The next step in the Stop Six neighborhood transformation plan is set to bring an additional 80 apartments and townhomes to the historic southeast Fort Worth area.
Babers Manor, located on a vacant lot at the corner of Ramey and South Hughes avenues, will bring in two-story and three-story apartment buildings and townhomes. The project is estimated at $30.5 million, and groundbreaking is expected in early 2024.
Construction is anticipated to last 18 months, with a completion in the latter half of 2025 and tenants moving in shortly after, Fort Worth Housing Solutions and master developer McCormack Baron Salazar Inc. said in an email.
About 51 of the 80 units will be set aside for low-income households, of which four will be permanent supportive housing. The project will include some apartments set aside for former Cavile Public Housing residents, who will get first pick. The remaining 29 homes will be rented out at market rate.
The first development in the project is Cowan Place, a 174-unit mixed-income, senior living community. That work is expected to be completed later this year. Work on the second part of the project, Hughes House, a mixed-use development with apartments and townhomes, is still ongoing.
For the residents of the historic Stop Six neighborhood, this new development is the latest toward continued, renewed investment in a long-neglected area of the city.
“We want this to be a model that will accent the neighborhood, complement the investment that the city (and Fort Worth Housing Solutions) has made in this area,” said Historic Stop Six Neighborhood Association President Michael Moore.
A request for proposal was opened for an architect in October 2022 by McCormack Baron Salazar. Fort Worth’s RPGA Design Group Inc. was selected as the architect.
This housing project is named after Fort Worth native Clarence Donald Babers. One of the first Black students to attend the University of Texas at Arlington after integration, he worked with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on fair housing. He later served as the Southwest Regional Director for Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma. He was the recipient of the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executive, the highest award a career federal civil servant can receive, for his work in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
“Everyone who knew Mr. Babers would say he was extremely important in terms of helping to bring the Choice Neighborhood Improvement grant to Fort Worth,” said Louis Bernardy, senior vice president and director of development for McCormack Baron Salazar’s Texas office.
One of the goals of the Stop Six revitalization project is to decentralize poverty by attracting people of different income levels to the neighborhood, an idea that the residents welcome, said Moore.
As the project progresses, residents hope development will address security and parking needs while still fitting in with the historic area’s design.
“We just don’t want the east side to look cheaper than the west side,” Moore said. “(This project) is good for the community as long as it’s meeting those standards.
Bernardy said these concerns are important and is something that McCormack Baron Salazar, as master developer, has worked to incorporate in the transformation plan.
“We’re all about long-term sustainability and making sure that the product that we helped design and help build and ultimately manage is going to maintain a high quality for a long, long time,” Bernardy said.
Although the proposals for Stop Six have caused excitement among residents, “there’s a lot more to be done,” Moore said.
“I do see the benefit of what has been started,” he said. “It’s headed in the right direction.”