There is perhaps no better example of a holistic approach than the revitalization of Renaissance Heights community. This southeast neighborhood bears little resemblance to the place once known as the Masonic Orphanage home for widows and children.
Renaissance Heights Foundation transformation is well known among community developers.Renaissance Heights is a successful example of a public-private partnership the addition of the Walmart center at Renaissance Square, off Berry Street and Mitchell Boulevard. The city’s tax increment financing No. 12 (East Berry Renaissance) incentivized the developer to create Renaissance Square. The Realtor was then able to bring in a Walmart. Today, the shopping center also has a Ross, Marshall’s and restaurants. “That whole development was really awesome. The landowner who was willing to be creative and patent with his capital wasn’t just trying to make a bang for his buck. He was trying to make an impact. It’s a purpose-built communities model.” – Martha Collins, Revitalization Coordinator Economic Development & Revitalization for the City of Fort Worth. The now defined neighborhood, Renaissance Heights had languished for years in a cycle of concentrated poverty, no grocery store, crime, and low employment until Fort Worth Mason Heights, land owner group stepped in.
Kenny Mosley Jr, Executive Director at Renaissance Heights Foundation says, “the grocery store and retail proved difficult to attract without tax incentives. That was a very hard piece, not that any of this has been easy. Literally, hundreds of community meetings and partners have made all this happen. We have built significant momentum, and now our focus is to sustain it with a strong emphasis on quality moving forward.”
More on the way
Exciting developments are underway at Renaissance Heights! In addition to the Shoppes, there are plans for an updated mixed-use master plan, community visioning, Happy Park enhancements, improved streetscapes, walking and biking trails, and a neighborhood-serving economic corridor. The highly anticipated Columbia Residential – Phase III project will feature multi-family apartments (100 units) and a single-family home-ownership opportunity (246 homes), developed in partnership with HousingChannel.org. Stay tuned for more updates on these transformative initiatives!