Mission Waco liquor store (copy)

Jimmy Dorrell smiles with Martha Jane Ezar last year outside the former Martha Jane's Liquor Store that Mission Waco bought from Ezar.

Crews have gotten to work on the former Martha Jane’s Liquor Store at North 15th Street and Colcord Avenue, bent on removing a collapsing roof and a section of the 1920s-vintage structure Mission Waco bought for $150,000 almost a year ago.

“We’re halfway there,” Mission Waco founder Jimmy Dorrell wrote in a newsletter last month.

The Colcord Office and Retail Development planned for the building will join an area packed with other Mission Waco ventures, including the Jubilee Food Market, Jubilee Theatre, World Cup Cafe, Urban Edibles and the Urban Renewable Energy and Agriculture Project aquaponics greenhouse.

Dorrell invited the neighborhood to opine on what the former liquor store space should become and received more than 20 suggestions, including restaurant, book store, laundromat and office space for rent. Ideas continue to roll in, and he now is getting serious about preparing the place for occupancy, Dorrell wrote.

So far, he has raised $220,000 of the $440,000 needed to renovate the building. Mission Waco is offering symbolic “stock” certificates for the project at $25 per “share.” Now is when the fun starts, Dorrell said in an interview. Architectural plans will go before the City of Waco, and construction will start once the plans are approved.

“We’ll set a date and gather our friends and donors over at Martha Jane’s parking lot, take down the liquor store signs and celebrate the opportunities ahead,” Dorrell wrote in the newsletter.

A local property management firm with ties to Waco City Councilman Dillon Meek has committed to oversee operations of Colcord Office and Retail Development, Dorrell said.

The development likely will have two, three or four revenue-generating spaces when all the dust settles, he said.