Fort Worth to buy 66-year-old office building across from City Hall

07/15/2014 5:37 PM

07/15/2014 5:38 PM

The city of Fort Worth has agreed to pay $3 million for a four-story office building across Monroe Street from City Hall.

The City Council was scheduled to approve the purchase on Tuesday night.

City staff said $70,000 in closing costs has been allocated to buy the 46,000-square-foot building at 900 Monroe St., built in 1942. It will also spend $453,000 repairing, remodeling and upgrading technology in the building. The elevator currently does not go to the top floor.

The city leases about 65 percent of the building for the city’s water and information technology departments.

Jay Chapa, the city’s housing and economic development director, said the seller, Monroe Street Professional Building, recently put the property up for sale. The deal should close by month’s end, he said.

Buying the property would give the city control of almost the full city block west of City Hall and the ability to relocate some city offices currently in leased space, he said. The goal is to have the building fully occupied by city offices, he said.

The city owns the property at 908 and 910 Monroe, as well as the building to the west of it. A small parking lot at the corner of Texas and Taylor streets is owned by the Fort Worth Club.

Two lawyers and a marketing firm also lease space in the building. Two of the tenants are on month-to-month leases, but one lease goes to the end of the year. Chapa said the city would not likely extend the leases for more than a year.

The Tarrant Appraisal District appraises the property for $2.1 million.

Ron Crabtree, registered with the state as president of Monroe Street Professional Building, bought the property in 2000 from a venture of Gordon Swift and Henry Simon Jr., deed records show.

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