With the construction from the 7th Street Bridge going on, residents and patrons of this recently hip area of near-downtown Fort Worth are grumbling through traffic and construction with visions of awesomeness to come.
As little as five years ago, the area consisted of a few scant strip malls, a couple dive bars and Montgomery Plaza. Since then construction has plagued the neighborhood, followed by the opening of shiny new restaurants and shopping. In other words, it went from sleepy to officially hopping with day and nightlife seemingly overnight.
Those of us that lived in the area for part or all of the continuing process were excited at first (Yesssss, is that a Chuy’s going in?), but as the high rises started to pile up like the next best thing since peanut butter met bread, a yearning set in for the sleepy streets of West 7th’s past. Well, sort of a subtle quiet yearning. Or, actually, mostly we just miss available parking because you know what? West 7th is awesome now, and growing still. Before, most of the character the neighborhood had was jam-packed into Fred’s Texas Café (which is still holding down the fort, albeit now dwarfed by much taller buildings).
As if all the new developments weren’t enough, yet another project is in the works for more retail, office, residential and even a hotel as Centergy Retail LLC of Dallas closed on the purchase of property in the area that was previously owned by Chesapeake. This was about the last piece of property of significant size in the district so for residents, the annoyance of living in a construction zone are nearing the end. The bridge is set to open in November of this year, and construction is slated to start on this project early next year, and hopefully be finished soon thereafter. In the meantime, they are negotiating with prospective tenants so the buildings can go up and the space be filled in no time (which, likely, it will fill up in no time).