Big Green

Milo Biscuit Co.’s owner said he his considering opening a restaurant in the former Big Green Automotive building, across from Balcones Distilling.

Staff photo — Rod Aydelotte, file

After first pursuing a space on Elm Avenue, Milo Biscuit Co.’s chef said last month he plans to join the surge of development downtown and open Milo’s first home base in the “Big Green” former automotive shop at Franklin Avenue and 11th Street.

Now, plans for the restaurant and other developments in the same building are moving forward, and Milo chef Corey McEntyre hopes to have the restaurant open early next year, according to a post on downtownwacotx.com.

The first brick-and-mortar Milo location will be called Milo All Day and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, according to the post.

“Milo All Day also plans to have a full bar with a significant Balcones whisky presence, a nod to their neighbors on 11th Street, Balcones Distillery,” the post states.

The redevelopment of the Big Green building, 1020 Franklin Avenue, will also include a butcher shop, a craft beer and wine shop and some co-working space, according to downtownwacotx.com.

Waco Running Co.

Meanwhile, The Waco Running Co., a specialty shop for runners, continues to remodel the interior of a decades-old building at 700 Franklin Ave. as the new home of the business. The move will take the business across downtown, out of its base of operations in the Bicycle World shop at Mary Avenue and University Parks Drive.

“It has been so successful, we’re going to give it its own store,” said Christina Swanson, director of marketing for The Behringer Group, which operates Waco Running Company.

A grand opening has been scheduled for Oct. 14, Swanson said. To mark the building and celebrate the downtown renaissance, a 224-square-foot mural has been painted on the side of the structure.

Crews installed a 12-foot-long lighted sign on the property Thursday that proclaims, “We Run Waco,” Swanson said.

“It is a vintage sign with a nostalgic vibe to it,” she said.

Creation of the new home for Waco Running Company is part of the Franklin Square project spearheaded by developer Shane Turner.

Alliance Bank branch

Alliance Bank Central Texas has opened a 2,600-square-foot West Waco branch in the Crossroads West Shopping Center at Hewitt Drive and West Highway 84, according to a press release.

“Many of our customers, shareholders and friends live and do business in West Waco or pass by this location on their daily commute,” President and CEO Todd Moore wrote in the press release. “We are happy to make it easier for them to bank with us.”

Alliance Bank Central Texas, with branches in Waco, Donie and Jewett, was founded by a local board of directors and is owned by 200 shareholders. It has seen assets grow from $35 million to almost $240 million since it was founded in 2007, according to the press release.

Gas prices headed back down

Gas prices continue to fall after skyrocketing in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which forced refineries on the Gulf Coast to cease or curtail production.

The AAA Texas auto club reported Thursday the statewide average for a gallon of regular unleaded had slipped 4 cents during the previous week, to $2.48. But it stood 53 cents higher than last year’s price.

Of the major metropolitan areas surveyed in Texas, drivers in Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin are paying the most on average per gallon at $2.51, while drivers in Amarillo are paying the least at $2.34 per gallon. The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded stood at $2.60.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Waco stood at $2.44 on Thursday, according to GasBuddy.com.

Lalani executives

Lalani Lodging Inc., with properties in Central and Northwest Texas, has appointed Kary Lalani as president and chief operating officer and Shea Lalani as executive vice president and chief financial officer, according to an announcement by chairman and CEO Munir Lalani.

Lalani Lodging and its affiliates were established in 2002 and have owned and operated five hotels since then. The company has a sixth hotel, a 111-unit Hilton Garden Inn, under construction in Waco. It is also planning a Hilton-branded hotel in Wichita Falls.

Kary Lalani is a 2005 graduate of Baylor University and a 2013 graduate of Texas Christian University’s MBA program. He joined the family business in early 2009, after three years as a commercial banker with Guaranty Bank, and has led the company’s development efforts in Central Texas.

Shea Lalani, also a graduate of Baylor University, joined the business in 2011 after four years as a credit and commercial leader with Comerica Bank. Shea has been responsible for the company’s financial, accounting and administrative functions in recent years.

Texas business climate No. 1

Texas has been voted the state with the best business climate, according to a survey of corporate executives released last week at the International Economic Development Council annual conference in Toronto, Canada.

Florida was the runner-up, followed by Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, according to a press release.

Texas, which has consistently held the No. 1 ranking since 1999, was again the favorite among survey respondents, with 42 percent naming the state as having one of the most favorable business climates. Texas also was rated as having one of the top five state economic development organizations.

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