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FORT WORTH-With nearly eight million sf of office and industrial space to oversee, the city’s facilities director this week will take the first step toward hiring a consultant to manage a team for a portfolio review. If all goes as planned, the city’s first comprehensive building study will begin in early 2006 and set the stage for recommendations on hot-button issues like a new city hall.

“We are laying the groundwork to identify what we need,” Gregory Simmons, the city’s facilities’ director, tells GlobeSt.com, “to see which solution makes the best sense and how do we pay for it.” He has one more sign-off to secure, but he’s hoping to float the first proposal Thursday. The plan is to have the consultant on board in September, the lead-in for a second proposal aimed at hiring a full-service team, possibly a brokerage house, by yearend.

Simmons says the goal is to start the assessment in early 2006. He estimates it will take six months after the team’s seated before any recommendations will be available.

Mayor Mike Moncrief preliminarily has discussed the relocation of city hall functions to the Lancaster Street post office complex as a catalyst for redevelopment on the southern edge of the CBD. “But it’s a much bigger question than that,” Simmons says. “That’s why we’re taking a comprehensive approach.”

In early June, Moncrief set up community advisory committee to map out the process for the facilities’ study, which will be intensely focused on city hall space needs. Simmons says the methodical review is being modeled after a process used by RadioShack Corp. before it undertook its headquarters project along the Trinity River.

Simmons estimates about six million sf of the portfolio is office, events and industrial space. The balance is made up of properties like water towers, park shelters and pump houses. And though the convention center and Will Rogers Coliseum have their own long-range plans in motion, Simmons says the in-depth look will include both event halls.

Fort Worth City Hall, built in 1970, is a 220,000-sf footprint on nearly two acres in Downtown. The building, situated at 1000 Throckmorton St., has one underground level of office space and a bi-level atrium that takes up a significant portion of the first and second floors.

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