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Tarrant County pledges $2M for Texas A&M downtown Fort Worth campus expansion

December 27,2022

See full Fort Worth Star-Telegram article by Abby Church here.

Tarrant County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously agreed to pledge $2 million over the next four years toward creating an entity to support Texas A&M’s downtown Fort Worth’s expansion.

Fort Worth Now, which is being rebranded as Fort Worth-Tarrant County Innovation Partnership, will receive $4 million. The city of Fort Worth will provide the other $2 million over the next four years.

Texas A&M leaders announced in May the university would expand its footprint in downtown Fort Worth.

The new development, dubbed “Aggieland North,” will add a law school building, research and innovation building and a the Gateway Conference Center to the law school located at Commerce Street.

The project’s budget comes out to around $255 million. The university hopes to break ground on the research and education buildings in the summer 2023 and finish construction by winter 2024.

The research and innovation center is expected to become a hub for research on topics like nutrition, emergency response, medical technology and advanced manufacturing. Companies such as Alcon, AT&T, Bell, Elbit Systems of America, Lockheed Martin, and Philips have expressed interest in partnering with Texas A&M’s new center to collaborate on research and potential workforce training, according to a November 2021 university press release.

The expansion will bring the first Tier One research university to the city of Fort Worth, which are elite research institutions granted that status by either the Association of American Universities, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching or the Center for Measuring University Performance.

The University of North Texas and UT Arlington are both considered Tier One.

The education alliance building will bring technical and professional courses from nearby Texas A&M partners to downtown Fort Worth. Prospective students will be able to take courses in biotechnology, nursing, and criminal justice from Tarleton State University, as well as engineering courses from Texas A&M.

The university’s expansion is seen as a historic catalyst for downtown Fort Worth development, particularly with residential building. The project is expected to bring to a new wave of young professionals to the city center, which could lead to more apartment high-rises.

Todd Burnette, managing director of the real estate professional services firm JLL’s Fort Worth office, has described the Texas A&M project as one of the most significant in the history of downtown.

“They’ll have three buildings arise when they’re finished there,” Burnette told the Star-Telegram this fall. “It will continue to attract companies. The most important thing today is hiring employees.”

Andy Taft, president of Downtown Fort Worth Inc., has said this should drive demand for studio housing for young adults.

“We have spoken to one developer who is working on a project downtown that will have smaller units, and so the price-per-unit will be lower,” Taft said this fall. “They mentioned that they believe that Texas A&M students would likely be in their prospect pool.”

Location Mentioned: Texas A&M University School of Law