Here's a roundup of various developments on the local business scene:

  • A regional chain, Shaking Seafood & Wings, has opened a Waco location in the former Casa Ole building at 414 N. Valley Mills Drive.
  • Allergan, local maker of eyecare products, received two building permits worth a combined $2 million to convert a warehouse into a production facility at its Waco location at 8301 Mars Drive, according to the city of Waco.
  • Wally’s Party Factory, longtime local retailer of balloons, Halloween costumes and party decorations, has closed its Waco location on Richland Drive. Its website encourages local shoppers to visit the Temple store.
  • Open about a year, the Bella Luna Italian Bistro at Bosque Boulevard and Valley Mills Drive has closed. It operated in the former Chili’s location at the Parkdale shopping center and had undergone a management change.

Building permit roundup

Some intriguing building permits already have been issued this year:

  • Plano-based New Era Partners, real estate developers with a multibillion-dollar portfolio, secured a permit to place an Oceans Behavioral Health Hospital at 5931 Crosslake Parkway, on acreage near the Legends Crossing mixed-use development and Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center. The permit places the estimated cost at $8.8 million. Oceans has 14 locations in Texas and Louisiana serving older adults suffering from depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and behavioral changes, according to its website.
  • A permit valued at $4 million was issued for renovations to the historic Stratton Building at Eighth Street and Austin Avenue, where developer Peter Ellis has proposed a five-story dining, arts and residential complex.
  • Murphy Oil USA, which typically opens fuel stations at or near Walmart locations, will place a $2.5 million convenience store at 8515 Imperial Drive.
  • James Avery Artisan Jewelry in Central Texas Marketplace has acquired a permit to modify the store for $450,000.

Health-related permits

Several building permits issued recently have a health-related ring:

  • Baylor Scott & White Medical Center Hillcrest, I-35 and State Highway 6, four-story building for Waco Sports Medicine, $33 million. Baylor Scott & White hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the project in late November
  • Veterans Affairs Regional Office, 701 Clay Ave. downtown, a veterans’ claims processing location, $9 million for second-floor renovations
  • Baylor Scott & White Medical Center, renovate suites at 510 N. Valley Mills Drive, Triangle Tower, back-office operations, $400,000
  • Baylor Scott & White Medical Center, interior remodel for Hillcrest Food Service, 100 Hillcrest Medical Blvd., $150,000.

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