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Fort Worth Plans To Turn Pier 1 Building Into New City Hall

The Pier 1 building towers in front of a blue sky.
Miranda Suarez
/
KERA News
The Pier 1 building downtown could become Fort Worth's new City Hall. City officials plan to purchase the building for an as-of-yet unspecified sum in the tens of millions of dollars.

City officials said the purchase of the landmark downtown Fort Worth building will offer significant savings. They had originally planned to build a brand new City Hall.

Fort Worth plans to buy the Pier 1 building downtown and turn it into a new City Hall.

Officials had been planning to build an entirely new government center. Mayor Betsy Price said at a press conference on Wednesday that the chance to buy the Pier 1 building was too good to pass up.

"The new space allows for city services to be housed in one building, with the ultimate goal of this City Hall providing easy access for the public and great transparency," she said.

Price said she could not reveal the exact dollar amount, but that buying the Pier 1 building will cost tens of millions of dollars.

That will still be cheaper than building a new City Hall from the ground up, she said. That undertaking would have cost about $200 million to complete, according to the city.

The Pier 1 building is already furnished and will only need some renovations, like the creation of a council chamber, City Manager David Cooke said. It will also allow the city to put several services, currently scattered across different buildings, into one place.

“It’s an incredible deal for the taxpayer,” Cooke said.

Ending leases at other buildings, and the revenue from the current tenants of the Pier 1 building will offer a savings-revenue combination of more than $4.2 million a year, according to the city’s estimates.

The building is currently about two-thirds empty, Cooke said. City Hall could be up and running there by 2022, six years earlier than the previous plan.

The city plans to close on the building by February 2021.

Got a tip? Email Miranda Suarez at msuarez@kera.org. You can follow Miranda on Twitter @MirandaRSuarez.

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