FWHA Transforms Historic Building Into Affordable Housing

The Fort Worth Housing Authority has reopened The Knights of Pythias Lofts, an 18-unit, mixed-income multifamily housing reconstruction development in Fort Worth, Texas, as an affordable housing option for the downtown area.

Fort Worth, Texas—The Fort Worth Housing Authority has reopened The Knights of Pythias Lofts, an 18-unit, mixed-income multifamily housing reconstruction development in Fort Worth, Texas, as an affordable housing option for the downtown area.

“FWHA is proud to have played a major role in this process and is eager to continue to be a proactive partner in the revitalization of the eastern end of downtown by creating more affordable housing options for citizens who want to live in this area,” Brian Dennison, FWHA’s vice president of development and asset management, says. “Returning this beautiful structure to its former glory is an example of our commitment to stabilizing, strengthening and preserving neighborhoods in the City of Fort Worth.”

Located at 900 E. 2nd St., in the Hillside apartment area, the 13,228-square-foot development includes 10 affordable-rate and eight market-rate apartments.

“The existing historic Knights of Pythias building was constructed in 1925 and is located in the Rock Island Bottoms historic neighborhood,” Alice Sykes, public relations specialist for the Fort Worth Housing Authority, tells MHN. “The building was completed in 1925, and until 1947 it served as the Key West Lodge of the Knights of Pythias fraternal organization. It was also used by several businesses.”

According to Sykes, The Lofts will provide much needed affordable housing in the downtown area and will be located within walking distance to the central business district, which is the largest employment center in Fort Worth.

“This effort will redevelop a historic, but blighted building in the Hillside Apartments Community,” she says. “This is a tale of persistence, opportunity, patience and the successful collaboration of public and private partnerships.”

Two years ago, Hillside Public Facility Corporation, an affiliate of FWHA, purchased the building from Townsite Co., and purchased the adjacent lot from Downtown Fort Worth, Initiatives, an affiliate of Downtown Fort Worth Inc.

“DFWI is proud to have played a role in making this development happen,” Andy Taft, DFWI’s president, says. “Our goal of adding more affordable housing to downtown has reached another milestone in this partnership with the Housing Authority.”

The design of the new building will complement the historic design of the Knights of Pythias building. All units will feature an open floor plan with modern amenities.  Planned are 18 units and parking that includes 14 one-bedroom units and four two-bedroom units ranging from 550 to 850 square feet.

Financing for the Knights of Pythias reconstruction effort include Community Development Block Grant funding from the City of Fort Worth and a loan from Houston based CommunityBank of Texas. The total project cost is approximately $2.4 million.