The Historic Texas and Pacific Warehouse: Past, Present, and Future of a Fort Worth Landmark

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An invitation by owner Cleopatra Investments Ltd for a glance into the catalyst development on Lancaster Corridor and the key milestones in the long life of the mammoth T&P Warehouse through its course of historic preservation and conversion to a mixed-use project.

T&P Warehouse Redevelopment Streetscape Image

The approved design includes the enlargement and replacement of the existing small windows, as well as, ... a motor and pedestrian plaza through the middle of the building’s first floor,… thus also providing a central access to the development.

The Texas & Pacific Warehouse, which is located on the southern fringe of Fort Worth’s central business district, is one of the most significant historic landmarks in Texas. It was listed on the National Register of Historic places in 1978, followed by Congressional recognition as meriting special preservation incentives. The Warehouse is slated for conversion and historic preservation. As depicted in the images attached, the adaptive reuse of the Warehouse includes a mix of residential and commercial uses as well as historic restoration of the Warehouse. In addition, the site will include new construction south of the existing structure and a potential hotel is being considered.

While the progress made on the Warehouse redevelopment to date may not be evident to citizens driving by, the achievements behind the scenes have been significant, long earned, and expensive. The design plans for the adaptive reuse of the Warehouse were completed and filed with the City of Fort Worth on July 31, 2009, for which a building permit was processed. Those comprehensive plans were approved during 2009 and 2010 by all local authorities including the City Planning department and were also approved by State and Federal agencies.

With the redevelopment and restoration of any historic property, there are strict redevelopment limitations and historic preservation guidelines that need to be met. Because the Warehouse redevelopment is also aiming for historic preservation, the developer sought and received approval for its design plans at the State level by the Texas Historic Commission and at the Federal level by the National Park Service, whose approvals were required to certify that the design plans meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. Following a multi-year design and submission process, Cleopatra Investments Ltd was the first owner to succeed in receiving design approval by the National Park Service since the Warehouse was added to the National Register of Historic places in 1978. The approved design includes the enlargement and replacement of the existing small windows, as well as the installation of new large windows in two of the three elevations on the western section of the building where there are currently no windows. Additionally, a motor and pedestrian plaza through the middle of the building’s first floor was permitted, thus also providing a central access to the development. These approvals positioned the historic icon to be converted from a warehouse building into desirable residential and viable commercial uses.

Although construction plans for the T&P Warehouse development were completed and approved in 2009, the design of the Warehouse site, including parking and new additions, has been modified over the years due to continuing coordination with public projects on its borders. The City’s Lamar-Hemphill street connection and the Transportation Authority’s TexRail projects both required engineering coordination and acquisitions from the Warehouse site. The land acquisitions were completed in 2013 but the temporary construction easements are still in place to serve the construction of the Lamar-Hemphill project. The coordination to execute these three projects, all intersecting along the same site at the same time, has created challenges in engineering and construction scheduling. Based on continuing coordination, the Warehouse construction will be scheduled to commence once the Lamar-Hemphill street project is approaching completion and the Warehouse site has been cleared from related encumbrances.

Beyond the developer’s expected holding period needed for predevelopment work, during which the first adaptive reuse design was originated in 2004, several external factors contributed to earlier delay of the Warehouse redevelopment. Among those factors was the relocation of I-30 freeway, which previously was elevated above Lancaster Avenue in front of the historic buildings separating the southern section of downtown from the rest of downtown. The freeway has since been rerouted to the south of the Warehouse building and the rail tracks. Other external factors included the redevelopment of Lancaster Corridor, which encumbered the Warehouse site with a two-year construction easement, the comprehensive evaluation and redesign needed to resolve the access issue created by the Lamar-Hemphill connector, and the years required for the formation and capitalization of the Lancaster TIF, which aimed to incentivize the revitalization of the Corridor.

The T&P Warehouse was designed in 1928 by Wyatt C. Hedrick Architects of Fort Worth and built between 1929 and 1931 by The General Contractor P.O'B. Montgomery of Dallas. The same Architect and General Contractor designed and built the Texas & Pacific Terminal and the Fort Worth Historic Post Office within the approximate time period. The Warehouse, which is the largest of the three-building complex, is a monumental 580,000 square foot structure, extends over three (3) City blocks, has eight floors above grade, a basement, and historic structures on the roof . The Warehouse is one of the finest pure examples of Zigzag Modern architecture, a specific sub-style of Art Deco that is characterized by straight lines and very ornamental geometric patterns. The Warehouse is a strategic and catalytic development that is slated to contribute to the City’s urban mixed-use element, and is a major factor in the historic, cultural heritage and economic revitalization of the Lancaster Corridor, the surrounding community and the City at large.

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Nadeem Shoukry
Cleopatra Investments, LTD.
+1 214-521-3216
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