The Near South Side revival is not only being fueled by a hefty half billion dollar commitment of city funds alone, though that isn’t hurting. There is a dynamic energy here that is youthful and passionate. It is evident in the variety of mod and imaginative eateries and bars on once dodgy Magnolia Avenue, and in the apparently insatiable appetite for renovating and rehabbing in Fairmount. This intact, inner city, hood remained single family zoned when other municipalities were panicking and sanctioning the construction of poor quality, multi family housing, to bolster tax revenues.
Into this heady environment, enter the truly dynamic duo of Jamey Ice and Jimmy Williams. Friends since Paschal High School days, they are pure Fort Worth though they couldn’t be more different. Jamey is lead man for the rock band, Green River Ordinance, while Jimmy is a detective with the Fort Worth Police Department. They and their families live across the street from one another on 6th Avenue, hence the name of their burgeoning real estate and rehab venture, 6th Ave Homes.
Formed in 2013, they have already undertaken the renovation and resale of over 30 projects.
“We had both flipped our own homes a few times and had helped friends find, buy and rehab their own fixer uppers, so we thought why not do it together as a side project?” Says Jamey, explaining the genesis of the enterprise.
Not content to play it safe like most flippers, who go neutral in the hope of casting a wider buyers’ net, these two revel in the unexpected or “funky interesting” as Jamey defines their style.
“We love to play outside the lines and salvage and repurpose old things”, he explains.
“We like to tear out the sheet rock and expose the shiplap.” he adds. Indeed, they seem to savor natural materials and revel in underlying structures. It’s almost as if they remove the pall over a long dormant sleeper and infuse it with new life.
The effect of their edgy approach is rich in contrasts, balancing rustic and urban, and the simple and sophisticated, as witnessed in this Allen Avenue reno.
A rework of the bath that saves the original tub but adds trendy, Mexican cement tiles and a custom vanity fashioned from a vintage table, seem appropriate for the early 20th Century craftsman but also up to date.
A rather drear little number, on College Avenue, abutting Magnolia benefits from all of the partners’ acquired skills, imagination, and finesse.
A bold color palette and attractive landscape rejuvenate the cottage, now being leased by an advertising agency.
The dining room epitomizes the 6th Ave Homes aesthetic. Painted shiplap, corrugated tin, peeled from a shed, and industrial light fixtures combine to produce a surprisingly tranquil ambiance.
And what compliments exposed brick more than exposed ductwork? The original floors with all of their dings and imperfections are retained and celebrated in a natural finish which look unfinished. Contrasts again. The feeling is at the same time both industrial and romantic.
Not content to travel with a band, renovate and flip houses at the rate of 10 a year, Jamey is also a partner in Brewed. A boutique, local beer bar, and eatery, Brewed, has flourished in the competitive Magnolia Avenue milieu. The 6th Ave boys are also at work on an 18,000 square foot warehouse space, on South Main Street which will house restaurant, retail and event spaces.
House number number 31. Jamey Ice and Jimmy Williams seem positively gleeful and champing at the bit to take on yet another ailing, old house and give it a second life.
“Who is the market for your projects?” I ask.
“Millennials”, he says without hesitation. “We get an average of one request a day through social media for one of our houses”, he adds.
In fact, the team now offers a generous finder’s fee to anyone who brings them a viable reno.
And with their unique style, youthful energy and good looks, and beautiful families, can a cable show be far behind? Having recently signed a contract with an agency, look for a fresh and entertaining take on the house rehab show. Coming soon to a a TV channel near you.
Eric Prokesh is an interior designer whose work has appeared on HGTV, and in books and publications including D Home, Southern Accents, House Beautiful, and House and Garden. In January 2005, HG named Eric one of the 50 tastemakers in America and D Home has included him as one of Dallas’ Best Designers for 10 years. Having lived most of his life in Dallas, he now calls Fort Worth home and is one of our experts on beautiful Fort Worth Dirt