Folks who work in downtown Fort Worth and drive by the old Chase Bank drive-through at 401 E. Weatherford St. that has been closed for some time have probably wondered what’s going to happen to that property.
It turns out that the Tarrant County Commissioners Court in June approved the purchase of the bank property — an entire city block — for $6.18 million. In the short term, the plan is to demolish the old motor bank and turn the property , which just under one acre, into a surface parking lot, said G.K. Maenius, the county administrator.
Long-term, there’s been no decision on what to do with the land that sits between Weatherford and Belknap Streets, which leads drivers in and out of downtown. Once the old drive-through bank is torn down and the land paved over, it will be used for parking for county employees at the civil courts building next door, he said.
Maenius declined to speculate on whether the site will eventually be used for jury parking, possibly replacing remote parking at LaGrave Field that requires people to catch a shuttle bus for the one-mile journey to the courts. The county’s lease at LaGrave runs out in December 2018.
Demolition of the old motor bank is expected to begin within weeks, and paving of the surface parking lot should be done by September 2018, a county official said.
What about the hefty purchase price?
“We paid a little over $6 million, which is the going rate for property downtown,” Maenius said. “Quite frankly, we were in a bidding competition, and there might have been bids higher than ours.”
Weitzman, a regional realtor corporation, handled negotiations for the seller, JP Morgan Chase Bank. Todd Burnette of JLL represented the county.