Companies could not be reached prior to publication.

Emily Wolf contributed to this report.Marcheta Fornoff covers arts and culture for the Fort Worth Report. Reach her at At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board. Read more about our editorial independence policyhere.

This article first appeared on Fort Worth Report and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.