The company charged with developing Fort Worth’s historic southside needs more time to secure permits and include minority contractors, the city announced Tuesday.
The city has been working to redevelop the Evans and Rosedale Urban Village since 2000. The project fell to the wayside following the 2008 recession but was revived in 2019 when the city selected Hoque Global, a Dallas-based company, as a master developer.
Since then, residents who live in the Historic Southside, a primarily Black neighborhood, have been waiting for improvements to begin.
Johnny Lewis, a longtime resident, is used to delays in the Evans and Rosedale project; he and his late wife got involved with the project in 2000.
Now, Hoque Global has until Sep. 1, 2023, to secure financing and purchase all the properties necessary for phase 1 of the development. Despite the extension, the project remains on track to break ground in late 2023, the city said.
City invests $19.7 million in Evans and Rosedale redevelopment
The city signed a economic development program agreement with Hoque in 2022, agreeing 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 South Side from both the city and Hoque Global will equal $70 million.
To receive incentives from the city, Hoque must secure financing for initial improvements and receive one building permit from the city 18 months after the agreement was signed, making the deadline late 2023.
Originally, Hoque had six months after the city signed the agreement to secure financing and purchase the properties. That deadline passed in December 2022.
The city extended the deadline to June, 2023, with the option for two 90 day extensions. This agreement marks the third extension of the deadline.
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 city has provided the first round of comments on Hoque’s permit applications and is awaiting their response, according to economic development spokesperson Andrea Duffie.
City seeks additional minority-owned business participation
Participation from minority- and women-owned businesses is key to finalizing bids with the project contractor, Duffie said. The city is continuing to seek out minority-owned businesses, especially those with a long-standing history with the Historic Southside, willing to participate in the potentially transformative project.
If the delay is to ensure bonafide minority-owned businesses are able to participate, Lewis can accept that.
“That is a legitimate reason I can deal with, although it should have been done six months ago,” Lewis said.
The city is still accepting bids from minority contractors. The deadline extensions are contingent on Hoque continuing to hold community meetings to keep residents informed about the project.
“It’s been a labor of love for the Historic Southside community, who are deeply passionate about the area’s history and the vision for this project, and who want and deserve to play an active role in making it a reality,” Robert Sturns, director of economic development with the city of Fort Worth said in a statement. “We want to take the time to do this right, and make sure local businesses have their shot at this opportunity.”
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.
Other development agenda items
- The city finalized a $50 million contract in additional funding for Linbeck Group for New City Hall. The increase is due to several cost overruns, including about $448,000 for federal floodway permitting costs. The city expects this will be the final contract adjustment.
- The city also approved $8 million in federal funds for an affordable housing complex.
Rachel Behrndt is a government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.