100-Year-Old Landmark Church is Reimagined as a Project That Will Become Home to Families in The Historic Central Fort Worth Neighborhood This Month

December 10, 2021

100-Year-Old Landmark Church is Reimagined as a Project That Will Become Home to Families in The Historic Central Fort Worth Neighborhood This Month  

Official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Invites Key Fort Worth Leaders and Neighborhood Supporters to Celebrate the new Mixed-Income Community Unveiling of Cielo Place 

DALLAS/FORT WORTH, Texas (December 10, 2021) — Saigebrook Development and Accolade Property Management announced today the official unveiling of a project of historical and community significance — Cielo Place at 3111 Race Street in Fort Worth. This mixed-income housing community in Central Fort Worth is a new expansion and reimagination of the historic Riverside Baptist Church, initially designed and built by architects Easterwood and Easterwood in 1924 and expanded in 1951 and 1958.

Over the decades, the building has played an essential role within the community. The newest iteration, Cielo Place, is a residential community consisting of more than 90 units and fully furnished clubhouse spaces including a community room, business center, leasing offices, fitness center, cyber lounge, and outdoor spaces inclusive of a playground, community pocket parks, gathering spaces, and bicycle parking. The official opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of Cielo Place will take place on December 16 at 10 am in the renovated sanctuary and include remarks from Texas State Representative Ramon Romero, District 9 City Councilmember Elizabeth M. Beck, investor partners, and project leadership. 

The journey from the vision of redevelopment to opening the doors of Cielo Place was lengthy, but Saigebrook Development and consultant, O-SDA Industries, took painstaking steps to uphold the historical significance of the building and ensure its continued legacy in the neighborhood. From the last-ever church service for Christmas Eve 2018 to achieving a historic designation through the National Register for Historic Places in late 2020, the community has supported the project, becoming advocates for preserving the landmark buildings and ensuring this beloved structure survived. The project has been met with open arms by residents who feared the historic significance would be wiped out and replaced by expensive housing or office buildings. Instead, this affordable housing development marks a significant shift for a neighborhood that’s faced climbing housing costs, pricing out many who have lived in the area for decades.

When asked about the journey of the historic building and its exciting unveiling, Lisa Stephens, Owner and President of Saigebrook Development said, “Cielo Place provided a unique opportunity to preserve history while creating new opportunities for the community. A lot of hard work and care went into the development plan and it presented a variety of learning opportunities for our team. As we peeled back the layers of this building—painstakingly preserving and restoring the woodwork, stained glass windows, light fixtures, and structural components—we also peeled back layers of history and learned so much about the history of this church, and the community that has gathered here over the years. It is an honor for us to continue the legacy of that community, and to build a new mixed income community where 91 families can call the Riverside Baptist Church home.”

Cielo Place will consist of 91 total units with a mix of studio (550 sq ft); one-bedroom, one bath (650sq ft); two-bedroom, two-bath (850 sq ft); and three-bedroom, two-bath (1050 sq ft) options. Saigebrook Development tapped Miller-Slayton Architects and Interior Design firm Ink & Oro to preserve and maintain the integrity of the stunning historical architecture and design and infuse it with modern amenities. Many small and intentional elements were kept and restored throughout the building to harken back to its original purpose and design. The thoughtfully preserved design elements include the church’s original stained glass windows, even within the residential units, light fixtures, classroom numbers, and exterior facade.

As a centerpiece for the community’s common area, several rows of pews from the original sanctuary, the original altar and baptismal, along with the stained-glass window behind it are untouched. Cielo Place will make the clubhouse available for neighborhood requests and needs – continuing to invite the neighborhood into this little piece of heaven. The excitement and pent-up demand is palpable as Accolade Property Management pre-leased 100 percent of the building in about 60 days, showing the need for affordable housing is critical in this neighborhood.

Saigebrook Development, O-SDA Industries, Accolade Property Management, City Officials, and community members will celebrate the project’s official unveiling with a special groundbreaking ceremony, ribbon cutting, and light brunch on December 16 at 10 am. Special guests, members of the press, and community friends are invited to attend!

For more information, confirm your attendance at the groundbreaking, or to set up interviews with Saigebrook Development or O-SDA Industries, contact Holland Sanders at holland@hollandcollective.co.

ABOUT Saigebrook Development and O-SDA Industries: 

The award-winning teams at Saigebrook Development, LLC and O-SDA Industries, LLC create exceptional affordable housing developments that serve the local workforce while also providing options for market rate rental units within each community. Saigebrook, established in 1999 and partnered with O-SDA Industries since 2011, is a  WBE- and HUB-certified real estate development firm that has built more than 6,000 mixed-income housing units across the southeastern United States.