Six Points, an area in the greater Riverside neighborhood just northeast of downtown, is in line to get a big boost from federal, private and potentially city money aimed at improving streets and walkabilty and creating an economically diverse urban village.
The area, one of Fort Worth’s 16 designated urban villages, is the city staff’s top pick to get $2.5 million in city funding from the 2014 bond program — part of a $6 million total set-aside for the urban villages over the next four years.
It was chosen because it is “ripe for development,” Randle Harwood, the city’s planning and development director, told the City Council’s infrastructure and transportation committee on Tuesday.
Urban villages, which are pedestrian-friendly mixed developments, were created to reinvigorate central-city areas that had fallen into neglect and disrepair. The villages are small, dense areas zoned for multi-use development and are pedestrian- and mass-transit-friendly.
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The West Seventh Street corridor, the poster child for a successful urban village, has gotten $562 million in private investment and property values have increased by 237 percent since 2004, according to Harwood.
Other trendy examples include West Magnolia Avenue on the near southside and the South University/West Berry area near TCU.
Some villages, such as Stop Six, Oakland Corners and Bluebonnet Circle, have received little to no money, because the city invests when there is an opportunity to leverage money with the private sector, Harwood said.
Six Points gets its name for the intersection of East Belknap and Race streets and North Riverside Drive. The plan for Six Points includes a $1.5 million federal grant to improve Race from East Belknap to Grace Avenue. That project will go out for bids in the fall.
The city’s contribution, which still needs approval by the City Council, will extend the improvements on Race Street west to Riverside Park and the Trinity River, connecting the urban village with the city’s trail system. It would also improve Grace Avenue to Sylvania Avenue; the Race and Sylvania intersection and re-stripe Sylvania.
The private investment for the corridor over the next five years is projected to be $40 million, Harwood said. Criterion Development Partners, a Dallas-based company, has been buying up property along Race Street and property just north of the designated urban village boundaries.
Pretlow Riddick, president and principal of the company, won approval from the City Council on Tuesday night on a rezoning of that northern property. Riddick sought an urban residential zoning for the planned 18-acre project, with about 400 units bounded by Oakhurst Scenic Drive, Dalford Street and McLemore Avenue.
Councilwoman Ann Zadeh, who represents the Six Points village, was in favor of the project, but also asked if Bluebonnet Circle, near TCU, would be in the running for the rest of the bond money.
Harwood said the decision on the next urban village will be a few years down the line, and will depend on developer interest and also neighborhoods’ ability to agree on zoning and other important parts of plan.
“Any of them could be worthy of consideration for the next one if there is a development piece that goes with it,” Harwood said.
Caty Hirst, 817-390-7984