Power plant a dusty old relic or real estate gem?

Posted Monday, Jun. 23, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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Tarrant County College District trustees have put themselves in the real estate equivalent of public television’s popular Antiques Roadshow.

They’re pulling an old property — the TXU power plant, also known as the Fort Worth Power & Light Co. building, built in 1912 along the Trinity River on North Main Street and acquired by the district a decade ago — out of storage, dusting it off and asking the experts exactly what it is they’ve got.

Some people say it’s a treasure. The plant, long since deactivated as a electricity generation facility, sits on 29 acres, and the district has an option on an additional 18 acres. It’s adjacent to the Tarrant Regional Water District’s $910 million Trinity River Vision flood control and economic development project.

“It will be very attractive to developers,” Andy Taft, president of Downtown Fort Worth Inc., told Star-Telegram reporter Sandra Baker.

But until someone who knows what they’re doing comes forward with a vision for the property, some plans for turning that vision into reality and enough money to make it all happen, trustees don’t know for sure what they’re holding.

And like a lot of things with potential value, timing makes a difference. If developers don’t show enough interest right away, maybe they will in a few years as Trinity River Vision moves forward.

Ultimately, the trustees must use, lease or sell the property in a way that will deliver the most value to the taxpayers whose money was used to buy it.

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