For a developer, it sounds like a dream: 42 acres on a downtown hillside, with freeway access in six directions, at a major gateway.
Except it’s Butler Place, a 75-year-old public housing project, home to 900 residents desperately in need of a place to live.
Butler’s purpose and possibilities will be the topic of a Dec. 6-11 planning workshop in Fort Worth involving local stakeholders and a Washington-based nonprofit, the Urban Land Institute.
At a time when the federal government is transferring public housing to local agencies for rebuilding or reuse, the Fort Worth Housing Authority is in good position.
The authority could either rebuild Butler and another old, deteriorating housing project in east Fort Worth, Cavile Place, or use all of part of the land some other way to revitalize the neighborhood while still addressing housing needs.
The housing agency is sharing the cost of the planning workshop with City Hall, Downtown Fort Worth Inc. and the school district, which plans a science-tech magnet middle-high school next door.
The time is right to study Butler and Cavile, both classic examples of wrong-headed postwar thinking about housing projects. Let’s see some new ideas.