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Historic W.T. Waggoner Building to become newest downtown hotel

Posted Oct. 14, 2019

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the W.T. Waggoner Building
The W.T. Waggoner Building was originally built for William Thomas Waggoner, owner of the Waggoner Ranch.

One of downtown Fort Worth’s most iconic buildings is getting a new owner and a new purpose in the community, while still preserving its historic charm.

The W.T. Waggoner Building, 810 Houston St., is set to become the new Sandman Signature Hotel —– the second hotel of its kind in the United States. Sandman Signature is owned by Canada-based Northland Properties.

This project will add another full-service hotel to downtown Fort Worth’s growing lineup, which will help support bigger and better events at the city’s major event venues like the Fort Worth Convention Center. Furthermore, the move aligns with the city’s Economic Development Strategic Plan, which calls for accelerating downtown Fort Worth’s growth into one of the state’s premier mixed-use business districts.

What was old is new again

The W.T. Waggoner Building was originally built in 1920 and was one of the tallest buildings in the southwestern United States at the time of its completion. Architecturally, it is known for its ornate entrance lobby, as well as its vaulted banking lobby and elevator hall.

The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was most recently used as office space by XTO Energy before being purchased last year by Northland Properties, owners of the Dallas Stars NHL team.

The 20-story building is set to undergo a renovation as it transitions from offices into a hotel that will boast a minimum of 240 rooms and 1,500 square feet of meeting space. As part of this effort, Northland has requested assistance with up to $8 million in costs for public improvements associated with the project, such as landscaping, utilities and historical preservation and restoration.

These public improvements will be reimbursed by the city’s Lancaster Tax Incremental Financing District (TIF), contingent upon certain performance requirements that must be met by the hotel. The TIF reimbursement will not kick in until the hotel has been fully operational for two years, and it outperforms its financial projections, the amount reimbursed from the TIF will be reduced.

“We’re thrilled that Northland Properties is committed to preserving such an iconic Fort Worth building,” said Robert Sturns, director of economic development for the City of Fort Worth. “This project celebrates Fort Worth’s past while still supporting the current and future growth of downtown, and we look forward to the Sandman Signature Hotel being part of our growing community.”

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