What if the Fort Worth Community Arts Center became a world-class cultural hub? That’s what the 1300 Gendy Task Force thinks it can — and should — be, according to the final report presented at the City Council work session yesterday.
In case you missed it, the city-owned complex at 1300 Gendy Street is in need of $26 million in repairs. For the last four months, a task force met to garner feedback from the community about the future of the facility.
Using that feedback and a building condition assessment, the task force identified three possible strategies:
- Restoration | Make necessary repairs and retain existing uses
- Renovation | Make necessary repairs, renovate incrementally, and add complementary uses
- Redevelopment | Reimagine the site as a world-class cultural hub
The task force recommended redevelopment to utilize the site as a cultural + economic resource and benefit local art organizations. Preserving the 69-year-old building’s historic and architectural significance, while important, did not outrank other criteria.
If the city follows the recommended strategy, it would issue a request for proposals (RFP) to developers and execute a long-term ground lease starting in 2024 or 2025.
The proposals would:
- Incorporate the history and architecture of the existing facility
- Create an incubator space for emerging artists and arts organizations
- Include a theater (if economically feasible)
- Cater to existing tenants (if economically feasible)
A five-person evaluation committee would then select a proposal based on its cultural, social, economic, financial, safety, preservation, and architectural qualities — as well as the developer’s experience and budget.
The task force outlined an aggressive timeline to move forward with the project, suggesting that City Council adopt the report by Tuesday, June 13, and issue the RFP by Wednesday, June 21.
If approved, the RFP deadline would be Thursday, Sept. 14 and the city would select the developer no later than Wednesday, Nov. 8.