Project: Fort Worth Convention Center phase one rebuild
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Value: Up to $30 million
Client: City of Fort Worth
A contractor team composed of AECOM Hunt/Byrne/EJ Smith has been tapped to rebuild the Fort Worth Convention Center, city officials announced Nov. 30. The expansion will take place in two phases, and under the contract, the firms will manage the full scope of the first phase of construction for up to $30 million. The overall project will cost $400 million-$500 million.
The contractors are based locally and have a long history of working in Fort Worth, Texas, according to city leaders, and that contributed to their selection.
“The AECOM Hunt/Byrne/EJ Smith team combines a national builder with 35 years of extensive convention center expansion expertise with reputable local builders who have past experience with our center and deep roots in Fort Worth,” said Mike Crum, director of public events for the City of Fort Worth. AECOM Hunt has also been involved in recent convention center projects in Phoenix, New Orleans and Louisville, Kentucky.
The expansion had been about to begin in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It was put on hold until December 2021, when the Fort Worth City Council approved $52 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds for the work. Now phase one of construction is expected to begin in the middle of 2023 and wrap in 2026.
The first phase will entail building new food and beverage facilities, demolishing the annex, realigning Commerce Street to create a site pad for a future hotel and increasing the center’s loading docks, according to the city. The facility will remain operational during all construction.
The city announced in September the architect team composed of Atlanta-based Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates and local firm Bennett Partners would deliver design and construction administration services for the first phase.
The second, and more elaborate, phase of the project will include demolishing the 1968 arena and creating 97,000 square feet of new exhibit hall space, 48,000 square feet of flexible meeting rooms, a new 50,000-square-foot ballroom that’s double the size of the current one plus renovations to the current facility.
The city said the second part of the project will be funded when hospitality taxes recover to the point where they can support the issuance of debt to pay for the construction work