FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – In an 8-1 vote, the Fort Worth City Council on Tuesday approved a multi-million dollar incentive package for a development project at the Fort Worth Stockyards. However, 71 people had signed up to speak in the council chambers, many in opposition to the project known as the Fort Worth Stockyards Heritage Plan.
Among those who were against the plan was Concho Minick, president of Billy Bob’s Texas. Minick feels that the proposal is moving too quickly, without assurances in writing that historic preservation would be maintained. “If we’re going to commit public funds, let’s have a process where the public has more input into what happens to the Stockyards,” Minick said. “Let’s do it in a way that benefits the entirety of the Stockyards and not just one developer.”
Minick did acknowledge the differences among many longtime stakeholders in the Stockyards. His parents, who are owners of Billy Bob’s Texas, support the plan. “It’s a complicated issue, I guess,” he said. “We need development in the Stockyards and the type of development we really feel we need — these smaller, Texas-centric, Western culture-based businesses — are harder to develop than big box retailers.”
The Holt Hickman family of Fort Worth is partnering with Majestic Realty out of California for the plan to invest millions in the historic area.
The Fort Worth Stockyards Heritage Plan would include the preservation and restoration of deteriorating infrastructure, cosmetic upgrades and repairs and improvement of transportation gateways. There’s also potential for future expansion including retail, restaurant, festival greenspace, residential and new hotel offerings.
City councilman Sal Espino, who supports the plan, said that the city will do what is necessary for preservation. “You will see us moving forward, but with a process and safeguards in place to protect the Western integrity and feel of the Stockyards,” said Espino.
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