Public meetings on Fort Worth’s Panther Island project start next week. Here’s how to participate
See full Fort Worth Report article by Haley Samsel and Rachel Behrndt here.
Residents soon will have their first opportunity to share their thoughts on the $1.16 billion Panther Island project.
Consultant HR&A Advisors, which was hired by the city of Fort Worth and other government agencies to develop a long-term blueprint for Panther Island, will kick off a series of public meetings Thursday at Artes de la Rosa in Northside.
The historic theater will host the first of six meetings on Thursday, Sept. 7, and the final meeting on Saturday, Sept. 30. A Spanish translator will provide live translation at those meetings and on Sept. 28 at Tarrant County College's Trinity River Campus. Residents can RSVP to any or all of the meetings.
City spokesperson Preethi Thomas said the meetings will include an introductory presentation followed by a Q&A session and interactive participation. An online survey will also be available to people who cannot attend.
"In addition to two sessions offering opportunities for in-person and virtual citywide participation, these four community-focused sessions offer specific opportunities for residents and businesses located on Panther Island or in neighborhoods directly adjacent to Panther Island to learn about the project and provide input," Thomas said by email.
Here is the meeting schedule
- 6 p.m. Sept. 7 at Artes de la Rosa, 1440 North Main St. Fort Worth, TX 76164 (Northside and Rock Island/Samuels Ave. Communities — Spanish translation)
- 6 p.m. Sept. 14 at Tarrant County College, Trinity River Campus, 300 Campus Circle, Fort Worth TX, 76102 (West 7th and Downtown Communities)
- 6 p.m. Sept. 19 at Tarrant County College, Trinity River Campus, 300 Campus Circle, Fort Worth TX, 76102 (Current Panther Island Residents, Landowners and Businesses)
- 6 p.m. Sept. 26, virtual meeting (open to the public)
- 6 p.m. Sept. 28 at Tarrant County College, Trinity River Campus, 300 Campus Circle, Fort Worth TX, 76102 (open to the public)
- 10 a.m. Sept. 30 at Artes de la Rosa, 1440 North Main St. Fort Worth, TX 76164 (Northside and Rock Island/Samuels Ave. Communities — Spanish translation)
Most meetings will be targeted toward specific groups, including Northside and Rock Island residents, West 7th and downtown residents and Panther Island businesses and landowners. Two meetings, one in-person and one virtual, will welcome other members of the public.
The $1.16 billion Central City flood control project, which received $403 million in federal funding last year, will pave the way for riverfront development along the Trinity and create the appearance of a natural island known as Panther Island.
Panther Island’s original development strategy, which focused heavily on downtown housing, came into focus in the mid-2000s. Twenty years later, consulting firm HR&A Advisors has been tapped to create an updated, long-term blueprint — what government officials call “Vision 2.0” — for partners like the city of Fort Worth and the Tarrant Regional Water District to follow.
The consultants presented the first of a three-phase report to the project partners in August. The report, based on interviews with 20 Fort Worth organizations, identified four themes guiding the project — vision and identity, urban design, strategic implementation and connections to community.
Project partners have expressed a desire to transition away from residential-heavy development to a mix of retail, multi-family housing, restaurant and office space, according to the report. HR&A also found that creating a positive pedestrian experience is a key priority for Fort Worth leaders.
Still to come is a strategic vision update and development strategy, set to be completed this fall. HR&A expects to complete the final report, which will include an implementation toolkit, by December.
During a Community Design Fort Worth panel discussion of Panther Island’s impact on the historically Hispanic Northside community, University of Texas at Arlington architecture professor Dennis Chiessa encouraged residents to spread the word about the upcoming meetings.
“If you are from this community, if you live around here, you should come. It should be even more full than it is today,” Chiessa said. “This is really important for you to have your voices heard so that you have an impact on what they’re doing.”
This story has been updated with comment from the city.
Haley Samsel is the environmental reporter for the Fort Worth Report. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Location Mentioned: Panther Island Pavilion