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Fort Worth South is Committed to Revitalizing the Near Southside Since 1996

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Fort Worth South Inc. (FWSI) is a nonprofit organization committed to revitalizing the Near Southside of Fort Worth. Formed in 1996, this group works on the business and development sector with real estate and other projects that will enhance the community. Part of its mission is to organize community activities and bring local businesses together for the common goal of keeping the Near South area a vibrant and happening place.

Broker/Owner Will Northern of Northern Realty Group describes the rejuvenated community helped by their work, "The Near Southside [formerly called the Medical District] has seen an explosion of small, locally owned businesses open in the district.

Today we are starting to see larger-scale projects, such as multifamily developers building projects with upwards of 300 units and regional anchors like UT Southwestern announcing their new campus." National tenants are also looking into the district (Chipotle, QT Gas Station, Firehouse Subs and Starbucks) and "major hospitals are expanding their campuses with smaller independent medical providers building or renovating buildings," Northern continues.

Goals for FWSI in providing an urban mixed-use neighborhood are five-fold: (1) increase public awareness, (2) assist all private and public development projects that advance the district's vision, (3) sponsor or support special events and networking events that attract visitors to the area and strengthen community ties among Near Southside businesses and residents, (4) provide information and resources that assist all types of Near Southside stakeholders, and (5) partner with the City and other community organizations to advance educational initiatives, public policies and community programs for a renewed and safe central city.

With the large population growth in Fort Worth, real estate is in demand. According to Northern, this is because of FWSI-implemented community improvements. "The market is alive with activity," exclaims Northern! Residential historic properties continue to be revitalized to period-correct condition. Commercial investors are repurposing old buildings, and developers are doing urban infill projects consisting primarily of mixed-use multifamily. Residential real estate prices across the board have gone up." All are definite signs of a thriving economy.

Northern is thrilled about a new development, "I'm excited about the area's first condo development, the Magnolia-May Condominiums that just completed construction." Any company that builds in the community must go by their high development standards. FWSI strives to educate developers and interested community members on the redevelopment process. For example, the last informative seminar given by FWSI was about bringing small-scale retail to the district.

Ongoing events for locals that bring in outside business and are presented by FWSI include ArtsSouth and the annual chili competition known as Chili on the Green. Friday on the Green is a series of free monthly outdoor concerts held April-October with three bands, food and drinks from food trucks or nearby establishments. What a great way to end the work week with Near South area family and friends.

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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