FORT WORTH (BP) — Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary accepted a non-binding agreement for an $11 million acquisition of 15 acres of the B.H. Carroll Park property from the Fort Worth Housing Finance Corporation, the housing development arm of the City of Fort Worth, during the Fort Worth City Council meeting on Feb. 28, Interim President David S. Dockery announced today.
“This agreement with the City of Fort Worth to move forward with its purchase of 15 acres of the Carroll Park property is not only welcome news for Southwestern Seminary, it is the next chapter in a 115-year partnership between the seminary and the city we call home,” Dockery said.
Mayor Mattie Parker said in comments provided to the seminary, “I am grateful for the historic partnership between Southwestern Seminary and the City of Fort Worth. The seminary’s commitment to serving our city has been made even more clear in the work it has taken to make this project possible.”
The partnership includes the City of Fort Worth and two primary non-profit organizations who will manage the project, One Safe Place and Samaritan House, with support from other philanthropic organizations including the Rainwater, Morris, Amon Carter, and Sid Richardson foundations, and the Paulos Foundation. The city plans to use the property to provide housing for 140 vulnerable families, including victims of domestic violence, and homeless members of the community.
“We are overjoyed that this property so many seminary families have called home over the decades can now be used to meet a critical need in our city—housing for the most vulnerable among us, including families experiencing homelessness,” Dockery said. “We remain committed to ensuring a smooth transition for our students who are still living at Carroll Park as we work with the City and other partners to finalize this historic transaction.”
Dockery noted plans to sell the property, which were announced at the seminary’s October 2022 board of trustee meeting, have been under consideration for a number of years. He said other housing on the main campus can better accommodate the needs of the institution than the Carroll Park property, which is not contiguous with the campus.
Since the board of trustee meeting, campus leadership has met in town hall meetings with Carroll Park residents to address questions and provide information for student housing.
In a press release from the city, Parker called the project a “perfect example” of Fort Worth’s “commitment to families and ensuring every child has the support they need to be successful.”
“As we face a crisis of family homelessness across the country, we are fortunate in Fort Worth to have nonprofit and philanthropic partners that are committed to working alongside the city to ensure we are investing in the needed housing and services for our most vulnerable,” Parker said.