Cowan Place is the first of six phases as part of the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative, a federally funded effort to bring better housing and services to the neighborhood. The first step was demolishing the iconic Cavile Place projects. The city will replace Cavile with a series of mixed-income apartment buildings.
Cowan is a $43 million senior living community down the street from the old Cavile site. It will offer 174 one- and two-bedroom apartments, as well as room for a library, theater, gym and salon. Leasing begins in 2023, and former Cavile residents will have the chance to move back.
Today it’s just an empty lot.
City officials, including Mayor Mattie Parker, wore hard hats as they shoveled a scoop of dirt on the site.
“I’m more excited about the future of Historic Stop Six more than ever, because I can see this being a catalyst of true opportunity and change for the better,” Parker said.
City Council member Gyna Bivens is a Stop Six native and is looking forward to the change. Right now, she said, some think of Stop Six as a place they don’t want to go.
“People will no longer have to just fly through because they are afraid. It is a community, always has been. Now we’ll have the infrastructure to prove that you can live here, too,” Bivens said.
Some former Cavile Place residents are concerned about people getting priced out of the neighborhood as new housing and amenities pop up. But Bivens said getting rid of blight is a necessary step.
“Would you have me leave the community bare as it is, and continue that deterioration?” she said.
Current residents are the first priority of this effort, according to Mary-Margaret Lemons, president of Fort Worth’s housing authority. It wants to build units based on the wants and needs of people who already live in Stop Six.
“We don’t want to do it for people or to people,” Lemons said. “We want to do it with people, because we’ve been here since 1954, when Cavile opened, and we’re going to be here for the next 80 years.”
The housing authority expects construction on Cowan Place to take about two years. The next construction phase, Hughes House, will begin in late spring or early summer of 2022, Lemons said.
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