By Christopher Shelby

I chose Columbia Renaissance Square Seniors because of its location: It’s a seniors’ residence, and the property is new. The location is in close access to several major roads and freeways, churches, shopping, fitness, dining, and schools in southeast Fort Worth.

In 2022 when I moved in, the minimum age for residency was 55 and up. The structure was built in 2021 and represents a refreshing and delightful apartment home style living for this area. 

What makes a difference to me is the overall synergy of the people and organizations working together to elevate this community. 

My initial research revealed a communitywide desire on the part of citizens, churches and a host of organizations along with private and public partnerships, that are committed, determined, and working hard to a long-range vision of continuing change and growth. 

One such organization is the Renaissance Heights Foundation. They represent a group of focused individuals, committed and working toward making Renaissance Heights more desirable for residency and marketable to developers and investors. I relocated to Fort Worth from Chicago in 1984 and have a surprisingly good perspective about the signs associated with community decline versus growth. Despite challenges, what I see here is a change toward the better and vibrancy. 

Renaissance Heights Census Breakdown

Population 1,118

58% Male  42% Female


0-9: 26%
10-19: 14%
20-29: 11%
30-39: 14%
40-49: 12%
50-59: 7%
60-69: 14%
70-79: 1%
80+: 1%


White: 2%
Black: 28%
Hispanic: 67%
Other: 0% 


No degree: 37%
High School: 33%
Some college: 13%
Bachelor’s: 11%
Postgrad: 7%

One of my favorite things about the area is the growth potential. The signs are all around that investors and developers see enormous potential in the area. For example, there is a Walmart Supercenter and Neighborhood Market within three miles of each other. The result is people from adjoining communities are now co-mingling through shopping and getting to enjoy the delights within neighboring communities, like restaurants, for example. 

The education investment and growth in the area is astounding. Texas Wesleyan has grown into a full university with record enrollment in 2022. Tarrant County College-South Campus continues to be a major resource for students seeking marketable jobs skills through education and for area employers seeking to meet their workforce needs.

 The area is also home to two fully functioning public charter schools, Mighty Uplift Academy (college preparatory) and Rocketship Elementary. A third is scheduled to open in August 2023. 

The Renaissance Heights Foundation has announced plans for development within Renaissance Square that includes additional multi-income housing, a family-oriented park and new commercial enterprises. As a result of this projected development and growth, I foresee a continuing transformation of this area into an attractive consideration for families and individuals seeking a change in residency. I very much like the idea that where I live is changing and growing for the better.

Christopher Shelby is a Chicago native who moved to Fort Worth in 1984. He’s lived in Columbia Renaissance Square for two years. He has an associate degree in robotics automation and is taking classes at Tarrant County College.

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