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Thread: Crumbling Landmark: What to do?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Doohickie's avatar
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    Crumbling Landmark: What to do?

    On our local forum there's a long-running thread about the Texas & Pacific Warehouse, a vacant, historical building that has a lot of potential. The current owner (a company called "Cleopatra" in the thread) is basically just sitting on it while it crumbles.

    The building sits on the southern edge of Downtown Ft Worth in an area that's beginning to see new development. Behind the building (to the left in the pic below) run I-30 and several train tracks that separate Downtown from the Near Southside (which is also redeveloping). A tunnel is being constructed next to the building (at the far end in the pic below) to better connect Downtown with the Southside. The companion T&P Station (still an active train station) has been renovated into loft condos, with a lounge, an event space and a tavern on the first floor.

    The city offered incentives to Cleopatra to redevelop the building, but those expired and were withdrawn. The city is trying force them to do basic code compliance work to keep it from degrading further, but they are really dragging their feet.

    I guess my questions are: What would/could you do to force the ownership to rehab a building like this in your city? And do any of you know of a similar case that was successfully resolved (i.e., shoddy ownership -> rehabbed building)?


  2. #2
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Sadly I've got nothing but sympathy or is it empathy?

    Sounds like some jerk bought the building thinking some hipster developer will come along and pay a boat load of money to redevelop it, but they don't want to spend any money on keeping it up until that happens. The only thing I can offer is have someone inform the developer about things like tax incentives or grants for historic buildings that might make it worth while to fix up while Cleo waits to sell it.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Doohickie's avatar
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    The long frontage along Lancaster Avenue was (and still is I suppose) loading docks.



    A concept from a few years back to convert it to condo/hotel would take out a section for an entryway.


  4. #4
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    The only substantive actions that can be done is for the City to issue citations for property maintenance violations (if the City has those regs and staff).

    Unfortunately, these very large specific use buildings are hard to reuse unless it is acquired for free. The old Main Post Office in Chicago has been sitting for decades because it is just so massive that it is hard to do anything with it.

    But it can be done. The former Montgomery Ward warehouse in Chicago was converted to residential in the early 2000, but the near northside real estate market warranted the invested.

    Hopefully, Fort Worth's real estate market continues strengthening and can encourage reuse.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

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