A rendering of PS1200 shows eight Quonset-hut style apartments consisting of 83 percent recycled steel scrap​. Courtesy of Marlon Blackwell Architects.

Aug. 4, 2021

A high-end vegan restaurant, retail shops and offices and a leafy public space, crowned by silvery Quonset-hut apartments with 20-foot glass walls, are the calling cards of PS1200, an inventive mix of dwellings and commercial space now under construction at 1200 Sixth Avenue on Fort Worth’s near Southside. 

The design incorporates a number of environmentally friendly features within both the buildings and the landscaping.

Developed by Detroit’s Prince Concepts and designed by Arkansas-based Marlon Blackwell Architects, the complex will present a bare-metal, industrial vibe with eight apartments, up to seven office spaces, one gallery/retail unit, a vegan donuts-and-ice-cream parlor and a 2,200-square-foot gourmet-vegan bistro operated by the founders of Spiral Diner & Bakery, the venerated Fort Worth vegan restaurant. The buildings will be set in an 8,000-square-foot park that will be open to the public. Many of the project’s innovative features first saw light in previous Prince Concepts projects.

“Like our past developments in Core City, Detroit, PS1200 focuses resources on efficiency, sustainability and cost-effectiveness in order to prioritize public green space,” said Prince Concepts President Philip Kafka. “PS1200 and [Detroit’s] Caterpillar [project] use Quonset huts consisting of 83 percent recycled steel scrap and comply with recycled content and regional materials requirements outlined under the materials and resources key performance category of LEED rating systems.”

PS1200 PlazaPS1200 features a 8,000-square-foot public plaza. Courtesy of Marlon Blackwell Architects.

The public park, created by landscape architect Julie Bargmann of D.I.R.T. studios in collaboration with Studio Outside landscape architects, will be planted with water-stingy indigenous vegetation, and is intended to be “a place of repose and gathering,” said architect Marlon Blackwell. The Quonset huts that the park will envelop were intentionally selected for their functional value. Blackwell notes that their likeness to a nearby landmark is not a coincidence.

“The design elevates something prosaic and humble into something noble, while invoking the rhythm and iconic shapes of the Kimbell Art Museum. At an elemental level, PS1200 composes the form of an arch in plan and section, creating unique spaces for work and play,” he said. 

PS1200 East sideAbove, east-facing windows of the residential units. Courtesy of Marlon Blackwell Architects.

West-facing sides of the residential units and offices will benefit from sunlight-blocking shaded porches. A towering window-wall, anchoring one end of each 1,100-square-foot apartment, might suggest thermal management challenges, but Blackwell disagrees. 

“The structures are designed to minimize solar heat gain.” 

Additional green features could be in the cards, he added. 

“There are ongoing conversations to incorporate solar panels above the parking structures, and electric [car] charging spots.” 

The residents and tenants of PS1200 will need to eat, and Amy McNutt will be ready to feed them and all others seeking an epicurean-grade vegan meal. McNutt, the founder of Spiral Diner, will launch PS1200’s Maiden: Fine Plants and Spirits as a more upscale establishment. 

PS1200 construction July 2021The PS1200 development rises at 1200 Sixth Ave. in south Fort Worth in this July 19 photo. Photo by John Kent.

“This is an idea we've been dreaming of for a few years and are excited to see it come to life,” McNutt told GSDFW food writer Andrew Ridout, who will be profiling the new venues. “There's nothing like this in DFW and we are ready to show folks that you don't have to use animals to create an impressive fine-dining experience.” 

Fine wines and “fancy cocktails” will underscore the upscale atmosphere, and one of the restaurant’s goals is to “present every plate as an edible work of art.” Next door, McNutt will open Dreamboat Donuts and Scoops, a diet-free zone which she describes as “an all-vegan space where you can put ice cream on your donut.” 

PS1200 is scheduled for completion in 2022. 


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