Friday, November 4, 2011
Sundance Square in Fort Worth to add three new buildings
This long-awaited and sorely missing addition will finally create a public space in the heart of the most active part of downtown.
Big news from Sundance Square today: The district will be constructing not one, not two, but three new buildings soon, adding new office space, residential units, and ground-floor retail space.
There’s a lot to get to, so let’s begin. A new six-story building (top right) will be constructed along 3rd Street between Throckmorton and Houston. 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. The small existing building on the corner that currently houses Saviano’s (and was previously Zippy’s American Diner) will be demolished for this new building.
Next up is this building, running along Houston Street between 3rd and 4th. This building will also 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. It will replace half the existing surface parking lot on the site.
This rendering depicts the building’s eastern elevation, which is similar to the Houston Street elevation but adds a distinctive clock tower and central design element. This elevation faces the western half of what will be the Sundance Square public plaza, which will replace the rest of the existing surface parking lot on the site. Come to think of it, that central design element looks an awful lot like a stage for the public plaza.
Finally, this new building will be built along Commerce between 3rd Street and the existing historic Land Title Block building on 4th Street (home of The Flying Saucer), which will be preserved (as seen in the rendering above, of the Commerce elevation). This building will rise to five stories and features a stepped massing to not overwhelm the Land Title Block building. 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.
I’ve made this map to give an idea of where these new buildings will be built. The red boxes are the rough locations of the Throckmorton, Houston, and Commerce buildings.
The green boxes represent the two halves of the Sundance Square public plaza. This long-awaited and sorely missing 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. Sundance Square states that the plaza’s design is still being finalized, and will be unveiled at a later date.
Longtime Sundance Square architect and master planner David M. Schwarz Architects is the designer of the buildings. 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.
Construction of the new buildings is scheduled to begin immediately after the Main Street Arts Festival concludes on April 22, 2012.
These new buildings should make fantastic additions to the liveliness of downtown, and their replacing surface parking lots with active uses is even better. Combined with the long-awaited arrival of the central public plaza, the people-scaled nature of Sundance Square and the urban energy of the district will be getting a serious boost.
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