In 2009, Omni Hotels (TRT Holdings) completed the construction of a 614-room hotel in the downtown area of Fort Worth, Texas. The project broke ground in late 2005 and the hotel was opened to public in January 2009.
Omni negotiated with the City of Fort Worth to build the new property adjacent to the Fort Worth Convention Center (on two blocks of city-owned land, west of the convention centre) and received approximately $50m in incentives towards the cost of construction.
Omni built the $170m, 34-storey, Texas-themed hotel with 68,000ft² of meeting space (6,500ft² of outside meeting space), two restaurants, a ballroom, an underground 550-space car parking garage and 89 luxury apartments (condominiums) on the top storeys of the building. These luxury apartments feature unobstructed views, large private balconies, a rooftop garden terrace and VIP services. There is also a host of other luxury amenities befitting a five-star hotel.
Following a $75m renovation and expansion, the Fort Worth Convention Center opened in May 2003. City officials stated that a hotel was required because, despite the convention centre’s renovation, Fort Worth was losing convention business to other cities.
The deal required Omni to lease the site from the city for $10,000 a year for nine years. It could then buy the land for $1m after ten years and sell the hotel after three years of operation.
Accommodation at Omni Fort Worth
The hotel has a total of 614 guestrooms, categorised as 369ft² deluxe rooms, premiere rooms, 690ft² stately suites, 1,276ft² luxury suites, 864ft² hospitality suites, 1,825ft² Omni suites and 1,636ft² presidential suites.
Guestrooms feature luxury bedding with natural linen and saddle blankets, a mini bar, a coffee maker, plush terry bathrobes and an electronic safe. In addition, all rooms have dual-line telephones, on-demand movies facility and Wi-Fi access.
The hotel also houses the Mokara Spa, which offers a complete range of treatments.
Meeting and conference facilities
The Omni Fort Worth Hotel has 29 meeting rooms with a total space of 68,000ft².
The largest meeting room is 18,788ft² in area. There is a 9,576ft² Fort Worth ballroom and 6,500ft² of outdoor space.
The hotel also has a 400,000ft² convention centre that houses a 28,000ft² ballroom. The meeting rooms are equipped with sophisticated audiovisual equipment.
Dining at Omni Fort Worth
The Omni Fort Worth has two restaurants overlooking the Fort Worth Water Gardens. They include the 150-seater Bob’s Steak and Chop House, and the Cast Iron restaurant, which offers local Southern-style ingredients. A Starbucks coffee shop is also present.
Omni will receive incentives from the City of Fort Worth including:
- $29.8m in city rebates and funding, mainly through hotel and sales taxes collected at the hotel over ten years. This includes $6m for a 400-space garage to go under the hotel and be paid for with reserve funds. Previous plans called for an above-ground garage that would have been shared by the city and Omni
- $16.9m in state rebates from hotel and sales taxes generated by the hotel in its first ten years
- $1.8m in refunded county property taxes generated by the hotel in its first ten years. No school taxes would be used
- a ten-year catering contract for convention centre events.
In return for the incentives, Omni will award a portion of its contracts to minority and women-owned businesses and a share of new jobs to Fort Worth residents. Additionally, as many as 80% of the hotel rooms could be set aside for future conventions.
Design of the Omni Fort Worth
The design of the Omni Fort Worth Hotel consists of a masonry base with an L-shaped masonry and glass tower rising out of it. A taller, boat-shaped glass section also rises out of the base. On the upper floors of this section there are 89 condominiums. The building has three levels of underground parking.
The Omni Fort Worth Hotel was designed by architect HOK of Dallas. The design features an 18,000ft grand ballroom and a 10,000ft junior ballroom and associated pre-function spaces on the second level, defined by intricate window walls overlooking the convention centre and the neighbouring Water Garden.
Additional meeting rooms and breakout spaces are located on the third level along with the hotel’s spa, fitness centre and outdoor pool. The banquet, meeting and pre-function spaces total 68,000ft². Twelve floors of rooms sit on top of the hotel podium. To break up the length of the hotel corridors, the room floor plan is in the shape of a curved L, with the vertical circulation in the centre.
Level 16 begins the luxury condominiums, with a separate fitness centre, a community room and an outdoor pool.
The typical condominium floor plan is 10,000ft² with five units per floor, each with its own balcony. The 20 floors of condominiums are clad in a glass curtain wall with deep vertical exterior mullions. The glass curtain wall extends through the hotel room block, and the continuity of the curtain wall and vertical mullions accentuates the tower’s height, serving as an identifiable icon in the city’s skyline. The hotel is 507ft high and the building’s construction used native hardwoods and natural stone.
Austin Commercial was the general contractor, LopezGarcia Group was the civil engineer and Walter P Moore was the structural engineer for the Omni Fort Worth Hotel.
Blum Consulting Engineers was responsible for the mechanical electrical plumbing and fire protection engineering, and Looney & Associates was the interior designer.