FWSI was organized in 1996 to implement a strategic plan for revitalizing the area commonly known at that time as the Medical District. At that time, conditions in the area had deteriorated as a result of decades of disinvestment, and local leaders united to turn things around. As with almost all American cities, the fifty years following World War II saw the vast majority of investment go to newly developed areas at the edge of the city. By the early 1990s, Fort Worth’s central city was in disrepair, and many sections of the Near Southside were dominated by dilapidated buildings, struggling businesses, and few remaining residents.
The 1995 Strategic Plan was prepared by Sasaki Associates and was sponsored by a coalition of public and private stakeholders, including the City of Fort Worth, the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, and the district’s major hospitals. To implement the strategic plan, FWSI pursues the following mission and goals.
Mission: Promote the redevelopment of Fort Worth’s Near Southside as a vibrant, urban, mixed-use neighborhood.
Goals: Through all of our initiatives, FWSI pursues five primary goals:
1. Increase public awareness of the Near Southside, so as to…
- Attract new residents and new residential development
- Support the growth of the district’s existing businesses and institutions
- Attract new businesses to the Near Southside
2. Assist all private and public development projects that advance the district’s mixed-use, urban vision.
3. Sponsor or support special events and networking events that attract visitors to the area and strengthen community ties among Near Southside businesses and residents.
4. Provide information and resources that assist all types of Near Southside stakeholders.
5. Partner with the City and other community organizations to advance educational initiatives, public policies, and community programs that foster a revitalized and safe central city.