The Evans and Rosedale urban village redevelopment project will begin later than initially expected after the city of Fort Worth paused the private developer’s deadline for the start of the project.
Work on the redevelopment project in the historically Black neighborhood is now expected to begin in early 2024, economic development spokesperson Andrea Duffie said. The hold-up is in an effort to attract as many minority and women-owned subcontractors as possible to join the project, said Robert Sturns, economic development director.
“We want to make sure that we do this right,” Sturns said. “We thought it didn’t make any sense to put this closing date in line when we added a few other things that we wanted to work through.”
Hoque Global is working with the city’s Diversity & Equity department, the mayor and District 8 council member Chris Nettles on the company’s outreach plan, Arthur Santa-Maria, vice president at Hoque Global.
“We’re taking a kind of fresh, innovative approach to community engagement,” Santa-Maria said. “The subcontracting piece is especially important, so we want to get it right. If it means taking a little longer, then that’s OK.”
The city has extended three times Hoque’s deadline to secure financing and purchase all the properties needed to start the development. Before receiving financing, Hoque has to complete two items: securing building permits from the city and finalizing all bids for contracts with the project’s primary contractor, Cadence McShane. The company missed its latest deadline Sept. 1.
The Historic Southside was once a thriving Black business district. Now, after decades of disinvestment, Historic Southside residents raise concerns about homelessness, broken lights and unaddressed prostitution at monthly neighborhood association meetings.
In the meantime, the neighborhood association has been working to improve the Historic Southside by hosting clean-ups and festivals. The neighborhood will host a National Night Out event Oct. 3, neighborhood association leader Johnny Lewis said. He has been advocating for redevelopment at Evans and Rosedale for more than 20 years.
The company and the city will continue regularly meeting with Historic Southside residents about the project, Sturns said.
The city plans to meet with the Historic Southside neighborhood association in the fall about the project.
“It’s been pretty consistent back and forth,” Sturns said. “(We’re) making sure that we’re talking to them about where we’re at and answering any questions that they may have about the process.”
The city started redeveloping the Evans and Rosedale Urban Village in 2000. Since then, the city, along with the Fort Worth Housing Financing Corporation and Local Development Corp., has obtained 36 parcels of land in the Evans and Rosedale area.
The city prepared and rezoned the parcels for revitalization. The city also built a new library and improved the park in the redevelopment area. Despite these efforts, few successful private redevelopment efforts have taken hold. Conditions worsened following the 2008 recession, but the effort was revived in 2019 when the city selected Hoque Global, a Dallas-based company, as a master developer.
The city selected Hoque Global after receiving eight proposals to lead redevelopment of the area.
City invests $19.7 million in Evans and Rosedale redevelopment
The city signed an economic development program contract with Hoque in 2022, and agreed to provide $4.2 million in land to the company, provide a maximum of $9 million in grant payments and the Southside tax increment financing district agreed to pay $6.5 million to the project.
The total investment in the Historic Southside from both the city and Hoque Global will equal $70 million.
The city signed a Chapter 380 agreement with Hoque Global to provide economic development incentives in exchange for a $70 million private development at Evans and Rosedale. The agreement gave Hoque six months to secure financing and purchase the properties. That deadline passed in December 2022.
The city held an open house for minority contractors to learn more about the project June 14. Businesses interested in participating in the project can learn more about it here.
Editor’s note: This story was updated Sept. 26 to remove a statement about requirements for extending Hoque’s phase 1 deadline.
Rachel Behrndt is a government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at email@example.com or via 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.