Fort Worth Leaders Eye Changes From Downtown to Near Southside

November 26,2018

NBC DFW article by Scott Gordon

Fort Worth city leaders are considering a plan to spruce up a pedestrian tunnel connecting downtown to the Near Southside and with new rail service to the airport.

The tunnel runs through the Texas & Pacific Lofts building on Lancaster Avenue, and it is expected to get busier when TEXRail service begins to DFW International Airport in several weeks.

On the south side of the tracks, along a forgotten stretch of South Main Street, they're restoring old buildings to their original grandeur.

Sarah Castillo, whose family owns Taco Heads, is opening an upscale Mexican restaurant called Tinies.

"I just love this area," Castillo said. "These old buildings are beautiful and they're coming back to life. It's like new soul coming back on the streets. It's really cool."

The Main Street tunnel now connects downtown with the neighborhood to the south, but many complain it is old and dark.

A group of city and business leaders took a tour Monday, searching for ways to improve the pedestrian tunnel through the historic lofts.

One idea: Connecting the plaza to a new one planned outside some lofts going in next door.

City council member Ann Zadeh said it is important to connect downtown with the Near Southside.

"People live in both places, people work in both places, people like to go for entertainment in both places," she said. "So being able to do that -- not necessarily getting in your car -- is a fantastic way to make that more accessible for people."

The Main Street tunnel could be in for a facelift too.

Castillo had her own ideas for sprucing it up.

"I mean just cleaned up," she said. "Maybe some artwork and they've talked about doing murals all along inside of it."

There will soon be another option.

The $53-million Hemphill-Lamar connector to the west is now under construction.

Location Mentioned: Texas and Pacific Lofts