Cowtown’s New City Hall Gets Federal Permit

City Hall
Former Pier 1 Imports headquarters building | Image by City of Fort Worth

The City of Fort Worth announced last Tuesday that it received a Federal 408 Floodway Easement permit, which will allow construction to begin on a new city hall building.

City officials chose the former Pier 1 Imports headquarters building because it has “room for growth” and has been a “staple of the Fort Worth downtown landscape since 2004.” Staff and government functions from 13 other buildings will consolidate in the new building.

Issues in the permitting process caused delays to the project. Such delays are not uncommon, especially in Dallas, where developers with new construction projects are often burdened by Dallas’ complicated and slow permitting process, particularly in residential and commercial construction.

With permit times far beyond the acceptable metric established by DSD’s 2022-2023 performance goals report, local officials criticized Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax, who nearly lost his job over his handling of the problem.

In a press release, City officials explained that they had been working with the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers since January 2022 to finalize plans that would comply with federal regulations. The design for the council chambers needed to accommodate the current flood model and “future alterations,” referring to upcoming changes to the Trinity River route.

“This is another example of TRWD, the Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Fort Worth working together to reduce the public’s risk of flooding even as our region grows,” said Dan Buhman, general manager for TRWD, according to the release.

Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker said in a statement that the new building will “create a welcoming and inviting space that will help to transform an important area of downtown.”

“The buildings will bring to life a ‘One-Stop-Shop’ for City service experiences and a Council Chambers our growing city deserves. A project as large and momentous as a new City Hall and Council Chambers for the 13th largest and fastest growing city in the U.S. takes a lot of work from a large team of folks,” said Parker in the release.

“I appreciate the commitment and coordination from the staffs at the City, Tarrant Regional Water District, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and [the] team of consultants that helped us get to where we are in this process,” she added.

The first city council meeting expected to be held in the new facility will likely be in the winter of 2024-2025.

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