City Council members headed in two different directions when it comes to building apartments in Fort Worth.

At their meeting Dec. 13, they voted to approve new apartments in the West 7th Urban Village while simultaneously limiting multifamily developments in the historic Stockyards.

Montgomery Plaza

City Council approved a project by KIMCO to construct 595 residential units at Montgomery Plaza. The two buildings will replace the current strip mall housing retailers like Five Below, Michaels, Office Depot and PetSmart – about 90,000 square feet of retail space. 

The zoning commission first recommended the project unanimously Oct. 12. The approval does not change how the site is zoned — it’s currently zoned for mixed-use, which allows retail and multifamily to be built. 

Chris Herman, director of development for KIMCO, told the council this project will have two phases and that 1.3 acres of open space were added to the site plan. Documents presented to council also show that one of the buildings will have about 20,000 square feet of retail space available. 

At this time, there is no timeline available for this project, Herman told the Fort Worth Report.

Residents near the development told council they are concerned traffic will increase as a result of the new apartments. A traffic study was conducted in response. 

A 10-point letter of understanding was also drafted by KIMCO and community members to address concerns and issues previously brought up such as traffic, green spaces and the construction of the buildings themselves. 

The letter describes these points as “self-imposed requirements,” and that KIMCO will continue to work with the city to address existing conditions and improve traffic around the property. 

Councilwoman Elizabeth Beck, whose district includes Montgomery Plaza, said she would not have felt comfortable moving forward with the project if not for the letter. 

“There are some folks in the audience that have worked really hard on this project, and they’re members of the community that volunteered their time and really worked on behalf of not just their immediate building but really focusing on how we could make West 7th and the entire corridor a better place to live, work and play,” Beck said.


Shortly after approving a site plan to add multifamily units in West 7th, council also approved a change to the zoning code in the Stockyards that would limit where apartments can be built

In an 8-1 vote, council members approved a zoning change requested by city staff. Council member Chris Nettles was the sole opposing vote. 

The zoning commission recommended the project 5-3 in November. 

Nettles is concerned that the city did not contact all parties affected by the change. He also voiced concerns that a small group of people are dictating where multifamily projects are being built. 

“Some of the things that I heard tonight was ‘We’d like multifamily but not in my backyard.’ And that’s one of the things that irks me the most,” he said.

Justin Newhart, historic preservation officer, explained that this request to change the Stockyards code is to make sure it matches with the traditional use of the district – commercial and entertainment. 

In 2014, the Stockyards Task Force got together to create a new code for the historic district to guide future development there. At the time, businesses were “hanging by a thread,” said council member Carlos Flores. This change in the code helps make sure that future development still conforms to the goals of that code, he said.

“You have to revisit it. Being mindful of where we came from is necessary in order to avoid repeating mistakes, we should not discard institutional wisdom, and those that are still here at the table with that wisdom to try and bring it to the forefront so that we can go ahead and plan accordingly,” he said.

Developers like Kairoi Residential spoke against the proposed text amendment because of an upcoming $35 million multifamily project they had planned that could now be halted by this decision.

As Fort Worth continues to welcome more people, it’s important that decisions made today do not dwell on ideas from 10 or 20 years ago, Nettles said. 

“I will say one of the things that is important is that we understand Fort Worth, as it was in 1980 and 2000, is not Fort Worth as it is today,” he said. “We need to understand and realize that as we evolve and as we grow and as we create and as different members sit on the city council on this dais, Fort Worth is a changing place every single day.”

Sandra Sadek is a Report for America corps member, covering growth for the Fort Worth Report. You can contact her at or follow her on Twitter at @ssadek19. 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.

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Sandra SadekBusiness Reporter

Sandra Sadek is a Report for America corps member, covering growth for the Fort Worth Report. Originally from Houston, she graduated from Texas State University where she studied journalism and international...