City of Fort Worth gives final approval for Carroll Park purchase

Carroll Park

The Fort Worth City Council and its Housing Finance Corporation gave final approval on Aug. 22 for an $11 million purchase of the remaining 15 acres of the Carroll Park Apartments, previously used for student housing at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

“I’m grateful for these actions and for the opportunity Southwestern has to partner with the City of Fort Worth to address the housing crisis in our city,” said President David S. Dockery. 

“From the earliest conversations about the sale of Carroll Park, we were seeking an opportunity that could meet both the financial needs of the seminary and the future needs of our community,” added Dockery. “Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Parker, the support of Councilwoman Beck and the rest of the council, the diligent work of seminary representatives, and the commitment of community partners, we believe the city’s plan to use the Carroll Park property to address Fort Worth’s affordable housing crisis does just that. We look forward to continuing our work with the city to finalize this sale.”

The city’s actions represent the next step in the process after the sale was announced in the spring and comes after months of seminary officials working closely with the city and other partners to finalize the details of the sale.

In her remarks to the city council Tuesday, Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker thanked Dockery, seminary staffer Colby Adams, and the seminary’s board of trustees for their “patience in this project.” 

Parker said affordable housing in the city “has been a topic of concern for every single council member” and expressed appreciation for seminary leadership who “recognize that rather than attacking affordable housing the traditional way we have we had to think differently about this.”

 Parker said the city will be working “closely” with residents from all districts and beyond and “hope[s] to involve the private sector and philanthropy around this opportunity.”

In October 2022, Dockery told the board of trustees the seminary had received several offers for the Carroll Park property, which is not contiguous with the main campus, and has been evaluating for several years the “campus footprint and its optimal use.” While the 200-acre campus is a blessing, it also “presents significant challenges. For this institution to have a sustainable business model, we must reduce our campus footprint and the resource commitment it takes to maintain it.”

With the purchase of the property, rather than being limited to use as permanent supportive housing, the city’s new plan for this tract of land is to assign it to a community land trust to provide an opportunity to address the housing crisis in Fort Worth more broadly. 

With the city’s approval, the seminary will proceed to finalize the contract for the property with the goal of closing the sale this fall. Together with the earlier sale of a five-acre portion of Carroll Park, the total purchase price for the property will be $14.225 million.