Medical facilities provide jobs, foot traffic, vibrancy to neighborhood
The prognosis is positive: Six major health-care facilities in the Near Southside Medical District contribute more than $4 billion to the Fort Worth economy each year.
The medical district is a key element of Near Southside, a mixed-use neighborhood just south of downtown Fort Worth with apartments, town homes, restaurants, pubs, live music, theater and a range of businesses. Six health-care campuses anchor the neighborhood: Baylor All Saints Medical Center, Cook Children’s Medical Center, JPS Health Network, Montcrief Cancer Institute, Plaza Medical Center and Texas Health Harris Methodist. In addition, there are many clinics and medical offices.
Total employment in Near Southside is 30,000 people, with 25,000 linked to health care.
“Even when the national economy was poor, our medical district provided stability to Fort Worth,” says Paul Paine, president of Fort Worth South Inc., a private nonprofit development company formed in 1995 to revitalize Near Southside. “The medical district continues to grow, and therefore employment continues to grow.”
Close to Home
Paine says many people are choosing to both work and live in Near Southside, thanks to an increase of residential opportunities. The district is surrounded by four historic neighborhoods – Berkeley, Fairmount, Mistletoe Heights and Ryan Place – and a 170-unit upscale apartment complex called The Phoenix opened in 2013. The HighPointe (227 units) and Lang Partners Apartments (332 units) are under contract to be constructed beginning in 2015.
“We are steadily achieving residential density to support more shops, wine bars, music venues and restaurants that we’d like to further attract to this district,” Paine says.
One Near Southside resident who lives near her medical office is Lili Meisamy, a doctor of osteopathy at North Texas Clinical Trials on Magnolia Avenue. Meisamy often walks or rides her bicycle to work from her home in Mistletoe Heights.
“My husband, Josh, and I often walk to restaurants and music venues, and Josh is even developing a Ground Rehearsals music studio in the district,” Meisamy says. “Also, I used to work in architecture and enjoy the look of Near Southside. We have kids, and it’s a great place to raise a family.”
Relish the Flavor
Besides the medical district, Near Southside houses companies like Dannon, Justin Boot Outlet, Vandervoort Dairy and Williamson Dickie, and residents and workers have access to a variety of independent restaurants like Cat City Grill, Ellerbe Fine Foods, Lili’s Bistro, Nonna Tata, Yucatan Taco Stand and Magnolia Cheese Co.
“There is an energy developing, and I specifically wanted to establish my business in Near Southside ever since I started looking for a location in 2012,” says Elizabeth Northern, owner of Magnolia Cheese Co., a cheese shop and cafe on Magnolia Avenue. “The businesses in Near Southside are bringing fresh ideas and an excitement to the area, all feeding off the vibrant medical district.”