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Help wanted: Fort Worth seeks real estate expert to shape Panther Island’s future

October 13,2022

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

Fort Worth is calling for the help of national real estate experts for the development of the future Panther Island entertainment and residential district along Trinity River.

Collaborating partners for Panther Island issued a request for proposals on Wednesday in search of a consultant to help assess and revise the city’s vision for the district, which could top $1 billion in public and private investment.

As part of the Central City Flood Control Project, Fort Worth received $403 million from the federal government to combat flood control issues along the Trinity River earlier this year. After receiving the necessary funding to move forward with the flood project, local real estate and government leaders were able to next address the economic development phase of the area.

The future Panther Island, currently a largely industrial area between downtown and the Stockyards, will be formed when bypass channels are carved along the river to mitigate flood risks. The vision includes canals that could add to waterfront acreage for restaurants, bars, shopping and residential buildings. One of the first major private investments in the future district is Encore Panther Island apartments, which opened along North Main Street early this year.

Tarrant Regional Water District, which is managing the flood control portion of the project, owns most of the land designated for the district. Other privately held parcels are already being marketed by commercial real estate firms. Several lots surrounding the abandoned LaGrave baseball field are listed.

Part of the scope of the consultant’s work will be to study “the opportunity and feasibility of the LaGrave Field site (owned by Tarrant Regional Water District) and the historic power plant site (owned by Tarrant County College) and make recommendations on what role these properties might play within the district and timing for development. Respondents are encouraged to consider a variety of possibilities for these sites with input from community stakeholders.”

Plans for Panther Island’s near- and long-term development opportunities are led in collaboration between the water district, city, Tarrant County, Tarrant County College, Downtown Fort Worth Inc., Real Estate Council of Greater Fort Worth and Streams & Valleys.

The city is looking for a consulting firm with experience in waterfront or special-case district development, real estate development, market analysis and public-private partnerships. Local leaders are accepting proposals from national, regional and local firms.

Responses to the request for proposals are due Nov. 10. A recommendation on a firm is expected in December.

Location Mentioned: Panther Island Pavilion