A recommendation about the Fort Worth Community Arts Center’s future is one step closer to the finish line after a May 24 task force meeting.
But detailed information on what the building will be used for and what organizations might inhabit the space likely remains several months away.
The city-owned building is the former home of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and is currently managed and maintained by its primary tenant, Arts Fort Worth. Several other nonprofits and a handful of artist studios are subtenants in the building, which also has theater and gallery spaces.
The location is being considered as one of a handful of potential sites for the forthcoming African American museum. However, the building needs roughly $26 million in repairs, according to a 2022 assessment by the firm Bennett Partners.
Fort Worth City Council appointed a task force to make recommendations on future uses, tenants and potential funding sources to carry out the vision and maintenance of the site.
Members of the task force have coalesced around the idea of redeveloping the site. A slide at the group’s recent meeting described this option as “reimagining 1300 Gendy as a world class cultural hub and redeveloping the property accordingly.”
The group workshopped language ahead of its upcoming presentation that would give developers wide latitude to propose uses and tenants for the space.
Some members of the group didn’t want to scare away potential developers by including too many stipulations, while at least one member was vocal about ensuring the language clearly describes preferences community members voiced at a previous meeting.
By the end of the May 24 meeting, the task force leaned toward indicating the group’s preferences for preserving at least some historical and architectural aspects of the building and providing space for existing tenants without making either a requirement.
After the task force presents to city council at a June 6 work session, council members will hear public comments and vote on the recommendations at a June 13 meeting.
Even if council accepts the plan, the process of requesting proposals, winnowing down the applicants and soliciting feedback from the public would stretch through the end of the year.
If the process remains on track, negotiations will wrap by the end of the year and city council will authorize a contract in January 2024.
Marcheta Fornoff covers the arts for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at email@example.com or on 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.