Between 2000 and 2017, Fort Worth was one of the fastest-growing large cities in the US. Furthermore, the city has cultivated a unique identity and brand, combining rich cultural heritage with an economy driven by industry-leading employers. Fort Worth achieved this success without a comprehensive, citywide approach for economic development. Without a focused business development effort, residential development has dominated Fort Worth’s recent growth. As a result, other communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area continue to capture high-profile business expansion projects that have eluded Fort Worth.
The City of Fort Worth engaged TIP Strategies to create its first-ever economic development strategic plan. Structured around a bold vision—positioning the city to compete on the national and international stage for creative, high-growth businesses and talented individuals—the plan focused on strategies that offered tangible and measurable outcomes. Recommendations were driven by a comprehensive analysis of the city’s position in the regional economy and its competitive advantages relative to peers. The resulting strategies addressed how to channel future development into specific districts, generate higher income levels and capital investment, strengthen the local tax base, support the city’s growing small business community, and create a more attractive environment for companies and skilled workers. Aligning creative assets (including the arts community, tech entrepreneurs, and the Near Southside Medical Innovation District) to establish the city as a hub for creative people and businesses was a major emphasis of the work. In addition, the plan recommended strategies for enhancing the city’s quality of place, with an emphasis on supporting and accelerating downtown Fort Worth’s emergence as a premier mixed-use business district.