Living at the Texas & Pacific lofts is like owning a precious little piece of Fort Worth history. The Texas & Pacific Passenger Terminal Building was designed by Architect Wyatt C. Hedrick who designed many of our most beautiful buildings including the Greek Revival main Post Office and the newly renovated Bob R. Simpson Building. Built in 1930, it was the main gateway in and out of Fort Worth via the T&P Railroad for many years before airports replaced train stations.
Above the grand terminal lobby with its Art Deco fixtures and gilded interior folks now live in what used to be offices for the railroad and later for the regional offices of HUD. The units are characterized by terrazzo floors, high ceilings, and views of either the downtown skyline or the panoramic view of the near south side. Not only is this building architecturally unique but functionally unique as well boasting a restored classic train depot diner called the T&P Tavern with 24 beers on tap and a limited but delicious menu. Oh, and the trains still come through. From your condo just ride the elevator down to the train platform to board the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) to Dallas.
The historic high-rise which has 136 condos was built in 1930 as a passenger depot and offices for The Texas & Pacific Railroad. The “Mid-Rise” was built in 2006 when the historic high-rise was converted to residential condos. The mid-rise building has 92 units on 4 floors.
Downstairs in the historic high-rise, there is a great little neighborhood bar called The T&P Tavern in the original diner. The T&P Tavern features a tasty limited food menu and 24 beers on tap served over the original massive black granite lunch counter. Also on the ground level is a huge private event venue in the original grand passenger terminal which is operated by Trinity Metro, the Fort Worth Transportation Authority. Trinity Metro operates the TRE (in conjunction with The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), the T (Fort Worth regional bus service), and TexRail the commuter rail linking The T&P Station to Terminal B at DFW Airport. Nearly every weekend there are weddings, casino nights, or Quinceaneras in the beautifully restored passenger terminal.
Each unit generally has two undesignated spaces but some units have deeded reserved spaces in the garage. Reserved spaces are often available for sale by the owners. Depending on the location these spaces have recently sold for around $15,000 each. Spaces may also be available for rent by the current owners. Reserved parking spaces sometimes are included with a property when it is sold. Unreserved parking is first-come-first-served. The 1st floor of the garage is covered and it usually fills up by nightfall. The second floor is not covered and there is lots of excess parking on that level. Both floors of the parking garage are equally convenient to the residences. If you have an unreserved space and hail is in the forecast just be sure to be home by 4:00 pm or you may have to park on the uncovered second level.
Recently became an issue when the U.S. Postal Service who currently owns the massive parking lot in front of the T&P Lofts decided to start charging people to park there. Guests must now pay between $3 and $10 to park, depending upon the time of day. Housekeepers and other home services now must either pay the daily rate or buy a monthly pass for as little as $30 (day-time only). A limited number of 48-hour visitor parking passes are available from the T&P Concierge which come with key-fob access to the top level of the parking garage only. Parking at meters along Lancaster Avenue is free after 6:00 pm and the 30-minute loading zones next to the curb out front are available for quick drop-offs or deliveries.
The U.S. Postal Service announced on December 4th, 2013 that they would finally be vacating the historic downtown Post Office Building which is next door to The T&P Lofts. The City of Fort Worth offered to buy the property for a planned City Hall annex, but the Postal Service withdrew the property and instead began a program of capital improvements. The Post Office has little use for the building but their strategy is to hold on to the building a bit longer in anticipation of increasing property value as development around the building on West Lancaster is ongoing. Once the property is sold it is expected there will be improved parking options for residents and visitors. The new owner will undoubtedly restore and maintain the badly neglected building and will be a better neighbor.
Although many people perceive the T&P Condos to be separate from the downtown/Sundance Square area, T&P residents find it very walkable. The distance from the front door of the T&P to the historic Tarrant County Courthouse on the other end of downtown is exactly one mile. The new Sundance Square Plaza is about two-thirds as far. A nice 15-minute walk from the front door is all it takes to dine at PF Changs, Cantina Laredo, Mi Cocina, or Del Frisco’s Grille. The Steakhouses on Main Street (Grace, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle, Ruth’s Chris, and Capital Grille) are even closer. The 4-Diamond Omni Fort Worth Hotel is just across the street from The T&P Condos with a Starbucks Coffee & Bob’s Steak & Chop House on property.
Once a month a FREE Downtown Historic Walking Tour is offered by Fort Worth Texas Real Estate. The tour begins in the T&P Resident’s Lounge and is guided by noted Fort Worth historian Dr. Richard Selcer.
Segway tours are offered from time to time. Call T&P Resident Tim D. Young for details.
There are seven train tracks directly behind the T&P Condos. Two tracks are used by The Trinity Rail Express (TRE), which connects Fort Worth to the mid-cities and Dallas. Five of the tracks are heavily traveled by freight trains at all hours of the day and night. T&P Residents generally embrace the “white-noise” as a facet of urban living. Residents on the Southside of the T&P Condos are mostly the only ones who are subject to the train noise (units with odd numbers in the high-rise face south. Even numbered units face downtown to the North). If you have ever chosen the shopping cart at your grocery store with a squeaky wheel you will have a sense of what an occasional noisy train sounds like (these are especially loud in the winter), however, the train Engineers are generally conscientious about laying off the horn while passing by The T&P Lofts.
In January of 2019, the new TexRail began departures from the T&P Station seven days a week taking riders directly to Terminal B at DFW Airport. The newest residents of the building have included many airline employees and others who frequently travel for work. TexRail also allows T&P residents to efficiently travel from their doorstep to the new Northside Station, Mercantile Center, NRH Iron Horse, NRH Smithfield, Grapevine Main Street, DFW Airport North, and DFW Terminal B. At nearby Terminal A riders may continue their journey to Dallas’ Victory Station with connections to regional bus and light rail lines. TexRail fares are $2.50 per ride or a regional day pass that includes the Fort Worth side of the TRE and Trinity Metro buses is just $5. Monthly and annual passes are also available. Currently, TexRail operates 21 hours-per-day/7 days a week. Hourly departures are soon to be increased to half-hourly in the Summer of 2019.
The Dash is the next big transit thing coming to the downtown area. Expected to begin service in 2019 the Dash is a fleet of 5 electric circulator buses connecting the two transit hubs in downtown (T&P & ITC) to the west 7th corridor and cultural district with 15-minute frequency. A single ride is $2 and the $5 ticket allows all-day use of the Dash AND any of the 43 conventional buses of Trinity Metro in Fort Worth.
While you can walk to Sundance Square, the Magnolia area is not as easy even though it is just as close. Getting across I-30 requires a scary walk through a dark underpass at either the South Main Viaduct or Jennings Viaduct. Not many people know that there is another pedestrian-friendly route between downtown and the Near Southside. There is a clean and very secure underground tunnel connecting the T&P Station on the north side of I30 to the Trinity Metro parking lot on the south side, this tunnel is a safe and efficient way to access the Near Southside development as well as the Magnolia Avenue & Fairmount neighborhoods on the south side of I30. Since Magnolia and Fairmount are a bit further away many residents grab a B-Cycle from a rack on Lancaster Avenue. The B-Cyles are free for short rides and there is a station directly in front of The T&P Lofts and several on the Near Southside. Other forms of transportation to tie these areas together are currently under consideration including trolleys, light rail, and improved pedestrian amenities. The Hemphill underpass is under construction which will offer well-lit pedestrian walkways connecting Lamar Street to Hemphill.
The Near Southside of Fort Worth is also under intensive redevelopment centered around historic South Main. This area is just one block south of the T&P Station.
On a beautiful Spring day, a 2-mile walk to the west on Lancaster brings you to the booming West 7th Corridor. Another quarter mile is all it takes to visit the internationally acclaimed museum district (The Kimbell, The Modern, Amon Carter, Fort Worth Community Arts Center, The National Cowgirl Hall of Fame). Each year the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo takes place at Will Rogers Memorial Center, located in the museum district (Fort Worth Cultural District).
The Northside is not within walking distance from The T&P Lofts but is a short drive to the north (4 miles). Some residents take the 3.5-mile walk up Main Street to dine at Joe T Garcia’s on Sunday mornings. After one or two Margaritas they generally choose to Uber home :-). Now that TexRail connects The T&P to The Northside Station the stockyards area is very conveniently accessed by T&P residents. The Northside Station is less than 1 mile from most stockyards destinations and you can walk from the Northside Station (although the route is not quite pedestrian-friendly yet) or bring your bike on the TexRail and cycle from the station to the stockyards. There are also 2 bus routes with a 30-minute frequency connecting Northside Station to North Main Street. This route is still a bit tricky because to return by bus you’ll have to take the northbound route 12 or 14 from North Main Street back to the Northside Station.
There are a few events each year where residents and their canine friends get together for a picnic in one of the courtyards or Halloween costume contests. Dogs can be walked in the grassy area on the east side of the mid-rise or in front of the T&P Condos in the large grassy lawn with the Al Hayne Monument. There are cleanup stations at each location.
Immediately to the South of the T&P Lofts is the former site of one of Fort Worth’s most celebrated buildings and most infamous tragedies. The Texas Spring Palace. Built in 1889 as a regional immigration and agricultural fair. The Spring Palace was an architectural wonder, built entirely of native wood and textiles. It drew visitors from around the world to view exhibits from over fifty Texas counties. After only one year of astounding success, the pride of Fort Worth caught on fire and burned to the ground in a matter of minutes. A British citizen and Fort Worth resident named Al Hayne rescued many from the fire (almost 9,000 were inside the building at a dance when the fire erupted). After saving so many, Al Hayne was taken to nearby John Peter Smith hospital where he soon died as a result of burns suffered during his heroic acts. Al Hayne was the only person to lose their lives in the tragic fire. The citizens honored Mr. Hayne with a monument that now stands in front of The T&P Lofts on Lancaster Avenue.
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