Why Fort Worth's Race Street is Set to Become the Newest Urban Village
Fort Worth is undergoing a bit of a renaissance. City developers have been paying renewed attention to the neighborhoods within the city limits. Much like the Near Southside neighborhood in the Magnolia area, redeveloping previously overlooked neighborhoods has provided fertile ground for creative new shops and restaurants. The latest neighborhood to get a second look is in the Race Street area, also known as the Scenic Bluff neighborhood or the Six Points Urban Village. Changes are already in the works to suggest that this is poised to become the next trendy neighborhood, especially since it’s only two miles from Downtown Fort Worth.
The Neighborhood’s Roots
Located near the intersection of Race Street, Sylvania Avenue, Riverside Drive, and Belknap Street, this neighborhood in Eastside Fort Worth spent many decades forgotten and in disrepair. The mostly residential Race Street area never really had a hot commercial district, but when the historic McAdams building—a neighborhood anchor—was slated for demolition, the community sought to find investors who would revitalize the area. Although the neighborhood covers several blocks and an intersection of six streets, many people just call it Race Street because of the street that runs throughout.
Redevelopment and Funding
Plans have been in progress for more than 10 years, but the city of Fort Worth has only recently been able to implement them. Voters approved a bond package in the 2014 election to give the area $4.1 million in funding, in addition to $1.5 million in federal funds, according to the Star-Telegram. The first phase of construction to improve the area’s infrastructure and aesthetics began in April and is expected to take seven months to complete.
The second phase of construction will make improvements to the Race Street/Sylvania Avenue intersection. This stage will also include more lighting, sidewalks, bike lanes, and parking. It is expected to begin in September and finish up by March 2019.
Reshaping the Neighborhood
River East is a mixed-use project already in progress which will bring 181 apartments to Race Street. The project also includes 13,500 square feet of live/work space for artists and small businesses, over 4,000 square feet of co-working space, and 3,000 square feet of ground-level retail.
The River East project will be four stories, a lower profile that is in keeping with the surrounding neighborhood. The new developments on Race Street are intended to fit in with the buildings already there. The plan is to create a walkable neighborhood that will encourage the public to hang out at retail shops and restaurants in the area. Future improvements will include modernized bus stops, new benches, and on-street parking.
A few businesses are already succeeding in the redeveloping Race Street area, including Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Gypsy Scoops ice cream shop, and Born Late record shop. A live music venue in a former post office is also planned to join the eclectic mix of restaurants and shops, according to the Star-Telegram report.
Similar to Magnolia Avenue in the Near Southside area, Race Street is transforming an older neighborhood that was once viewed as less desirable into a new urban center. The developers have a pretty good feeling that the revitalization will bring people to come visit and live in this neighborhood.