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M/WBE consultant selected for Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Development first phase

Posted July 20, 2020

rendering of areas
Cowan Place, to be built south of East Rosedale Street between Andrew Avenue and Stalcup Road, will be a community of one- and two-bedroom units tailored for seniors.

Fort Worth Housing Solutions has selected dlb Consultants of Arlington to provide construction support consulting services for the first phase of Cowan Place, a senior living community that will kick off residential development for the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative.

The Arlington-based firm, led by founder Demetria Bivens, will create, direct, implement and manage the Section 3 and Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) program for the community of one- and two-bedroom units tailored for seniors. Cowan Place will be built south of East Rosedale Street between Andrew Avenue and Stalcup Road. Its name honors early Stop Six settlers Alonzo and Sarah Cowan, who donated land for the community’s first church. Construction is expected to begin in March 2021.

McCormack Baron Salazar (MBS), a nationally-recognized developer of economically-integrated neighborhoods, will manage dlb Consultants’ Cowan Place work in its role as the partner for the housing portion of the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Transformation Plan. MBS also is managing the work of general contractor Block Companies of Baton Rouge, La., and Bennett Benner Partners, the Fort Worth-based architect of record.

Fort Worth Housing Solutions and the City of Fort Worth, as co-recipients of a U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant, are required to provide employment, contracting and other economic opportunities to low- and very-low income persons and to businesses that provide economic opportunities to low- and very-low income persons.

“Fort Worth Housing Solutions is thrilled to have dlb Consultants on board for the first phase of our Stop Six Choice Neighborhood development,” President Mary-Margaret Lemons said. “We are committed to ensuring that women and minority-owned businesses and community residents participate in this transformational initiative that promises to drive new economic activity in one of our city’s historic communities.”

HUD awarded Fort Worth a $35 million Choice Neighborhood Implementation grant in April to replace the obsolete Cavile Place public housing community in Stop Six and to seed new residential and other economic development in the area. The transformation plan for the community calls for almost 1,000 new residential units developed in six phases of walkable, mixed-income developments and a community hub that provides central access to essential services, such as recreational outlets, early learning programs and job training programs, among others.

dlb Consultants previously provided M/WBE consulting services for the renovation and restoration of the historic Statler Hotel and Residences in downtown Dallas, for Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport’s Integrated Operations Center, and for the Texas Live! Development in Arlington’s entertainment district. The firm also provided onsite safety consulting services for Parkland Health & Hospital System’s Outpatient 2 Clinic.

dlb’s team for the Cowan Place development includes Tonya Veasey, CEO and founder of Open Channels Group, and Jonathan Morrison, president of Be Leveraged, both of Fort Worth. Veasey’s firm will assist with communications and outreach for the M/WBE effort, while Morrison will amplify outreach and community networking efforts to achieve the Section 3 participation goals for the project, Bivens said.

Fort Worth City Councilmember Gyna Bivens grew up in Stop Six and represents the neighborhood today. She is not related to Demetria Bivens.

“I am delighted that a local team has been selected to engage minority- and women-owned businesses in this first phase of our neighborhood’s transformation,” Bivens said. “dlb Consultants is recognized nationally for its expertise in M/WBE stewardship. With the firm’s Fort Worth partners, we can be sure that Stop Six residents will be aware of opportunities available under HUD’s Section 3 Program so that they benefit from the jobs and businesses this initiative will bring.”

Demetria Bivens said that Fort Worth businesses and residents are “eager to understand how to get involved in this historic development.”

“We are working with the general contractor to make sure firms get pre-qualified so there are no barriers to their engagement,” Demetria Bivens said, citing opportunities for contractors, subcontractors and apprentices in the areas of mechanical, electrical and plumbing trades, for example. “We are actively looking for people who work in the community and who live in Fort Worth. We want to leave this community better than it was before, and part of that is making sure that community members are hired for this work.”

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