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$217M expansion of Omni Fort Worth Hotel is expected to begin in spring 2024

April 13,2023

See full Fort Worth Star-Telegram article by Jenny Rudolph here.

A $217 million expansion of the Omni Fort Worth Hotel in downtown could begin next spring, a company executive said Thursday.

Bob Rowling, the founder of Omni Hotels’ holding company TRT Holdings, spoke during Downtown Fort Worth Inc’s 41st annual meeting held at the hotel. He said the Omni Fort Worth Hotel has been a success story since the day it opened in 2009.

Rowling said he hopes to begin the expansion in 12 to 14 months and finish construction in about two years. The project will add 400 new hotel rooms and a parking garage over an entire city block, currently the site of a Tarrant Community College administrative building. When the work is complete, including a refresh of the existing hotel, the Omni Fort Worth will have 1,008 rooms over two blocks across from the Fort Worth Convention Center along Houston Street.

Hundreds of civic leaders gathered at the event Thursday to hear about growth opportunities for the city center. More than $2.3 billion of development is in the pipeline for downtown Fort Worth to keep up with growing demand from new residents and visitors.

Downtown Fort Worth Inc. President Andy Taft said Fort Worth grew by 66% over the past two decades, well above the nation’s overall 16% growth.

Taft said development is fueld by the expansion of the Fort Worth Convention Center and Texas A&M-Fort Worth campus, along with the transformation of the former Pier 1 Imports headquarters into the new City Hall.

With housing near the city center 90% full, more than 7,500 apartment units are coming to the greater downtown area, DFWI reported.

“Downtowns around the country, including Fort Worth, saw about 50 years of disinvestment,” Taft said. “Bringing these people back to downtown who live here, who care about the place, who have money in their wallets and who are taking care of their neighborhoods is a huge turnaround for the entire center city of Fort Worth.”

More than 1,500 new hotel rooms are on their way to the city center, including the Omni’s expansion and the addition of a new Fort Worth Convention Center Hotel on Commerce Street, Le Meridien on Commerce Street and Avid Hotel on Samuels Avenue. The Sandman Signature Hotel recently opened on Houston Street.

Rowling said he had been speaking with city leaders about potentially closing one block of West 14th Street adjacent to the Omni, so the upgraded hotel can be one continuous building.

Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker said she thinks closing the street could be possible.

“In those situations, it’s prudent for city leaders to listen to the experts and professionals across the country — what it looks like to have world-class hospitality centers like the Omni hotel expansion, so I would absolutely be supportive of that,” Parker said.

Parker said a theme of Thursday’s event was transformation as both public and private leaders are bullish on growing the city.

“Central business districts are the economic engine of any thriving city, both in your hospitality industry, your notoriety of the community and you have to have a heartbeat. Downtown Fort Worth has always been that for us, but we’re just getting started.”

Locations Mentioned: Fort Worth Convention Center, Omni Fort Worth Hotel, Sandman Signature Fort Worth Downtown Hotel, Texas A&M Fort Worth