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The future Panther Island development gets another push with $150K for economic study

December 27,2022

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

As Fort Worth looks toward the future of the long-awaited Panther Island entertainment and residential district, Tarrant County is providing up to $150,000 to the city for an economic development study.

The funding comes after city officials put out a request for proposals to find a consultant for the project along Trinity River, just north of downtown.

County administrator G.K. Maenius told the Star-Telegram on Tuesday that the county thought now was a great time to bring the zoning overlay up to date, demonstrating to the public and business community that the project is moving forward. Much of the 800 acres is currently vacant or industrial.

“We’re going to be encouraging a really strong economic development push out there,” Maenius said, after county commissioners voted to provide the funding.

The overall development could top $1 billion in public and private investment.

After years of planning and delays, Panther Island got a green light in January when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers allocated $403 million toward construction of a new 1.5-mile river channel and other flood-mitigation work. The river’s new layout will create two islands along North Main Street that could develop like San Antonio’s River Walk with restaurants, shopping, nightlife and multifamily residential buildings. An estimated 10,000 people could live within the development.

Much of the land on the future Panther Island is owned by the Tarrant Regional Water District, which is coordinating the flood-control portion of the project and has been collecting properties for years.

Assistant city manager Dana Burghdoff said in November the consultant will play a key role in updating old plans that no longer fit city needs or real estate market trends.

Panther Island, an idea that was conceived 20 years ago, will eventually transform about 340 acres into a core district with walkable retail and commercial space and canals.

Leah King, Tarrant Regional Water District’s president, said in January the incoming channel will alleviate flood risks for 2,400 acres of Fort Worth neighborhoods.

Location Mentioned: Panther Island Pavilion