Fort Worth, Texas, has selected architects Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates to team with local firm Bennett Partners to design and handle construction administration services for the first phase of the Fort Worth Convention Center’s expansion.
The project will take place in two phases, and the facility will remain operational during both. The first phase includes the construction of new food-and-beverage facilities, the demolition of the annex, the realignment of Commerce Street to create a site pad for a future convention hotel, and the rebuilding of the loading docks. Work is expected to begin mid-2023 and be completed in 2026.
"TVS has the reputation, experience and vision that will make our convention center a memorable destination in its own right, and Bennett Partners is a well-respected local expert in the industry," said Mike Crum, director of public events for Fort Worth. "With all the momentum on the southeastern side of downtown — new residential property, new hotels and the Texas A&M campus expansion — we’re looking forward to welcoming larger events and more visitors than ever to Fort Worth."
The expansion project originally had been ready to go when the Covid-19 shutdown began in 2020. After a pandemic-induced pause, the Fort Worth City Council approved $52 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds in December 2021 to support the first phase.
The second phase will include the demolition of the 1968 arena and create approximately 97,000 square feet of net-new exhibit hall space, 48,000 square feet of flexible meeting rooms, and a new 50,000-square-foot ballroom (twice the size of the current ballroom). The existing facility, which was expanded in 2003, will be renovated. This phase will be funded when hospitality taxes recover to the point where they can support the issuance of debt to fund the construction.