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$58M redevelopment plan to bring new life to Fort Worth Public Market

Redevelopment plans for Fort Worth's Public Market
Redevelopment plans for Fort Worth's Public Market 02:51

FORT WORTH ( -- Nearly a century ago, the the Fort Worth Public Market opened on Henderson Street, just southwest of downtown. Built in 1930, it was a bustling attraction for people across the region.

Shortly after opening, however, The Great Depression crippled business. Since then it has sat mostly empty. Throughout the years, the building was threatened by the wrecking ball, but it is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today, the Spanish Colonial Revival-style building has its windows boarded up, and shows signs of decades of decay.

The Fort Worth Public Market today CBS News Texas

But that is all about to change. Fort Worth-based firm Wilks Development plans to bring new life to the historic building, with a groundbreaking ceremony taking place Tuesday.

"We really desire to have that sense of community when you walk in you're going to get the history of it," said Kyle Wilks, President and CEO of Wilks Development. "You're going to see the historic relevance of it but bring it into today's time and usefulness."

The $58 million renovation project will make room for small shops and cafes inside the old building. 

Rendering of the Fort Worth Public Market development Wilks Development

"We're going to keep its name as the Public Market and this is going to be a place for community so you can go in and grab a coffee, grab a drink you can hang out with your friends," Wilks said. 

Behind it will be a five-story senior living facility called The Harden, named for the property's original developer.

"You can have this place with ... different generations to come together, have discussions and sit down, talk," Wilks said. "That's our vision."

Rendering of the Fort Worth Public Market development Wilks Development

A vision to bring this public market back to the community, connecting downtown to the Southside in Fort Worth, and nearly a hundred years later, a new purpose.

"The day that will be the happiest is when we get these locks off these doors and open it up more," said Wilks.

The renovation will also add green space outside the market, to connect the various amenities.

Construction is expected to take about two years to complete.

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