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Magnolia Village/Fairmount, Fort Worth, TX

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The urban district south of downtown Fort Worth is known as, appropriately enough, Fort Worth South. Fort Worth South was hard hit by suburban flight, but in the last couple of years has seen some great redevelopment, and even more on the way. Several neighborhoods make up the district, and the most remarkably turned-around thus far is the Magnolia Village/Fairmount neighborhood.

Fairmount is a remarkably intact middle-class "Streetcar Suburb" developed between 1890 and 1938. It is the largest Historic District in the entire Southwest United States, at 375 acres. With over one-thousand contributing structures, Fairmount is composed mainly of Bungalow and Four Square homes from the late 1800s through the 1920s. Some say it is the largest concentration of Bungalow & Four Square homes in the entire country. Because the neighborhood is a historic district, it is extremely difficult to demolish structures in the area, and any new buildings must conform to the district's guidelines (all new homes must be of the early 20th century Bungalow or Four Square style, for example). Fairmount is bounded by Magnolia Avenue on the north, Hemphill Street on the east, 8th Avenue on the west, and Jessamine Street on the south.

Magnolia Avenue has always been the district's main street, and along Magnolia is a series of preserved early 20th century urban commercial structures. After decades of decline, Magnolia has been reborn as a hip urban street home to independently-owned restaurants and shops. Magnolia and several blocks north up to Rosedale Street has been named "Magnolia Village," and is now starting to see new urban redevelopment. As the properties north of Magnolia are not part of the Fairmount Historic District, architectural styles can vary from traditional to modern in Magnolia Village, providing great contrast to the historic structures of Magnolia itself and Fairmount.

The area (apart from Fairmount) has been rezoned to Fort Worth's MU-2 high-density mixed-use designation. As the area declined due to suburban flight, several vacant lots can be found in Magnolia Village, and these are now starting to see townhome and mixed-use retail/office/residential development. In addition, Fort Worth is redesigning Oleander Street, a tiny alley-like street one block north of Magnolia, into the Oleander Walk, a bricked pedestrian street that is now attracting new urban development.

The area is still redeveloping, and fantastic progress is being made. It won't be long before you see some real booming development here - there are already several developments set to kick off in the next few months. It's only getting better from here on out, and already is getting a lot of attention as Fort Worth's indie urban hangout.

Some photos:

This historic building at Magnolia & College houses Palermo's Italian Cafe, a Fort Worth Police Department station, an urban realty company, and a hair salon.


The historic Max Mehl Building was nearly falling over from disrepair, but has been completely restored. It now has a couple of office tenants and will be getting ground-floor retail.





Across the street from the Max Mehl is a vacant lot that is about to be redeveloped with a multi-story mixed-use retail/condo building. No rendering yet.

St. Mary's, on Magnolia.


This tiny building on Magnolia has been fixed up and is now home to an environmentally friendly children's store. The vacant lot next door to it is the one getting the retail/condo building mentioned above.


The Texana Townhomes have sold out of their Phase 1 and are selling quickly in their Phase 2. They are located just off Magnolia at Adams & the Oleander Walk.



The vacant lots past the Texana Townhomes are the site of this development getting underway shortly - Oleander Place Townhomes.


Oleander Walk is also getting this loft/retail development:



This old Masonic Lodge on Magnolia is now a meeting place.



Modern Drug Village is a restored drug store. It now houses Fort Worth National Bank, a salon, and Hot Damn, Tamales! in its ground floor, and loft apartments on its second floor.


Cartan's Shoes on Magnolia.


Looking down the sidewalk on Magnolia. This shows the variety to be found on the blocks of Magnolia Village. Panther City Bicycles is a great local bike shop. Lili's is a ridiculously tasty bistro. This building also houses Spiral Diner, a fantastic vegan restaurant. The red building beyond is Nonna Tatta, an Italian cafe. Beyond that are places like Benito's Mexican Food, King Tut Egyptian, etc.


Spiral Diner vegan restaurant.


Fairmount Lofts in Magnolia Village showcases the architectural diversity being built outside of Fairmount. They are sold out of Phase 1, and are about to begin Phase 2 in conjunction with the completion of the Oleander Walk.


An old church gymnasium in Fairmount is getting remade as The Lofts of St. Mary's.


Heading into Fairmount. These photos were taken earlier in the year, which explains the lack of foliage.






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