Funding board approves $4.7 million for Hilton Hotel annex renovation

The Lancaster Avenue Tax Increment Finance Board has approved giving $4.7 million to support the redevelopment of the Hilton Hotel Annex in downtown Fort Worth.

The money will be used for public infrastructure work including upgraded utilities at the site, sidewalk and streetscape improvements, landscape and facade work and $1 million for asbestos removal.

The money will be given to the developer in six annual payments starting with $1.8 million in 2017, assuming the project has received its certificate of occupancy. The last payment will be $586,667.

The award, though, is tied to completion of the redevelopment of the nearby Sinclair Building and another at 515 Houston St. The developer plans to convert the 16-story art deco office building into a 165-room Autograph hotel, an upscale Marriott property. The adjacent building will be remodeled to accommodate some hotel amenities and services.

The Hilton Annex, a 13-story property at 811 Commerce St., has five floors of parking. Farukh Aslam, managing partner of the investor group proposing the projects, said the garage will provide hotel parking. The garage is currently striped for 188 spots, but with re-striping and using a different configuration it can accommodate 260 spaces, he said.

The Commerce Street building will become 140 apartments, with 80 percent to rent at market rates and 20 percent being more affordable units, based on the area’s average median income.

The three projects must be completed by Dec. 31, 2017 to receive the award. The city will take a junior subordinated lien on the property and a 15-year clawback provision will apply to all funds.

The Downtown TIF Board is scheduled to meet next week to discuss funding for the Sinclair and 515 Houston St. buildings. The projects are also being considered for state and federal historic tax credits.

Aslam said asbestos abatement on the Commerce Street building could begin in about a month.

The hotel annex was built in 1968 on top of a parking garage built in 1928. The property has been vacant for nearly a decade when the hotel was sold.

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727

Twitter: @SandraBakerFWST