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ACH has 'buyer interest' for Summit property, plans to demolish Print Shop building

A. Lee Graham
lgraham@bizpress.net

ACH Child and Family Services plans to demolish the historic Print Shop building on its Wichita Street campus and has confirmed buyer interest in its Summit Avenue property.

“We have not sold the Summit property, but we are in discussions with a potential buyer,” said Juan Faura, chief marketing officer with the Fort Worth organization, dedicated to protecting children from abuse and neglect.

Expanding those resources prompted the agency to request city approval to demolish the Print Building, built in 1931 for student use when the campus operated as the Fort Worth Masonic Home School.

Replacing the single-floor industrial building would be a new teen shelter building. It would feature the neo-Tudor design of existing campus buildings and bear similarities to the newer Andrews Welcome Center built in 2011, according to ACH’s certificate of appropriateness request submitted to the city.

At its June 9, 2014 regular meeting, the city’s Historic and Cultural Landmarks Commission approved the certificate request for demolition, while stipulating a 180-day delay to allow ACH time to find alternatives to razing the structure.

“The demolition delay cannot stop the demolition,” said Liz Casso, the city’s historic preservation officer. “It can only delay while ACH seeks alternatives for demolition.”

ACH plans no such delay, with the six-month waiting period expiring in November.

That’s when ACH plans to demolish the structure, which has been vacant and unused since 2005.

Several factors made using the existing building as a new teen shelter prohibitive, Faura said.

“The layout and condition of the building, coupled with the specific needs of the emergency youth shelter program, prohibited the existing building from being used, and for security and access issues, the new program needs to be at this location,” Faura said.

The shelter needed to be close to Wichita Street for after-hours access and security concerns, among other reasons, and the Print Building was the structure closest to the campus’ primary thoroughfare, according to the agency.

The teen shelter is currently at the ACH’s Summit Campus near downtown, which houses development offices, as well as the agency’s behavioral care and emergency youth shelter programs.

In addition to Wichita Street and Summit sites, the agency operates campuses at Wrigley Way in southwest Fort Worth and an Arlington office on West Pioneer Parkway.

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