Dickies Arena won’t host major events for almost another year, but the event center is already spurring hotel speculation in at least one nearby Fort Worth neighborhood.
A 19-room boutique hotel aimed at attracting younger visitors and competing with Airbnb is in the works near Montgomery Street and Byers Avenue, almost directly across from Dickies Arena. Pending zoning approval in early January, construction could start this summer.
“We want to bring folks into Fort Worth and show them the city the way we see it,” Morris said.
The group hopes to attract travelers who don’t stay at typical hotels, he said. Creative types, millennial travelers and anyone who might choose an Airbnb room for its price and city neighborhood feel are among the target demographic, but Morris said the hotel won’t be too high-end that it becomes unaffordable.
The warehouse sits back from the street several yards between Fort Works Art and Margaret Street. Morris said he hopes to keep elements of the warehouse in place, but add to the aesthetic of the neighborhood.
Architect Michael Bennett of Fort Worth’s Bennett Benner Partners has been tapped to design the hotel. Bennett said the area is zoned for industrial and the existing building doesn’t blend with the surrounding Arlington Heights neighborhood.
Artist renderings show the property, which rises above street level, graded down to be inline with Byers Avenue’s slope. With the elevation change, the building won’t rise above homes farther down the street, even though it has three stories, Bennett said. The structure will stand about 36 feet above the street and will fit nearly on the footprint of the vacant dry ice building.
A small parking lot and green space will buffer homes to the west from the hotel. Instead of a large restaurant or meeting space, the hotel will have a 600-square-foot lobby bar.
“It’s really a different sort of hotel,” Bennett said.
The Morrises and Mederos live in Arlington Heights and keeping the plan compatible with the neighborhood has been key, Morris said.
“We’re also neighbors,” Morris said. “We want to bring value to the neighborhood.”