City of Fort Worth plans to purchase property for future City Hall
See full City of Fort Worth article here.
The City of Fort Worth plans to purchase 100 Energy Way, formerly the Pier 1 headquarters located on the west edge of downtown, to be used as the future City Hall. The City is conducting its due diligence on the building prior to purchasing the ‘Class A’ office space, which is on track to be completed by the end of the year. The final transaction is expected to be completed by February 2021.
The new City Hall location presents unique opportunities as the City of Fort Worth has grown exponentially since the 1971 construction of the current facility. The prospective property would provide much needed additional square footage, as well as more efficient city services for residents by consolidating municipal services into one location. The initial plan was to build a new City Hall adjacent to the existing location; however, the purchase of this property proves to be a more strategic opportunity as it will ultimately result in cost-savings for taxpayers through an accelerated timeline, a much lower acquisition cost, reduction of long-term operating expenses and elimination of annual payments for leased facilities.
“As we have begun to plan for the renovation of City Hall, the cost-savings provided by the purchase of this building is simply too significant to pass up,” said Mayor Betsy Price. “This is a prudent financial decision, and I am proud of the City of Fort Worth’s fiscal responsibility, forward thinking and strategic investment.”
Cost estimates for the construction of a new municipal complex were greater than $200 million, while the purchase price for the new property will result in substantial cost savings in the tens of millions.
“This purchase is a more economical solution to meet the space needs of the 13th largest city, as well as allow for more city services to be in one convenient location for residents,” said City Manager David Cooke. “While the purchase of an existing property was not part of the City’s original plan, purchasing this property provides a solution to the City’s real estate needs sooner without new construction and will result in savings for taxpayers for years to come.”
The existing City Hall building (200 Texas St.) has seen several modifications and functional rearrangements over the last 49 years, including the completion of the third floor and the removal of the interior water fountain in the atrium. During normal operations, City Hall is the daily workplace for approximately 600 City staff from 13 departments. The current City Hall will be repurposed and remain as a municipal building.
The prospective municipal complex is 409,977 square feet, offering more than 160,000 additional square feet of space compared to the current facility alongside modern amenities and ample parking. The purchase of the new property would move up the timeline for a new City Hall to come online in 2022, several years earlier than construction of a new facility. In addition to the new facility consolidating City operations for a larger presence in a single location and providing increased access for the public, the purchase will bring in lease revenue over the next few years as existing tenants will remain in place.
“It is because of the City’s commitment to fiscal discipline that we have been able to weather the storm caused by COVID-19, and a big reason we are able to capitalize on such an incredible real estate opportunity. In addition to meeting our growing needs for space and renovation, this new building will enhance our accessibility to the public,” said Mayor Betsy Price. “I want this new City Hall to belong to all residents of Fort Worth and for everyone to feel welcome.”