Brothers Shane and Cody Turner and their Turner Real Estate have changed the face of downtown Waco, and the Texas Economic Development Corp. has taken notice. It has bestowed upon the Turners the Texas Business Star award.
Turner Real Estate has invested heavily in Waco’s inner city the past 10 years, converting old and historic properties into lofts, offices, and retail and entertainment space.
The Turners know the value of investing in real estate and making it an integral part of changing the look and feel of a community, Tracye McDaniel, president and CEO of Texas Economic Development and Texas One, said in a press release. McDaniel said the Turners “made significant strides to transform downtown into the growing hub that it is today.”
Turner Real Estate’s recent projects include the creation of more than 200 apartment units for students and young professionals at Tinsley Place; the renovation of a 98-year-old downtown warehouse into the Altura Lofts, which are scheduled to open by the end of the year; and the renovation of the historic Waco Hippodrome Theatre, a century-old downtown venue that sat vacant for five years before reopening in 2014. Today, the Hippodrome serves as an entertainment and dining complex.
“Turner Real Estate is an ideal candidate for the Texas Business Star award,” Kris Collins, senior vice president for the economic development at the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, said in the press release. “Shane and Cody Turner saw an opportunity to revitalize our downtown and took a risk to see their vision come to life. They have served not only as pioneers in our downtown redevelopment efforts, but also as integral members of our community.”
Shane and Cody Turner both graduated from Baylor University, and Shane serves as a deacon at Harris Creek Baptist Church, which meets at the renovated Hippodrome.
Launched by the Texas Economic Development Corp. in 2016, the Texas Business Star award recognizes companies that make a significant impact on their communities.
2nd Jersey Mike’s Subs
Jersey Mike’s Subs is poised to open its second Waco-area restaurant, this one at 720 S. Fifth St., behind In-N-Out Burger.
Franchise owners Steve and Joy McVean say they will give away 7,500 coupons good for subs to people who donate at least $2 to Pack of Hope, an organization devoted to eliminating child hunger. Since 2010, Jersey The company says it has raised nearly $18 million for worthy charities and has distributed more than 1.5 million free sub sandwiches to help causes. In 2015, for the second year in a row, the company was named the fastest-growing chain in the Nation’s Restaurant News Top 100.
Jersey Mike’s, founded in 1956, has grown to 1,500 restaurants open and under development nationwide. The other Greater Waco location operates at 1515 Hewitt Drive.
Waco’s second Jersey Mike’s will serve subs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, the McVeans report.
Gas prices falling
Gasoline prices finally are doing what they are supposed to be doing this time of year: falling.
AAA Texas, the auto club, reported Thursday that the statewide average for a gallon of regular unleaded fell 4 cents during the previous week to an even $2.
For one of the first times in a long time, Texas drivers are paying more at the pump than at the same time last year. The average is 2 cents above the November 2015 norm.
AAA said drivers in Corpus Christi are paying the most, at $2.05 per gallon, while drivers in Amarillo are paying the least, at $1.89 per gallon.
The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded now stands at $2.20, which is 2 cents less than the previous week and 1 cent less than last year.
GasBuddy.com on Thursday showed the price of regular unleaded slipping to as low as $1.78 in Greater Waco, with $1.81 a popular number at several locations.
Gas prices typically drop when cheaper winter-blend gasoline becomes prevalent and as motorists do less driving.
Waco-based economist Ray Perryman, who has earned a national reputation for economic forecasting, had this to say about the election of Donald Trump:
“It remains to be seen what a Trump presidency will be like. Some of his proposals — immediately deporting millions of workers, canceling trade agreements, failing to honor treaties, etc. — would be a disaster and trigger a massive downturn in the economy. On the other hand, policies that promote small business could be beneficial.
“For now, he is a Black Swan that will be a source of uncertainty and volatility for a few months. Markets don’t like unknowns, and they have a massive one at the moment. Once he is in office his effectiveness will lie in his ability to work with Congress, which will likely mean a more measured approach.”
Waco banker honored
Longtime Waco banker Willard Still recently received the Independent Bankers Association of Texas’ Chairman’s Award during an association convention in San Antonio.
The award is the association’s highest honor, selected solely at the discretion of the group’s chairman. It is presented to an individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to the community banking industry, going above and beyond the call of duty, according to a release from the association.
Still was the only choice of this past year’s chairman, Rogers Pope Jr., vice chairman and CEO of Texas Bank and Trust in Longview.
Still began his banking career in the bookkeeping department of Parker Square State Bank in Wichita Falls in 1958. For the next 58 years, he worked in a handful of other banks on his path to American Bank, where he has been since 1999. A longtime Independent Bankers Association of Texas supporter, Still has chaired the organization’s Education Foundation since 2010. He was instrumental in initiating its award-winning Teach the Teacher program and the Teaching Excellence in Financial Literacy Award.
He has served in leadership positions with the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, Waco Rotary Club, United Way of Greater Waco and the Waco Business League.
The Austin-based association represents more than 2,800 independent banks and branches in 700 Texas communities.
Jubilee passes inspection
The nonprofit Jubilee Food Market at North 15th Street and Colcord Avenue passed its final inspection by the city of Waco and will follow through with plans to hold a soft opening at 8 a.m. Nov. 21, with a grand opening scheduled for Dec. 1, Mission Waco executive director Jimmy Dorrell said.
Residents near the store, which is meant to serve the needs of people in a grocery desert in North Waco, can stop by Nov. 21-22 to secure raffle tickets for a turkey dinners that will be awarded Nov. 23. Regular hours of the store are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Using monetary contributions that exceeded $500,000, and lots of donated or reduced-price labor, Mission Waco converted an old Safeway store into a venue that will sell a full line of meats, produce, food staples and a sampling of sweets, sodas, household items and kitchen supplies.
“Everything is new, including the roof, insulation, walls, windows, doors, flooring, HVAC, parking lot, security system, fans, canopies, front facade, bathrooms, office, break room, walkways and warehouse. No more ‘big ugly building,’ ” Dorrell said.
He said his team was interviewing potential employees Friday.