Fort Worth’s eclectic Carter Riverside neighborhood is on a revitalization roll — again.The onetime independent community of Riverside, established in 1899 in an area northeast of downtown Fort Worth, has seen fits and starts of developmental energy ever since its larger neighbor annexed it in 1922. “They’ve all had their ups and downs,” said community volunteer Debby Stein of earlier efforts to bring new residents and visitors into the area. Each cycle, and each new household, advanced the cause a little further.Stein helped coordinate a Better Block program on three blocks of Race Street last year and says she prefers renovating smaller, more manageable areas.“It’s do-it-yourself revitalization,” Stein said. “We’re trying to turn Race Street into an arts district.”The neighborhood is included in the Six Points urban village designated by the city of Fort Worth. Six Points is so called because of the intersection of Riverside Drive with Race and East Belknap streets.During the past decade, historic Carter Riverside neighborhood has become popular with younger home buyers looking for the charm of a vintage house at a bargain price, not to mention those who simply like to refurbish fixer-uppers.That’s what drew Juda York and her family to buy one house for investment and another for their own home in 2006. York is a Realtor and the new president of the Carter Riverside Neighborhood Association.Home prices vary greatly, York said, from roughly $40,000 to $120,000.York and others are ramping up the area’s Carter Riverside Neighborhood Association, along with beefing up the crime watch and Code Blue programs.“We’re implementing a new newsletter, and doing yard competitions,” York said. “We want to do some kind of project in the spring, like maybe installing neighborhood street signs.”Martha and Richard Linnartz moved to Carter Riverside from Lubbock 20 years ago to fulfill their dream of opening a bed and breakfast. The price was right and the place they bought was ideal, a historic two-story home at 1400 Robinwood Drive with four guest bedrooms and a carriage house out back with two suites.Now, guests from all over the world come to stay at Azalea Plantation Bed & Breakfast, Martha Linnartz said. “This neighborhood is [convenient] for those who want to go to the Stockyards or Sundance Square in Fort Worth,” she said.The couple helped start the neighborhood association in 1994, and still support its original goal of “less bars and car lots, more family-friendly places.”Crime in the area was a big problem in 2004, York said, but as the neighborhood has gentrified, incidents have subsided.“When you bring in the better element, the bad element leaves,” she said. “When security and neighborhood awareness get raised, those people go.”The neighborhood’s amenities include Sylvania Community Park, located at 3700 E. Belknap St., which covers 29 acres and was created in 1926. The Carter part of Carter Riverside comes from the neighborhood’s heart — Amon Carter Riverside High School. Riverside High School opened in 1936 and was renamed Amon Carter Riverside five years later to honor the legendary publisher. The mascot was selected in honor of Dr. Daniel Eagle, a physician who built a one-room Riverside school in 1876.Race Street and the nearby Riverside Arts District host gallery nights and invite browsers to shop.The McAdams Building at 3124 E. Belknap St. is a historical 1931-era structure that was almost leveled for a parking lot. The present owner bought the two-story building in 2005 and now it’s Mamma Mia Italian Grill and Pizza.The saving of the building, which sits directly on Six Points, spurred further redevelopment and heartened community members.A new burger cafe at 2919 Race St. called Greasy Bend hearkens back to an early nickname for the areas northeast of downtown. A new bakery is also going up on East Belknap Street: welcome new construction on a vacant lot.“We would love to see this neighborhood become the gateway into downtown Fort Worth,” said Azalea Plantation’s Linnartz.
Shirley Jinkins, 817-390-7657 Twitter: @shirljinkins