At long last, after living in the Sundance Square master plan for decades, the downtown district is about to start ripping up the two parking lots on either side of Main between 3rd and 4th for replacement with two new infill buildings and the long-awaited public plaza that will form the core of downtown’s most bustling area, with a third new building on the way a block to the west as well.
The two lots have been closed, and construction fencing is going up. Roughly, the two lots will be halved, with the “outer” halves fronting Commerce and Houston seeing the construction of new mixed-use buildings with office and retail/restaurant space. The “inner” halves fronting Main will be turned into a new public plaza.
This building will be built on the western lot, facing Houston and the public plaza. The plaza-fronting side features a clock tower and what looks like a stage. This building will be a Class A office building and stand six stories, and will be over 93,000 square feet, including 12,393 square feet of ground-floor retail space. The building’s design takes inspiration from several historic downtown Fort Worth Art Deco structures, including the Blackstone Hotel and the Western Union Building. The facade will be granite, limestone, brick, and aluminum. The building will be adjacent to the existing Jett Building at 3rd & Main, which will be preserved.
This new building will be built on the eastern lot, facing Commerce and the public plaza. This building will rise to five stories and features a stepped massing to not overwhelm the historic Land Title Block building (at left in rendering, which has housed the Flying Saucer bar that’s moving a block to the north). It will be Class A office space and over 83,000 square feet, including nearly 17,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. It will replace part of the existing surface parking lot on the site. The building features three distinct facades, to complement the scale of the existing buildings in the surrounding blocks. The central facade will feature four-story arched brick window bays over a rusticated brick and granite base.
The third new building going up a block to the west will replace the parking lot at the corner of 3rd & Throckmorton, as well as the nondescript building that currently houses Saviano’s restaurant. This building will be more than 99,000 square feet and feature 12,196 square feet of ground-floor retail space and 12,187 square feet of top-floor residential space. The middle floors of the building will be Class A office space. The six luxury residential units on the sixth floor will be linked to the Sanger Lofts and feature one- and two-bedroom units, floor-to-ceiling glass walls, and outdoor terraces. The building’s design incorporates three facades. The portion at 3rd & Houston is inspired by turn-of-the-last-century Chicago architecture and features large window bays in granite, limestone, and plaster. On the Throckmorton facade, inspiration instead comes from early 20th century Scandinavian architecture and uses horizontal ribbon windows. A more modern metal-and-glass facade will link the two.
This map shows the rough locations of the new buildings (in red) and the central plaza (in green).
This long-awaited addition will finally create a public space in the heart of the most active part of downtown, and should make a big difference to the feel of the district. Longtime Sundance Square architect and master planner David M. Schwarz Architects is the designer of the buildings and plaza. Fort Worth’s own Bennett Benner Pettit (formerly Gideon Toal) is the architect of record. The Projects Group is the project manager, and The Beck Group is the construction manager.
At last, these parking lots will be replaced with people-centric public space, along with new businesses for downtown residents and visitors. This is a big step forward for Sundance Square, and it’ll be interesting watching these lots transform. The district will be having an event on the 9th to announce the commencement of the project, and it looks like construction will be kicking off quite soon.