Proposed TIF would help start a new chapter for historic Stockyards

The Fort Worth Stockyards was booming with visitors last weekend, with thousands taking part in the annual Red Steagall’s Cowboy Gathering and Western Swing Festival.

During induction ceremonies for the Texas Trail of Fame, several people talked about how far the Stockyards had come in the 25 years since a few dedicated people began investing in making the area a major destination for tourists and area residents.

Still, the Stockyards and the city’s north side have a lot more potential.

Needed help could come through creation of a tax increment financing district (TIF). A report sent to the Fort Worth City Council last week said the TIF would generate about $40 million in new tax revenue over its 20-year term to be reinvested in infrastructure, special projects and assisting some private developments in the defined area.

The proposed Northside/Stockyards TIF is 925 acres and would include a $175-million, 123-acre development by Fort Worth’s Hickman family and Majestic Realty Co. of California. That proposal calls for offices, shops, restaurants, entertainment and residential properties.

The TIF plan is expected to be presented to the City Council on Nov. 18, with a public hearing on Dec. 2.

Success will depend on at least 50 percent participation by Tarrant County, the Tarrant County College District and the Tarrant Regional Water District.

Adoption of the TIF could come in the first quarter of 2015, starting a great new chapter in the historic Stockyards area.

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