Growing concerns about the condition of the iconic Texas & Pacific Warehouse in downtown Fort Worth has prompted the city to order a structural inspection of the site.  

A letter sent in late 2022 to owner Ola Assem, of Dallas-based Cleopatra Investment, about a structural inspection is a first of its kind sent regarding the property, said Justin Newhart, historic preservation officer for the city of Fort Worth. 

“It’s the first time we’ve sent a letter about a structural inspection to the owners of the T&P Warehouse, and that’s only because there’s been years and years of code compliance issues,” Newhart said. 

The city has sent other code violation letters in the past, which remains its “only means of enforcement,” Newhart told the Fort Worth Report. 

“Normally we don’t have a very long track record with your average building that’s designated that has code compliance issues. They’re usually resolved,” he said.

The iconic warehouse, which covers the length of two football fields, continues to stand empty on the south side of West Lancaster Avenue, a block away from the T&P Railway Terminal and low-rise apartment building.

In June, the city – citing concerns about its structural integrity – hired Fort Worth-based Frank W. Neal & Associates, Inc. for $45,000 to examine the building, Newhart and documents confirmed. The firm did not respond to requests for comment. 

The lack of progress with the building has officials concerned about its impact on the redevelopment of the entire Lancaster corridor

Newhart said Assem, the building owner, has received the letter and is working to set up a time to complete the inspection. A full report of the structural inspection is expected in May.

The owner of the warehouse, who purchased it in 1997, did not respond to a list of questions provided by the Fort Worth Report. 

The T&P Warehouse, a historic 1930s Art Deco-style building, has long been at the heart of urgent calls for redevelopment but instead has been marred with false starts and a lack of investors. 

The building has been vacant since the 1970s.

Tarrant Appraisal District values the site at $1.3 million; the building at $278,415 and the land at $1.1 million. 

While the owner of the building declined to speak to the Report about their ongoing plans for the building, emails obtained by the Fort Worth Report show renewed discussions between the owners of the historic downtown landmark, city officials and staff to address the neglected building. 

Councilwoman Elizabeth Beck had a meeting with Assem in June 2022 regarding the proposed development plans for the building, city emails show. Plans for the building remain the same as those approved in 2009. 

In March, Assem met with city staff for a pre-development conference, allowing developers to discuss potential site issues and help streamline the development process. These types of meetings are standard, Newhart said. 

Sandra Sadek is a Report for America corps member, covering growth for the Fort Worth Report. You can contact her at

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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...