HobbyTown, a Nebraska-based chain that has spread to more than 40 states, will open a shop in the Brazos Place shopping center at Waco and Valley Mills drives, already home to Guitar Center, Mardel and Half-Price Books.

Waco real estate agent Pat Farrar said HobbyTown has signed a lease on about 3,300 square feet, and a sign there promises an opening soon.

HobbyTown sells everything from magic kits, kites and board games to rocket-making supplies, drones, batteries, electronic gadgetry and remote-controlled planes, helicopters and rock crawlers, according to its website.

Farrar said he has prospects for other vacant spaces at Brazos Place, but noted that Waco businessman Kenneth Young, whose family owns the center, “is very selective about what he puts in there.”

Chills 360

Chills 360, a Dallas-based chain that specializes in “Thai-inspired ice cream rolls,” will open at 1508 Speight Ave., in space formerly occupied by a store called Herbert Amos Clothier, real estate agent Hunter Harrell said in a press release.

At Chills 360, customers can watch ice cream rolls being prepared using a cold plate that produces temperatures below minus-16 degrees Fahrenheit.

The store is likely to open in April, according to Harrell’s press release.

Retiring in Waco

Where to Retire magazine profiles Waco in its March/April issue, which will be available Tuesday nationwide, according to a press release from the magazine.

“Small-town Waco is known to the world via the popular home-remodel TV show ‘Fixer Upper,’ and the Central Texas city is all smiles from the publicity,” Editor Annette Fuller said in the press release. “New businesses are opening, and companies along the Brazos River provide riverboat cruises, paddleboarding outings and kayak adventures. Baylor University brings culture and football frenzy, with ‘sailgaters’ gliding in on the Brazos before games.

“A low cost of living, the iconic 1870 Suspension Bridge and the 400-plus-acre Cameron Park also lure retirees.”

The magazine is in its 26th year of print, has a circulation of 200,000 and is sold at various locations, including Barnes & Noble bookstores, the press release states.

Quest for Texas Best

Grocery giant H-E-B once again is launching a contest for businesses to submit food or beverages that could end up on the shelves of H-E-B stores around the state.

Since 2014, the Quest for Texas Best has yielded more than 240 new products for H-E-B. Last year, Austin residents Sascha Biesi and Yauss Berenji, of Skull & Cakebones, took home the $25,000 grand prize for their Mocha Marmalade Chocolate layered with Cuvee Coffee frosting and topped with Cuvee infused chocolate pudding, according to the Quest for Texas Best webpage.

H-E-B will host a program from noon to 3 p.m. Monday at the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce headquarters, where potential contestants will hear tips and best practices for getting involved.

Entrants may submit their product details at heb.com/quest until March 18.

Competitors are eligible for a grand prize of $25,000, the title of “Texas Best” and product placement on store shelves. The first-place winner receives $20,000; second-place winner, $15,000 and third-place winner, $10,000. To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the competition, the grand-prize winner also will receive a new Toyota Tundra pickup.

Chamber Legacy Award

Longtime Waco businessman Tom G. Salome Jr. will receive the inaugural Legacy Award from the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce during a celebration reception scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Waco Convention Center, the chamber has announced.

Salome for years has been involved in the ownership of M. Lipsitz & Co., a scrap metal and recycling operation that can trace its roots to 1895 and has grown to 10 recycling operations and a waste hauling service.

Salome also deals in real estate and was instrumental in raising money to build the new Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce headquarters downtown.

The ticket deadline has passed, but any last-minute availability and registration is available at wacochamber.com. Tickets are $75 per person.

Building permits

Several noteworthy building permits were issued the past week.

  • Five-story Hyatt Place Hotel, 5400 Bagby Ave., $4.6 million estimated cost
  • Alterations to Pizza Hut, 1230 N. Valley Mills Drive, $100,000
  • Repairs to car wash, H-E-B, 801 N. Interstate 35 in Bellmead, $95,100
  • Interior finish-out for Preferred Medical, 1000 Schroeder Drive, $100,000
  • Renovations to Kashi Brewing office, 900 Columbus Ave., $150,000.

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