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With a new federal permit, the construction of the council chamber is a-go

The city received a long-awaited permit to build the new council chamber building within a federal floodway.

Renderings of the council chambers at Future City Hall

The council chamber will be constructed next to Future City Hall in the former Pier 1 Imports building.

Image courtesy of the City of Fort Worth

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After nearly six months of waiting, the city received some good news this week about the council chamber building at Future City Hall. The approval of a Federal 408 Floodway Easement permit will allow construction to get underway, possibly as soon as this week.

Floodway implications

In case you missed it, last year, the city discovered that the site is on a federal floodway and had to delay the construction timeline, redesign the project, and re-estimate the budget. The updated designs — which reserved a certain amount of undeveloped land for flooding emergencies — contributed to a $50 million price increase (including the renovation of the former Pier 1 Imports building that is currently underway).

The project team worked with the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) and US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to make sure that the modified plans work with both the current flood conditions and those that will be created with the construction of the Central City Flood project and the future bypass channels that will form Panther Island.

Screenshots from Athenian Group's presentation

The discovery of the floodway changes the footprint and number of floors of the Council Chamber building. | Images courtesy of the City of Fort Worth

What’s next

The permit allows the city to start work on the council chamber building, first applying for construction permits for grading and foundation work.

We will keep you updated on the status of the project, but residents can expect to attend the first council meetings in the new facility at the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025.

“Future City Hall will deliver on the promise to create a welcoming and inviting space that will help to transform an important area of downtown, " Mayor Mattie Parker said. “I appreciate the commitment and coordination from the the city, Tarrant Regional Water District, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the team of consultants that helped us get to where we are in this process.”