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Two sustainability-minded developments in the works in Fort Worth

Between developers reducing their energy footprint through the use of shipping crates + housing reusing vacated offices in town, these two developments show what sustainable development can do.

FTW Oncor ftwtoday

Oncor, the brick building on the right, is slated to open by next fall. | Photo by FTWtoday

Growing cities are faced with a question: how to develop sustainably. Luckily, two developers are testing different methods for sustainable construction projects in town.

Oncor Building

Office conversions are a hot topic in housing right now among developers. Chicago-based 3L Real Estate is planning to convert the 300,000-sqft Oncor tower into 300 apartments.

The $30 million mixed-use project — which formerly housed the Fort Worth National Bank downtown —will have ground-floor retail and dining. Currently ground-floor tenants include The Capital Grille and Little Red Wasp. It is slated to open next summer.


Hazel’s Back Porch will be “a destination in the area” with food, retail, and community gathering space.

Image courtesy of Will Turner on behalf of PTAH Group, Inc.

Hazel’s Back Porch

But if there aren’t any office buildings lying around, you can always get creative. Local entrepreneur Hazel Prophete is using shipping containers for Hazel’s Back Porch, a new business complex planned in the Historic Southside.

With space for about eight 40-ft containers, the space will be designed for food + retail businesses to test out concepts before committing to a brick-and-mortar. It will also feature a permanent location for Prophete’s barbecue restaurant, which is currently a food truck.

Designed by PTAH Group, an architectural firm specialized in shipping container builds with low energy footprints, the project will also feature a communal roof deck, solar power, and electric vehicle charging stations.

“It’s the future,” Marlin Wilkins, PTAH’s Director of Community and Business Development, said, noting the longevity and flexibility of constructing a modular building.

The project is slated to be reviewed by the Fort Worth Zoning Commission next month + is aiming to be operational in early 2025.

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