Construction on long-awaited Fort Worth Convention Center expansion begins
An expansion of the Fort Worth Convention Center that's been in the works for 20 years is finally underway.
Acccording to a release, construction has begun on Phase 1, on the east side of the center on Commerce St., which will build new state-of-the-art food & beverage facilities, demolish the 1983 annex, increase the center’s loading docks from 7 to 11, and straighten Commerce Street to create a site for a future convention hotel.
This phase is a $95 million project funded by federal grant money and hotel occupancy tax revenue. It's anticipated to be done in early 2026. The center will remain operational throughout the project.
The expansion is designed to accommodate larger conventions and group meetings. It was about to commence in 2020 when it got shut down by the pandemic.
In December 2021, the Fort Worth City Council approved $52 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and $43 million from hotel occupancy tax revenue to start Phase 1.
A timeline for Phase 2 construction has not been determined.
They say that construction will be similar to updates at experienced at airport terminals, with a phased approach that allows business to carry on while different parts of the building are worked on.
The center’s two parking garages on Houston and Commerce will continue to operate. Portions of surface Lot 1 parking (east side of Commerce Street, near the power plant) have been closed for use by the construction team.
Lane closures and orange cones are already deployed on south Commerce for construction vehicles entering and exiting. Drivers and cyclists should slow to 15 mph through this area and pedestrians should exercise caution when crossing Commerce Street.
More lane closures are likely over the next two years as they expand the southeast entrance and rebuild the loading docks.
After Feb. 1, 2024, the Southeast entrance to the center will be closed until it is rebuilt. Guests coming from the east side of Commerce Street will be directed to enter the building from the Water Garden Plaza or Houston Street.
- Broaddus & Associates, Inc. is serving as project manager in partnership with Elements of Architecture, Inc.
- Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates, Inc. (TVS), a global architectural design firm, is teaming with local firm Bennett Partners on design and construction administration services.
- AECOM Hunt, Byrne Construction Services and E.J. Smith Construction are serving as Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) for Phase 1.
City of Fort Worth director of public events Mike Crum says in a statement that "this expansion will deliver an elevated experience to our guests and ensure that we remain competitive with other Texas cities."