Construction is expected to begin in the next year for a proposed six-story, 138-room boutique hotel. The project is expected to take 30 to 36 months to complete, said Michael Bennett, CEO of Bennett Benner Partners and architect of the project.
“A hotel would be a good complimentary use on Magnolia,” said Bennett. “It would be the next logical use to introduce into the area to keep it growing and evolving.”
There was neighborhood opposition to the hotel being built, including a petition submitted by members of the Fairmount Neighborhood Association. The rezoning was approved by Fort Worth City council in spite of opposition.
Bennett and the original landowner were introduced to Bond Partners of San Diego, the hotel developers, who had also been interested in building in the Magnolia area. They have established hotels such as the Foundre Phoenix, the North Block Hotel in Napa Valley and The Modern Honolulu.
Plans call for a multi-use building that includes a restaurant facing West Magnolia Avenue, a rooftop bar and events space, a small number of apartments and condominiums and a large parking garage on the other side of Henderson Street. The new parking garage will also have 170 spaces available to reduce parking in the adjacent neighborhoods.
The last piece of property for the project was purchased early last year, Bennett said. He added that his team is now in the process of branding the hotel with an independent company.
“The branding will grow out of the history and feel of the Magnolia neighborhood,” Bennett said. “It will establish guiding principles for both the interior and exterior design.”
Bennett’s firm has some conceptual drawings on its website. The images reflect the design elements meant to help the hotel match the area.
His team collaborated with their immediate neighbors and business owners during the zoning process. Bennett said that most people are excited about the hotel, but there was quite a bit of misinformation and misunderstanding regarding the character of the project.
“We will continue to work with the adjacent neighbors as the design progresses,” Bennett added.
Kat Swift, assistant general manager of Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, said that she is “all for it.” The most reoccurring complaint on her restaurant’s Yelp reviews is that they don’t have a parking lot. Swift said an increase of visitors and a parking lot would help her business.
“Magnolia is one of the coolest areas of Fort Worth that most people don’t get to see,” said Swift. “The growth will help show people this side of town.”
Kent & Co. Wines and Heim Barbecue representatives are both taking a neutral stance on the project at this time.
Steve Huffman, a nearby resident, said he he’s excited about the new addition to Magnolia.
“The hotel will bring more business to the area,” said Huffman. “It’s nothing but good for our street and our neighborhood.”
The Fairmount Neighborhood Association could not be reached for comment, but you can listen to their concerns from the city council meeting here, beginning around 1 hour and 32 minutes.