Remodeling of a building near the popular Magnolia Market at the Silos downtown is drawing to a close, and already six users have signed leases to serve gourmet Mexican food, award-winning pies, metal furniture, women’s clothing and more, the building’s owner confirmed Monday.
Those taking space in the 11,000-square-foot structure at 300 S. Sixth St. said they likely will open their businesses in March or April, May at the latest, and are poised to begin finish-out work if they have not already begun. Most said they jumped at the opportunity to locate near Magnolia Market at South Sixth Street and Webster Avenue.
Marshall Stewman, of Dallas, went public in August with plans to convert the aging building into something attractive to the 25,000 to 35,000 tourists who visit the Silos weekly. Crews created raised patios on each side of the building, placed awnings above the patios, installed new utility lines and and improved the parking lot.
Stewman received $294,000 in Tax Increment Financing Zone funds to help with his conversion of the old Morrison Supply Co. building into Mary Avenue Market. Of that funding, $164,000 was earmarked to build off-site sidewalks leading to the Dr Pepper Museum and Magnolia Market at the Silos.
“After that, things went pretty fast,” Stewman said. “We had the building fully leased two months ago, and now the businesses are preparing their logos and ‘coming-soon’ signs.”
He said he felt the building’s proximity to Magnolia Market at the Silos would serve it well, and the pace at which occupants began to snap up space proved him right.
“I also have to give a lot of credit to Gregg Glime, the real estate agent who worked the site for us,” he said. “He did a great job of promoting the site and lining up users.”
Pedro Leon, who owns Taqueria Mexicano Grill No. 9, will open a restaurant called Hecho en Waco Mexican Cuisine that will occupy more than 4,000 square feet, making it the largest tenant inside Mary Avenue Market. Leon described the restaurant as “upscale,” and said diners will discover entrees that go beyond traditional Tex-Mex fare.
“I hope to open in April or May,” said Leon, adding he chose the location “because downtown is a hot spot right now, and I see even more potential the next few years.”
Joey Oglesby and Summer Herriage are moving from Los Angeles, California, to Waco, where Herriage will open a women’s clothing boutique called Fox & Gray.
“This is primarily my wife’s store, but I’m assisting with the business side,” said Oglesby, a Baylor University graduate who added the shop will open between March 15 and April 1.
“The vast majority of the merchandise will be priced at less than $100, and she also will carry affordable jewelry and gift items,” said Oglesby. “My wife is a buyer and a retail consultant based in Los Angeles, and she’s worked with stores across the country, but this is her first to own. We’re moving to Waco for business and family reasons.”
Oglesby said he and his wife also hope to open a sno-cone trailer called Summer Snow, and he’s scouting for a location.
Summer and Wade Redwine have chosen Mary Avenue Market as the second location for their Pie Peddlers shop, having opened the original 14 years ago in Glen Rose.
“It does very well in Glen Rose, and we have a lot of people from Waco drive up, as well. Frankly, we get customers from all over Texas,” said Summer Redwine by phone. “We had been planning a second location, and Waco appeared attractive for a couple of reasons. It has the population to support our store, and it is becoming a tourist attraction, especially downtown.”
She said Pie Peddlers makes its pies, including the crust, fresh daily. It typically has available 16 different flavors of fruit and cream pie.
Goodtimber Furnishings, owned by Chris and Kisha Atkin, will open by April 1 to sell furniture handcrafted from such materials as whiskey barrels and farm implements, said Chris Atkin.
“We have opened a crafting shop near Hewitt, having moved it there from Houston,” said Chris Atkin, who has signed a three-year lease at Mary Avenue Market.
He said the store will what he described as “upscale, high-end, handcrafted modern and industrial furniture” that he believes is new to the Waco market.
“We will have a showroom right up the street from two wonderful people, Chip and Joanna Gaines, and their Magnolia at the Silos,” Chris Atkin said.
Kelly Moorhouse for a dozen years has sold metal artwork and housewares at the “trades days” in Canton, and for a time secured space at Spice Village downtown.
Now she’s taking 1,600 square feet in Mary Avenue Market, saying, “Waco is booming, and these are good people to lease from.”
“I’m polishing up the interior now, and I should open sometime in March or April,” she said. “I make my own metal art, Texas-themed jewelry, candles and more.”
Stewman said a company called Impact Nutrition plans to place a small shop in the building to serve smoothies and other health-related products.