The opening of a la Madeleine French Cafe and Bakery in Central Texas Marketplace is moving closer to reality, with the city of Waco examining plans for a strip center behind the La-Z-Boy furniture store that will include the restaurant as an anchor.

Meanwhile, Austin-based CLD Realty is marketing the strip and soliciting inquires about more than 7,000 square feet of available lease space, not counting the 5,000-square-foot, 145-seat La Madeleine cafe.

Waco attorney and entrepreneur Dan McReynolds secured rights to place la Madeleine cafes in Waco, Tyler and Colorado, and teamed with Waco businessman Gordon Robinson on the venture.

The la Madeleine in Tyler started serving in December, while Waco’s “should open well before the end of the year,” said real estate agent Teddy Leonard, who is pursuing lessees as an agent for CLD Realty.

“We’re trying to find would-be users right now,” Leonard said. “I have 20 listings I’m presenting to as many people as possible.”

No firm date set

Leonard said he has no firm date for when la Madeleine will open.

Waco inspections supervisor Bobby Horner, a self-professed fan of the la Madeleine chain, said documents he has seen show first the construction of a building shell “and then a separate finish-out package” for the interior.

“The la Madeleine space itself will cover 5,057 square feet, while the whole building shell will cover 12,072 square feet,” Horner said. “Subtract one from the other, and you have the amount available for retail or whatever else they want to put there.”

McReynolds could not be reached for comment, but has said he would like to recruit a “progressive, fast-casual restaurant” to the strip as a complement to la Madeleine.

The la Madeleine at Central Texas Marketplace will operate near the former Twin Peaks building, the scene of a shootout in May 2015 that left nine bikers dead and many wounded.

Building still vacant

The Twin Peaks building has remained shuttered since the tragic event. It is wrapped in plastic and has been marketed by at least two real estate agents since its closing.

Horner said he doubts the new restaurant’s proximity to the former Twin Peaks would impact business one way or another.

Philippe Le Duff, son of the la Madeleine parent company’s founder, said in a recent interview he moved to the United States to get a feel for its culture and tastes, since it has become important to the company.

“We are focused on franchise development and hope to open 20 new locations every year,” Le Duff said.

He said he has fallen in love with Waco and is glad it will have a La Madeleine.

“I think it’s just the right size between city and countryside, and Cameron Park is a place where you can run and ride your mountain bike for hours,” Le Duff said.

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