Panther Island Project Vision Gets Refresh

Rendering of Panther Island project
Rendering of Panther Island project | Image by Trinity River Vision Authority

Future buildings in the Panther Island District of Fort Worth may include high-rises up to 20 stories tall after new recommendations were presented to the city by a consultant group.

The Panther Island project is a planned mixed-use development on a man-made island north of downtown Fort Worth. The vision for the project got a refresh from HR&A Advisors last month, according to The Dallas Morning News.

A staff report in the Zoning Commission agenda showed that a request has been made to update the text of the Panther Island District plan to allow heights of up to 20 floors and lift the prohibition on floor plates greater than 16,000 square feet on buildings taller than 96 feet in certain corridors of the development. A floor plate is a term used in commercial real estate to refer to an entire floor of a building.

The requested zoning change would allow the buildings along North Main Street at the center of the island to be constructed at twice the height of the current zoning limits. The street is designated as a “transit-minded Texas Main Street,” according to the vision document of Panther Island, which details the creation of the street with high-capacity transit, reported DMN.

The item is currently recommended for approval, and the Fort Worth City Council is seeking to expand its contract with HR&A Advisors, the firm consulting on the project.

Some residents have expressed concern about the project’s effect on home values and whether long-term residents near the area may be displaced. According to a consultant report, neighborhoods surrounding Panther Island have seen the highest property value increases in the city, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Currently, the least expensive unit at the Encore Panther Island apartment complex, the only housing option on Panther Island, is a one-bedroom apartment that costs $1,200 per month. Prices in the apartment complex can go up as high as $2,600 for a one-bedroom, and a two-bedroom apartment can cost as much as $3,800 a month.

Most housing in Fort Worth, with a few exceptions, is allegedly not affordable for families earning the median household income of $72,276, according to a city affordability housing report, the Star-Telegram reported.

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