Alliance Bank Woodway

Alliance Bank of Central Texas is building a new 17,000-square-foot headquarters off of Highway 84 in Woodway.

Alliance Bank of Central Texas is an oddity. It has more than 200 shareholders, none of whom own a majority stake in the financial institution that has grown to $315 million in assets since it was founded in 2007.

Last week, Alliance announced it would build a 17,000-square-foot full-service bank and headquarters in The Colonnade, a development along U.S. Highway 84 near a 16-screen movie theater, Christian Brothers Automotive and a new Hat Creek Burger Company restaurant.

A competitor of sorts, GENCO Federal Credit Union, operates nearby.

Alliance’s exact address there is 191 Archway Drive.

Counting the cost of equipment, land and contracting work by Built Wright Construction, the building represents a $4 million investment, Alliance Bank President and CEO Todd Moore said. The two-story bank, which will become Alliance Bank’s corporate headquarters, should open by December, Moore said. It will have a drive-thru area, 24-hour ATM lane, a customer lounge “and a dedicated commercial teller area to serve business customers,” according to a press release.

Once the building is done, Alliance’s current headquarters at Lake Air Drive and Bosque Boulevard will become a full-service bank.

Moore said the operational structure of Alliance Bank of Central Texas, an independent, locally owned entity, is patterned after a bank in Wichita Falls and in Arkansas that he researched. He said recruiting more than 200 shareholders gave Alliance the juice to grow rapidly, with representatives of various business sectors buying into the entity, doing their own banking there and making referrals of colleagues, associates and friends.

Alliance includes locations in Waco and the communities of Donie, in Freestone County, and Jewett, in Leon County.

It started with $35 million in assets, Executive Vice President Eric Shero said. Others who will have office space in the Woodway Drive location include Ricky Thompson, executive VP and commercial lender; Mark Minor, executive VP and chief credit officer; and Scott Rogers, executive VP and chief lending officer.

Cen-Tex Chamber

The Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce is launching 2019 by encouraging membership in the organization.

It has scheduled a seminar at noon Thursday at its headquarters, 1020 Elm Ave. The session has been titled Membership 101. New, existing or prospective chamber members are invited to attend. They will hear pointers on turning their chamber membership into a marketing tool.

RSVPs are required. Contact Rachel Pate, vice president of membership development, at 235-3204 or

Gaines’ ‘Gardeners’

For Joanna Gaines fans — and there are many — be it known that the distaff half of the “Fixer Upper” dynamic duo has written another book.

Titled “We Are the Gardeners,” will be released on March 26, and now is available for $20 pre-order on the Magnolia website. In the book, Joanna and her children “chronicle the adventures of starting their own family garden,” according to the website.

“From their failed endeavors, obstacles to overcome (bunnies that eat everything), and all the knowledge they’ve gained along the way, the Gaines family shares how they learned to grow a happy, successful garden,” it states. “As it turns out, trying something new isn’t always easy, but the hardest work often yields the greatest reward.

“There are always new lessons waiting in the garden.”

The happy story begins “with the first little fern Chip bought for Jo,” referring to Joanna Gaines’ familial and Magnolia Market co-star, Chip Gaines.

One might say Joanna Gaines is getting the hang of this book business.

Two other efforts, “Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering” and “Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave,” were among the 20 best-selling non-fiction books of 2018, with “Magnolia Table” coming in second only to Michelle Obama’s “Becoming.”

Airbnb numbers

Airbnb, which describes itself as “community driven hospitality company,” released figures last week showing hosts in Greater Waco and Bryan-College Station earned a combined $8.8 million in supplemental income while welcoming an estimated 85,000 guests to the region.

“This comes as Texans increasingly embrace the home-sharing platform as an opportunity to earn supplemental income and make ends meet,” according to a press release.

More than 30,000 Texas residents now are Airbnb hosts, it states.

A breakdown shows hosts in McLennan County earned $4.8 million on the strength of 45,000 guest arrivals; Brazos County, home to Bryan-College Station, $2.9 million on 28,000 arrivals; and Bell County, home to Temple, Belton and Killeen, $651,000 on 5,800 arrivals. Coryell and Burleson counties raked in a combined $197,000 on an estimated 2,000 arrivals.

Colcord Center space ready

The old and infamous Martha Jane’s liquor store at 15th Street and Colcord Avenue has been transformed into a retail venue called The Colcord Center, courtesy of Jimmy Dorrell, Mission Waco/Mission World, hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations and renovations that continue.

Dorrell, founder of Mission Waco and pastor of Waco’s Church Under The Bridge, announced last week that one of three suites in the center is now available for lease.

The rate is $1,180 monthly for 1,180 square feet, or $1 a square foot. The building will sport a security system, front entrances, private restrooms, break rooms and offices. Tenants will pay utilities, according to a press release.

The site is within easy walking distance of World Cup Cafe, Jubilee Theatre, Jubilee Food Market, D’s Mediterranean Grill, Baked Bliss, North Waco Tropical Fish, Urban Reap, and the Waco Family Health Center.

Waco City Council member Dillon Meek, whose district includes the site, and his Rydell Real Estate are marketing the center at no charge.

Health-related building

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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