By Dr. Brian Dixon|Oct 30, 2018
Dr. Brian Dixon of Fort Worth’s Together Forward is proposing Mindful @ Glenwood Park, a mixed-used business park intentionally designed for mental health patients and professionals.
Location: 1000 S Riverside Drive, southeast of downtown Fort Worth, TX (76104) and directly east of JPS Health System main campus
Together Forward has begun discussions with Hoefer Wysocki, a local north Texas architecture firm.
As founder of Fort Worth think tank Together Forward, I am proposing a plan for Mindful @ Glenwood Park (MAGP), the first business park in the country for behavioral health & wellness in the Historic Southside. This story began back in 2014, when I opened my own psychiatry practice called Progressive Psychiatry. As I searched for the right location for my practice, I struggled to find a space that reflected my best hopes for the well-being of my patients.
As it turns out, I wasn’t the only healthcare provider experiencing this. To date, all Fort Worth psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, therapists, and other agents of the healing arts (acupuncturists, naturopaths, etc.) practice in nondescript office buildings that do not reflect an environment of healing or wellness.
MAGP would be a cutting-edge space that is reinforced by intentional, nuanced design. The park would include medical offices and mixed-use environments to promote mental health and well-being as well as address the need for consumer access to these services. To explain the connection between architecture and wellness, we asked Haewon Kim-Labroad, Architect and Senior Healthcare Planner at DFW architecture firm Hoefer Wysocki, to explain.
“Design concepts that improve mental health might include access to nature and outdoor spaces to improve social and cognitive functioning; access to exercise and free movement areas to improve moods and well-being; integration of elements that encourage social interaction; and finally, enhance the quality of spaces to promote positive communication and interconnection. All these elements have been shown to elevate and improve mental health by reducing anxiety, stress, and depression while promoting a more positive lifestyle,” she says.
“These design concepts should be integrated in an unbiased manner, without the stigma traditionally linked to mental illness. Design should also be mindful of adjacency to provide a sense of safety. Consideration should also be given to flow to provide a sense of privacy and stress-free transitions from one area to another.”
At over 100,000 sq. ft., plans for MAGP include a first floor lobby, atrium, retail spaces for holistic/vegan food and apparel shops, as well as studios (e.g. yoga, fitness, massage, acupuncture, or chiropractic). The second floor would include an access controlled co-working space, incubator space, observation rooms, and conference rooms. The third and fourth floors would host offices for therapy, psychiatry, and substance use treatment. We are also proposing a lush Conscious Garden outside the facility where patrons can experience real time aromatherapy as they walk among thyme, rosemary, and lavender.
The entire design would be created with safety in mind, including the minimization of opportunities for self-harm or intrusive thoughts (e.g. open multi-floored atrium) while making the environment feel open and airy. Along the same line, we hope to incorporate ample natural lighting. Beyond the open beauty natural lighting exudes, we know that the sun can directly help treat depression, circadian rhythm disorders, and promote Vitamin D production.
We believe this project holds a unique cultural opportunity for Fort Worth. As the 15th largest city in the country, Fort Worth would gain a multi-level business park that emphasizes both artistic expression and mindful living. Beyond the impact these plans could have in store for local mental health, we believe MAGP will also provide an economic and structural boost to one of our city’s districts by promoting local entrepreneurship and small business opportunities.
We plan to develop a portion of an underused city park in the Historic Southside — with proximity to downtown and the interstate — into this groundbreaking health and wellness business park. The goal would be to promote healing, encourage interdisciplinary cooperation, and boost the district’s economy. The neighborhood needs a tax base to form a Tax Incremental Fund (TIF) to jump-start development. MAGP would be a game-changer for the district by generating revenue from a mix of long-, medium-, and short- term leases of suites as well as day passes to a Conscious Garden.
With the Fort Worth Strategic Plan that includes redevelopment of the Evans-Rosedale Corridor, a prediction of rapid population growth, and renewal around Texas Wesleyan University, MAGP will create jobs and add energy and interest in the Historic Southside neighborhood. This development would have the potential to change the course of District 8’s economic future and bolster resident well-being in a historically overlooked area near the city’s homeless shelters.
With experience creating intentional architecture that benefits patients and professionals alike, Ms. Kim-Labroad believes that “a thoughtfully designed mental health space not only supports treatment of the problem, but is mindful in promoting wellness by focusing on prevention of mental illness. To support entrepreneurs in the mental health space, architecture and design professionals will need to include design concepts that encourage mental health and well-being.”
We certainly have several obstacles to overcome as we consider this project. First and foremost, funding will be vital to the success of a project of this scope. Developing an inclusive capital stack that includes public, private, and educational entities ensures that this progressive project benefits everyone, especially middle class America who deserve premier mental health care. Depending on the final plans, Mindful @ Glenwood Park is estimated to cost between $18 to $22 million. In addition, rezoning a portion of city park requires City Council and voter approval — a lofty but achievable goal with the right groups and individuals on board this project.
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With accolades spanning my career as a child psychiatrist, entrepreneur, writer, and public speaker, I advocate for a more sensible U.S. healthcare solution that appeals across all party lines. I am a Texan, born and raised. My psychiatry practice, Progressive Psychiatry, is based in Fort Worth.Read Full Bio