Shane Turner’s West Bay development at 10th Street and the Interstate 35 frontage road, near downtown, looks intriguing with its potential.
Work sprawls across dozens of acres all the way to Cleveland Avenue, with crews continuing to prepare sites and erect space for dining and retail establishments. Finishing touches appear on the 110-room La Quinta del Sol that hotelier Raju Patel is placing there. He owns two other lodging properties locally, but sources, including an employee, say he spends most of his time at this site, preparing for an opening “between August and September.”
Elsewhere, site work has begun for an Aloft hotel. Aloft is described online as a “boutique” concept that dotes on stylish architecture and finishes. Aloft properties sport their own lingo, calling pools “splash,” for example.
Brian Sladek, an agent with the Dallas office of Retail Solutions, a real estate company marketing West Bay, said during a phone interview that yet a third “national-branded” hotel chain has put a 1.3-acre tract under contract.
Sladek said a lease deal already has been consummated with a national dining chain called MOD Pizza, short for “Made on Demand,” which is based in Seattle, and has grown to more than 300 locations in the U.S. and UK, according to online information. Customers may build their own pizzas and salads at MOD, which also serves milkshakes, fountain drinks, beer and wine.
Another tenant in the fold is Tropical Smoothie Cafe, a Dallas-based chain that also serves sandwiches and wraps, according to Sladek.
Sladek mentioned progress is being made on a handful of other deals.
- A local franchisee proposes placing a national-branded hamburger joint in 2,300 square feet. Sladek described it as an “East Coast” chain that would be new to Waco. “I don’t believe they have a location in Dallas,” he said.
- A lease is being drafted for a “national bank.”
- A “mom-and-pop” group already with a presence in Waco has proposed placing a restaurant with a “new concept” at West Bay.
“Once we get the hamburger deal signed, I believe we will see even more interest. And until leases are signed, I can’t release names,” Sladek said.
Retail Solutions has prepared a brochure to market West Bay. It shows a 60,000-square-foot pad site hugging South Ninth Street and flanked by building shells for Tropical Smoothie Cafe and an unidentified nail salon. Several spaces ranging from 1,200 to more than 5,000 square feet remain available. Adjacent to MOD-committed space, space ranging from 1,200 to 13,500 square feet is being marketed. Nearby, a 53,000-square-foot undeveloped pad site appears, according to the brochure.
The brochure lists the lease rate at $28 to $30 per square foot, plus $8 per square foot for maintenance, taxes and insurance. That estimate, it says, “is provided by the landlord and subject to change.”
P.F. Chang’s for sale?
P.F. Chang’s Bistro, the popular Asian-themed chain building a restaurant at Waco’s Legends Crossing, may find itself on the market.
Centerbridge Partners, the New York-based private equity firm that bought P.F. Chang’s in 2012, reportedly has hired advisers to explore the idea.
“Given the positive performance of P.F. Chang’s Bistro, and having received multiple unsolicited indications of interest, this is an exciting time to explore a sale,” Steve Silver, a Centerbridge spokesman, said in a statement.
Centerbridge paid $1.1 billion for P.F. Chang’s and its sister chain, Pei Wei Asian Diner, and separated the two chains to operate individually, according to a news release. It describes P.F. Chang’s as “an upscale casual concept,” which recently opened its first location in China, the release said.
Waco real estate agent Jimmy Banks, who markets Legends Crossing, West Loop 340 at I-35, said he doubts any sale would jeopardize development of the P.F. Chang’s near the small lake that anchors the site.
He said he believes the restaurant will open before year’s end.
Women in business
Women’s roles in the Texas economy received attention in the June/July issue of “Fiscal Notes,” which is published by the Texas Comptroller’s Office.
It cites results of a study completed for Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s “Good for Texas Tour: Women in the Workplace Edition,” according to a release.
“Women are not just workers, they’re entrepreneurs and, increasingly, corporate leaders,” Hegar wrote in his summary and news release. “In the last 20 years, Texas women have started businesses at a greater rate than in the nation as a whole, and today they own nearly a million Texas businesses, despite hurdles such as difficulties in finding startup capital.”
The report says women hold nearly half of the jobs in Texas, “and every dollar they earn supports about $2 in wages throughout the state.”
Big ‘O’ Golf
Registration has opened for the 2018 George’s Big “O” Cup Golf Tournament scheduled for Sept. 28, at Cottonwood Golf Course.
Rounds begin at 7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., according to a news release.
An event sponsored by the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, chamber members pay $150, while non-members pay $175. Four-player teams filled with chamber members pay $600, while non-member teams pay $700.
Chamber members must login to their chamber accounts to receive discounts, according to a release from the chamber’s Amanda Haygood.
Full payment, team names and shirt sizes will be required at registration.
To ask questions, call Haygood at 757-5611 or Ariel Tesch at 757-5605. Login issues should be reported to Rachel Alston at 757-5605.
Baylor Club deals
The Baylor Club at McLane Stadium is spreading the word about its cuisine through Travelzoo, a travel site that typically specializes in such “Top 20” weekly deals as European cruises or hotel rooms in Las Vegas.
It offered a three-course dinner for two ($79) and a three-course dinner for four ($149), a panoramic view of McLane Stadium, and dishes and appetizers that included lobster crabcakes, grilled beef tenderloin flatbread, honey-glazed salmon and charbroiled filet mignon. Desserts from a “rotating selection” would complete the Baylor Club experience.
Mike Mosel, general manager of the Baylor Club, said in an email to the Tribune-Herald that the club and its parent, Dallas-based ClubCorp, uses such promotions to “introduce the private club membership experience to potential prospects.” He said the club, now open four years, continues to do well.
“We recently welcomed more than 600 members and guests for our July Fourth Celebration and have a robust calendar of events planned for the remainder of the summer before we gear up for the 2018 football season and our busiest time of the year,” he wrote in his email response.