Perhaps one of the most unique characteristics of Haltom City is the Belknap corridor, a state road that runs through the southern part of Haltom City and connects directly with downtown Fort Worth. Because the major highways didn’t exist yet, many of the earliest businesses along Belknap were built to capitalize on the post World War II surge in travel and on the suburban growth of the area. Today there is a mix of businesses that range from a unique Farmer’s Market to International restaurants and grocery stores. Belknap is becoming a point of destination for people outside the city to eat and to shop. Through its distribution of sophisticated goods and services, and its strategic geographic location, Belknap is a getaway to far-flung markets.
After several years of hard work, Haltom City officials have created the Envision Belknap Project – a redevelopment effort to transform the corridor into a buffed up, pedestrian-friendly destination spot. The goal is to create a high-density, mixed-use environment. The vision for Belknap is creating a stir as several new projects have been announced for the area.
The Envision Belknap Revitalization Plan was developed by a team of city officials, stake holders and consultants with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. and Townscapes Inc. The plan includes miles of hike and bike trails on either side of Belknap Street, a 100-foot set-back along the road that will create an alternative route for retail shoppers, and new landscaping along both sides of the street. Along with aesthetics, Envision Belknap also identifies a development code for the area to help shape future development, such as building exterior requirements.
Utilizing Smartcodes, the plan will allow a variety of housing types among commercial and retail development. The plan encourages pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods served by commercial centers, pocket parks and public spaces. There are districts focused on retail, the arts and international business.
Incentives that are offered include a $10,000 façade improvement grant for existing businesses and a $50,000 infrastructure grant for new developments. Redevelopment has been further enhanced through new landscaping and the use of code enforcement. Recently, several buildings along Belknap have been razed, and the cleared land is already showing signs of new development. Major revitalization is being accomplished through the efforts of the Asian community, which has developed a handful of thriving commercial zones. A new 19,500- square-foot-retail development, My Lan Plaza, is currently being developed. Plans for the new center adhere to the setbacks and landscaping requests outlined in the proposed Smartcodes overlay district.
In addition to the 19,500 square foot retail center, other current business owners are also looking to take part, including one with plans for another retail center. It’s an early sign of what city officials were hoping for –a few new developments leading to the creation of more and more projects.
Envision Belknap creates three districts along the stretch of Belknap Street running through Haltom City: The Arts District, The Retail District and The International District. The Arts District is an area that includes the historic Haltom Theater and Farmers Market, along with the many pre-Wolrd War II buildings and their unique architecture. The International District emphasizes the existing asian businesses and all the development plans currently in the works. The Retail District runs along Belknap in-between the Arts and International Districts and makes up the core retail portion of the strip.
For more information on Envision Belknap, please contact the Haltom City Economic Development department at 817 222-7723 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Belknap corridor holds promise for Haltom City businesses and its residents. A re-development of the corridor is currently under consideration, and this video shows what is in store for the area.