News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Fort Worth Will Buy Pier 1 Building, Turn It Into A New City Hall

The Pier 1 tower rises above some trees, whose leaves are changing for fall.
Miranda Suarez
/
KERA News
The City of Forth Worth is moving forward with the $69.5 million purchase of the Pier 1 building. The plan is to turn it into a new City Hall.

The city will spend about $70 million to buy one of Fort Worth's most recognizable downtown buildings. It will become a central hub for city government.

The Pier 1 building in downtown Fort Worth will soon have a new name: City Hall.

On Tuesday, the City Council unanimously approved the $69.5 million purchase of the tower, which is one of Fort Worth’s most recognizable buildings.

This means the city can scrap its original plan to build a new City Hall, which could have cost about $200 million.

Consolidating city services into the Pier 1 building, and ending the leases on various government buildings could save the city over $1 million annually, Deputy City Manager Jay Chapa said.

"The building really meets the organizational needs immediately, and will do so for the next 50, 70 years as Fort Worth continues to grow," he said.

Officials say the current City Hall, the squat concrete structure on Texas Street built in 1971, is outdated. Council member Kelly Allen Gray in particular said she’s ready to move.

“As a person who whenever we have a heavy rainstorm, it rains in my space, I’m looking forward to it being someplace where it’s not raining,” she said.

Mayor Betsy Price announced the plans to buy the building just a few weeks ago. Councilmember Jungus Jordan called the purchase a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, because it’s already furnished and will save taxpayer dollars.

“I cannot find a reason not to do this,” he said.

The city plans to close on the Pier 1 building in February, and the new City Hall could be up and running by 2022.

Miranda Suarez is KERA’s Fort Worth reporter. Before coming to North Texas, she was the Lee Ester News Fellow at Wisconsin Public Radio, where she covered statewide news from the capital city of Madison. Miranda is originally from Massachusetts and started her public radio career at WBUR in Boston.