Fort Worth councilmember Zim Zimmerman is at odds with the people behind the new Ridglea Theater again.
Most recently, he was in favor of the restoration of the now “highly significant endangered” building on the West Side. Bank of America had targeted the building for a retail outlet, but public outrage tainted the plan for the big bank. Jerry Shults, who owns the Gas Pipe regional chain of smoke shops, stepped in and bought the building, intent on returning it to its original ’40s-era glory. Shults hopes to have a grand re-opening in a couple of months. In a statement issued in December, 2010, Zimmerman said, “My council colleagues and I are excited about this venture and hope it is successful.”
The Ridglea received its “highly significant endangered” designation in January, 2011. But the building needs to be rezoned from “MU-1” low-intensity mixed use to “MU-1/HSE” low-intensity mixed use/highly significant endangered, and the hearing is set for tomorrow (Tuesday) beginning at 10 a.m. at city council chambers, 1000 Throckmorton St., where Zimmerman plans on raising hell to prevent the rezoning, according to Shults. The re-zoning is recommended for approval and, Shults said, is “supposed to be a rubber stamp … just a formality.”
Shults also said that Zimmerman is erroneously proclaiming that a forthcoming Gas Pipe on the site will be selling sex toys. Shults denies the claim.
“I think [Zimmerman] still wants the building to be torn down,” Shults said. “My goal is to save the building.”
Shults plans on asking neighbors who support the Ridglea’s conservation to attend the meeting tomorrow in a show of support. “It’s the wisest thing I can do to prevent [Zimmerman’s] shenanigans,” Shults said.
Calls to Zimmerman have not been returned.