Imagine you’ve worked hard for decades, saved for retirement, and you’re beginning to enjoy your golden years. But you soon realize that the large home and lawn that served you well while raising a family are too big to maintain in this new season. What’s next?
For many people, the answer is an independent living center. It sounds like a great solution on paper—a smaller space with others in the same stage of life. But too often, retirement homes are located away from city centers in clinical buildings, resulting in isolation. Few activities on site or nearby can prohibit friends and family from visiting and make it difficult to enjoy treasured pastimes.
It sounds more like a nightmare than the American dream.
The Harden is Fort Worth’s solution, offering a premier living community for active seniors located at the historic Public Market.
Wilks Development purchased the building in 2015 and knew they wanted to preserve the historic charm but was still dreaming of the Public Market’s possibilities. When senior living was suggested, they immediately knew they’d hit on an ideal purpose for the space.
“As we considered the best use for this iconic building, we recognized an opportunity to create a vibrant, active senior living community that would not only provide exceptional accommodations but also foster a strong sense of community and engagement,” said Jess Green, Senior VP of Wilks Development.
While there is a time when life needs to be simplified, that doesn’t have to mean isolation and idleness. The Harden will provide an exciting alternative to how retirement is traditionally approached.
An event space, restaurants, and retail will also be located at the Public Market, drawing visitors of all ages. TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium, the Fort Worth Zoo, and the Trinity River are all close by, meaning residents will have many ways to make the most of this new season.
“With the baby boomer generation reaching retirement age, there is a growing demand for modern and fulfilling living options,” said Jess Green, Senior VP of Wilks Development. “We saw this as a chance to enhance the lives of seniors and contribute to the overall well-being of the city’s residents.“
The building’s new purpose reflects not only Wilks Development’s core values but also its commitment to preserving Fort Worth’s heritage. “By revitalizing this historic space, we are contributing to the revitalization of the entire area, attracting visitors, businesses, and organizations that will breathe new life into the area.” Green continued: “Our plans reflect the broader need for revitalizing historic spaces, as we believe that preserving and repurposing iconic buildings not only honors our heritage but also enhances the overall quality of life for the city and its people.”
The Harden’s 200 apartments are centrally located between downtown, the Near Southside’s Medical District, and Fort Worth’s museums, which is a reflection of the Public Market’s original purpose. Back in the late 1920s, the streets were crowded with farmers and makers selling wares from their wagons. When the Public Market opened, they had a central place to gather, and shoppers had one spot to find what they needed.
Baby Boomers, some of whom are old enough to have seen the Public Market before it became vacant, have had the most time to appreciate this architectural gem. “While we know people of all ages appreciate its rich heritage, I do believe seniors, in particular, will find great pride in residing at a location that holds such deep meaning to Fort Worth,” said Green.