North Fort Worth land is primed for a proposed professional soccer stadium or dense residential and commercial development.
About 300 acres of open land in north Fort Worth, called the Basswood property, were approved for rezoning at a Aug. 9 City Council meeting.
The Basswood area was identified as the potential site of a new soccer stadium by consultant CSL International. The rezoning ensures the property could be used for a stadium development, but doesn’t lock the land into that use.
“The purpose of that zoning case was to be a little more flexible with those uses,” Clegg said.
The zoning gives the developers two options: Build a stadium surrounded by mixed-use walkable commercial development, or fill the area with dense multi-family and commercial development.
“I’m looking forward to having those conversations with the council, with the parks department, with our residents who live next door to provide a kind of a regional approach to some amenities in the area desperately needed,” Travis Clegg, vice president at Peloton Land Solutions, said.
Homebuilder D.R. Horton is contracted to develop most of the land. Next, Peloton will conduct engineering studies to prepare the land for development, Clegg said.
The new development is a departure from the single-family homes that surround the proposed site, yet neighbors are in support of the proposed development, Rusty Fuller, president of the North Fort Worth Alliance, said.
“If you put neighborhood commercial in a spot like that, you have the potential for what I’m going to refer to as a walkable neighborhood,” Fuller said. “I think that adds to the ambiance of the neighborhood, and I think we need to lean in that direction more, rather than just these vast developments of houses.”
The Basswood property falls within District 4, which includes most of northeast Fort Worth. The proposed development has a strong ally in former District 4 council member Cary Moon, who attended the rezoning.
Current District 4 council member Alan Blaylock also signaled a desire to continue supporting development of the Basswood property.
“I really appreciate all the effort you’ve made reaching out to the community to speak to this development,” Blaylock said at the Aug. 9 meeting. “I know there’s been a lot of time and energy expended by a lot of people.”
The multi-use plan would set aside 75 acres in the middle of the residential development for park land. Fort Worth Parks and Recreation could purchase that land to develop for parks, Dave Lewis, assistant director over golf and athletics with Fort Worth Parks and Recreation, said.
“We need parkland in the far north worse than we need it anywhere else,” Lewis said. “Is that spot that we’d like to buy that land? Absolutely we would be interested in it.”
The 75 acres would not be sufficient to build the tournament destination soccer advocates are asking for, though, Lewis said. The city is still working to identify a space for 20 long fields, surrounded by commercial development to serve traveling athletes and youth sports clubs.
“It might be good community park land … where there’s some soccer fields and some playgrounds,” Lewis said. “But 75 acres is probably not enough for any of the other purposes that we’ve talked about.”
The park land could host smaller tournaments and practices, though, which concerns Fuller and surrounding neighborhoods. Parking near the site could quickly become unmanageable if the fields host tournaments and practices, Fuller said.
“That is an open concern of everybody up here,” Fuller said. “They need to seriously look at how many fields they want, and how they are going to park the cars for an event.”
To move forward on the stadium project, the city would have to find about $150 million by establishing a tax increment financing district in the area, or issuing a bond to pay for the project.
Rachel Behrndt is a government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at email@example.com or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.