Monday, July 13, 2015

Wondering Why There Are No Plans To Build Fort Worth A New Skyscraper

This blogging is a variant of my popular series of bloggings about something I see in a west coast online news source, usually the Seattle Times, that I would not see in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The variant is that this particular blogging is about something I regularly see in the Seattle Times which I rarely see in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

That being the announcement of some new big construction project.

Seems like hardly a week goes by without reading of some new construction project in downtown Seattle. Pike Place expansion. Residential towers. Mixed use towers. And projects like this skyscraper you see  here.

I've seen no new skyscrapers scrape the sky in Fort Worth since I have been in Texas. I think Dallas has added one or two.

I read yesterday that the Seattle area is currently the fastest growing zone in America, with the economy back in boom mode.

A booming economy would explain all the building projects, I suppose.

But, I thought I've read in the Star-Telegram that Fort Worth is growing fast. I don't think I've read that the local economy is booming though. Is that the reason for the static skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth?

The only semi-tall building I've seen constructed in Fort Worth since I have been in Texas is the Convention Center Hotel. That project did not come about via private enterprise building a hotel to accommodate all the tourists and convention goers flocking to Fort Worth. Due to the paucity of both, no private entity was interested in making that type hotel investment, so the local voters were snookered into helping pay for the hotel.

Since I have been in Texas I have witnessed several large construction projects in downtown Fort Worth.

Such as the Radio Shack Corporate Headquarters. To build that building eminent domain was abused to remove a public housing development. Due to building the Radio Shack Headquarters the big free Tandy parking lots were no longer usable. The world's shortest subway line was closed, making access to downtown Fort Worth no longer the easy thing it was prior to this debacle. The lack of easy parking has greatly reduced the number of times I have visited downtown Fort Worth ever since.

A short distance from the Radio Shack debacle we had the downtown campus of Tarrant County College debacle, a grandiose project, with an interesting design, thwarted in mid construction. In the midst of the Tarrant County College downtown campus boondoggle Radio Shack found it could no longer afford its new corporate headquarters. So, in a deal which made no sense to me, Tarrant County College, which had already spent hundreds of millions of dollars on their mangled downtown campus, then paid a few hundred more million to buy space in the Radio Shack building to use as their downtown campus, in a building which was not designed to be a school.

I tell you, Fort Worth has to be the "Boondoggle Capital  of the Free World".

That should be the town's catchy slogan, not "Where the West  Begins".

Adding to the roll of boondoggles, we have the Pier One Imports Corporate Headquarters. A beautiful building built on the spot where buildings were destroyed by a tornado. I don't remember how long Pier One Imports occupied their new headquarters before they, like Radio Shack, found out they could not afford it. The building was then sold to Chesapeake Energy to use as their satellite corporate headquarters from whence they ran their shadow Fort Worth city government during the reign of gas industry lackey, Mike Moncrief.

I don't know who owns the former Pier One Imports building now that Chesapeake Energy has taken the Walk of Shame out of Fort Worth.

If Fort Worth's economy is doing as well as the Star-Telegram propaganda-izes, how come we don't see more evidence of such?

We have America's Biggest Boondoggle currently stalled in slow motion, taking four years to build three little simple bridges from the mainland to an imaginary island, but not much else, except for an extensive music festival schedule taking place in, and beside, the Trinity River, a river which other parts of America would call the Trinity Slough, with no one thinking it a good idea to use as an inner tubing venue.

I'm sure some local would point to the West 7th area as evidence of Fort Worth's booming economy. Well, what I have seen in that area is extremely poor planning, with the area turning into a flooded lake when too much rain falls. The sidewalks are too narrow on West 7th, creating a canyon like effect that is not pleasant.

There is a lot of highway construction underway. Is that a sign of a booming local economy? Or one more sign of bad planning? The I-35 drive north from downtown Fort Worth has turned into an extremely unpleasant experience, particularly when you get past I-820.

I know there has been some effort to have some sort of train transit running from downtown Fort Worth to Grapevine, and, I think, the north entry to D/FW International. But, that project seems to be a lot of talk and little action.

If Fort Worth ever does actually have itself a booming economy do you think maybe sidewalks could be added to more of the city's streets? And maybe get rid of all the outhouses in all the parks and install modern restroom facilities with running water to replace the outhouses?

We have all recently witnessed how fast the South can change when properly motivated. Could not the Fort Worth outhouses go as quickly as the Confederate flag? We can only hope....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The super hefty Star-Telegram food writer has egg on his face again after he tried to discredit Texas State Senator Konni Burton on Twitter. Senator Burton wrote a piece at the Texas Tribune that tells the real price of the Facebook data center coming to Fort Worth.