FORT WORTH (CBS11) – XTO Energy buildings and garages stand all through the heart of downtown Fort Worth.
The city is looking for ways to fill those buildings once the energy company begins a large relocation of its work force next year.
“I think we’ll just have to work with the Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Fort Worth Inc. and many others to get the message out that we have open spaces, that businesses can come and we will try to see what we can do from there,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.
Those open spaces will be in four of XTO’s five downtown office buildings and in a building in the Stockyards.
The energy company is moving 1,200 workers to Houston next year and another 400 in 2020. A company spokesperson says the move is to consolidate Exxon Mobil divisions and that pulling so many workers out of Fort Worth where XTO was founded was a tough decision.
But experts say the bad news comes at a good time for Fort Worth.
“If there were going to be a time that buildings would be coming available in downtown this is a good time,” said Downtown Fort Worth Inc. President Andy Taft.
Taft says XTO’s buildings are in prime locations, beautifully restored and with plenty of parking.
Taft says he has condominium, apartment and hotel developers anxious to find downtown property.
And that downtown property is hard to come by.
“I’ve received phone calls from a number of developers who’ve been looking at downtown for a year and haven’t been able to find anything,” Taft said. “I had a couple of calls today… I would expect that you will see very little gap between the time that the building is officially empty and a new developer moves in and begins swinging hammers,” he said.