Tuesday, August 12, 2014
I Can No Longer Trespass On Fort Worth's Chesapeake Plaza Or Ride The Fort Worth Subway
The NO TRESPASSING VIOLATORS WILL BE PROSECUTED sign you see on the left has perplexed me for quite some time.
To the east, up the hill to the right of the sign, sits my neighborhood Chesapeake Energy gas pad site.
I have not seen a No Trespassing sign at the Chesapeake gas pad site. So why is there a No Trespassing sign on this vacant lot?
Speaking of Chesapeake Energy. The big Chesapeake news of the day is that Chesapeake Plaza is no more in downtown Fort Worth.
Earlier in this century Pier 1 Imports built a corporate headquarters the company could not afford. So, Pier 1 Imports sold the corporate headquarters it could not afford to Chesapeake Energy, after which Pier 1 Imports leased space from Chesapeake.
At the height of its corruption of the Fort Worth city government, during the reign of gas industry lapdog, Mike Moncrief, Chesapeake Energy pretty much ran a shadow city government out of the building it bought from Pier 1 Imports.
Chesapeake Energy has now fallen on hard times and is selling off assets, including the building it bought from Pier 1 Imports. Chesapeake sold the building to a Houston real estate company named Hines. Hines has renamed Chesapeake Plaza as the Pier 1 Imports Building.
Chesapeake Energy will now lease space from Hines, joining Pier 1 Imports as renters in the building each once owned.
What is the deal with corporations based in Fort Worth building corporate headquarters which soon upon completion the corporation finds out the corporation can not afford?
The worst case of this phenomenon is obviously the Radio Shack Corporate Headquarters fiasco, which eventually morphed with the Tarrant County College downtown campus boondoggle, which had the college buying the Radio Shack Corporate Headquarters to turn into a college for which the building was not designed.
If I remember right Radio Shack now rents space from Tarrant County College in the corporate headquarters Radio Shack could not afford.
American Airlines is based in Fort Worth. It never occurred to me, til now, that I have no idea where the American Airlines Corporate Headquarters is located. Is it out near D/FW airport? I know Fort Worth somehow manages to gerrymander all the way to the south entry to the airport.
Downtown Fort Worth lost a lot when it went along with the Radio Shack Corporate Headquarters fiasco. Eminent domain was abused, tax breaks were given.
But worse than eminent domain abuse and shady tax breaks was the loss of big, free parking lots at the north end of downtown. Along with the big parking lots also lost was the world's shortest subway line. The subway made it so easy to get to the heart of downtown Fort Worth by parking at one of the parking lots and then hopping on the free rickety old subway car that deposited you inside the Tandy Tower.
I seldom go to downtown Fort Worth anymore, what with parking being a nuisance. Before the destruction of the Tandy Subway I frequently frequented downtown Fort Worth. At that point in time a vertical mall actually existed in the Tandy Tower. With an ice rink. I don't think enough people live in downtown Fort Worth for a vertical mall to survive.
Even now, well over a decade later, not enough people live in downtown Fort Worth for the downtown to have a grocery store. Or a department store. Fort Worth's is the only downtown in America, in a town with a population over 500,000, with no department store or grocery store.
Fort Worth's somewhat sleepy downtown would likely be more lively if the Tandy parking lots and subway had not been killed.
What a stupid mistake for a town to make....