A major expansion is back underway for the Omni Fort Worth Hotel after initial plans were shelved due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Robert Sturns, the head of Fort Worth’s economic development department, presented detailed plans for the expansion to the city council earlier this week.
“The fact that Omni is looking forward to bring this project back is just an indicator that the overall health of the market is strong and better,” Sturns said.
TRT Holdings, owners of the hotel chain, wants to build a second hotel tower where a Tarrant County Community College administrative building currently stands. The company already has the structure under contract to be purchased. The second tower is estimated to be smaller in height than the current 33-story hotel built in 2009.
Fort Worth would contribute a one-time grant of $53 million of taxpayer money to the hotel upon completion of the project, according to the city.
The expansion is expected to cost $217 million and will include 400 rooms, 50,000 square feet of meeting space, and 15,000 square feet of restaurant space, according to the project plan.
In addition, the company plans on renovating the community college building’s parking lot into a $6 million, 200-space parking garage. Ownership of the garage would belong to the City of Fort Worth, but the hotel would handle construction, maintenance, and operation of the structure. Omni would have the option to purchase the parking garage ten years after completion, WFAA reported.
The project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2026. Between the two towers, Omni Fort Worth will have 1,008 rooms stretched out over two blocks across from the Fort Worth Convention Center along Houston Street.
“It’s all unbelievable and it’s all very pleasant,” said Adam Jones, a Fort Worth restaurateur with two restaurants downtown. “There’s just a lot of positive things happening for restaurants and for Fort Worth in general.”
Fort Worth’s hospitality industry has seen a surge of planned development projects throughout downtown and the city’s cultural district. At least five of these projects are upscale hotels, according to reporting by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
The Fort Worth Convention Center is also looking to add a 1,000-room hotel as part of its own expansion plans. The first phase is expected to begin later this year and comes with a preliminary cost of $67 million.