The now-infamous Twin Peaks building at Central Texas Marketplace, the scene of a bloody shootout May 17 involving rival motorcycle gangs and law enforcement that left nine dead and led to nearly 200 arrests, has been put on the market.
Greg Blandford with Position Property Group in Dallas has confirmed he is listing the property and plans a “soft” marketing campaign to kick off efforts to find a buyer or lessee. The sales price for the 7,869-square-foot building, which also has a 1,800 square-foot patio, is $4.2 million. It can be leased for $350,000 a year plus the cost of insurance and taxes.
A website identifies Blandford as the Twin Peaks listing agent for East Texas among six zones around Texas. In the wake of the melee in Waco, the Addison-based chain said the property at Central Texas Marketplace would never again be used by Twin Peaks. It also canceled its agreement with the local franchisee to represent Twin Peaks in the Waco market.
Local real estate agents polled by the Tribune-Herald shortly after the shootout had mixed views on whether a prospect would be willing to buy the building and remodel it, or whether the building would need to be demolished to erase any stigma attached to it.
Brad Davis, a commercial specialist with Coldwell Banker Jim Stewart Realtors, was among those thinking it should fall.
“If I’m somebody going into that situation, paying that much money for the site, I don’t want there to be any question in my mind that that’s going to be an issue. But that’s got to play heavily on a purchaser’s mind,” Davis said.
“I do wish somebody would prove me wrong and fill that hole,” he said in a phone interview Tuesday.
Applying what he considers the going rate for commercial space and for the 1.7 acres surrounding the building, Davis placed its value at $3.45 million. He said he heard from sources that Twin Peaks invested $3.2 million in the site.
“That definitely would be a record (for Waco) if it sold for anywhere close to that figure. It probably would be a record for Dallas, Texas, too,” said commercial real estate agent Josh Carter, also with Coldwell Banker Jim Stewart Realtors.
$533 per square foot
He said the sales price of $4.2 million reflects $533 per square foot, while the lease rate comes to $44 per square foot.
“I’ve never seen anything in McLennan County trading at anywhere close to that price. I’m sure the taxing entities would love to see that become the trend,” Carter said. “That’s pretty aggressive for Waco commercial real estate, any way you slice it.
“It’s not unusual to see inflated numbers on a build-to-suit property on the interstate in the largest power center in the market. I still think that’s more than the market will bear, but I wish him all the best.”
Jay Hinojosa, who owns two Heitmiller’s Steakhouse locations in Greater Waco, bought the 7,600-square-foot Quaker Steak & Lube building in Legends Crossing after the restaurant closed last year and converted it into his second Heitmiller’s.
He would not say exactly how much he paid for the structure, but confirmed it was less than half of $4.2 million.
“With the reputation that building has, I’m surprised anyone was brave enough to ask that much for it,” Hinojosa said. “I didn’t even pay half that for a building of comparable size. I don’t think they will ever get that, but it makes my investment really smart if they do. It means I got a steal on mine. But I don’t think that figure is realistic.”
Just this week, the former 4,200-square-foot Whataburger building on Valley Mills Drive near Waco Drive hit the market priced at $1.2 million. It closed when the new Whataburger opened recently at Lake Air and Valley Mills drives.
Pat Farrar, a real estate agent with The Reid Company, said he has worked with Blandford in the marketing of a handful of properties. He expects the Twin Peaks building to attract interest, but he, too, has concerns about the price.
“It’s a unique-looking building, and there will be some cost involved in converting it to something else,” he said.
Farrar said its location within Central Texas Marketplace “is a good site,” and he is not buying into worries about a stigma attaching itself to the building due to the shootout there that continues to generate controversy, court action and lawsuits.
“I think you’re looking at a severe remodel and a new concept,” he said of plans by any potential buyer. “The price certainly seems awfully high to me, but there is not much vacant land in the marketplace now, and new construction has gotten very expensive.
“It’s an aggressive price, but I’m sure they’re starting on the high end, figuring they can lower it.”
Mike Meadows, a commercial agent with Kelly Realtors, said of the price, “You’ve got to start somewhere. If somebody wants that location and they’re willing to pay for it, so be it. I don’t know of any (commercial) buildings that have sold for that price.”
Meadows said he would be happy to show the building on behalf of Blandford.
“Why not? I’m always on the lookout for opportunities,” he said, adding he does not think the structure has been “stigmatized.”
Chris Gutierrez, with Texas Commercial and Industrial Real Estate Services in Waco, said he thinks the site ultimately will be transformed from a restaurant to a retail use, even if that means knocking down the Twin Peaks building.
He said if the right end-user wants the site badly enough, he or she might be willing to spend close to the asking price.
“Waco is booming with new stores, including several there at Central Texas Marketplace. You have La-Z-Boy, for example, coming in right next door to Twin Peaks,” Gutierrez said. “My thought is it will transition to retail.”
Since Twin Peaks opened for business in 2014, Central Texas Marketplace has seen the arrival of a new Cavender’s Boot City superstore, Five Below, World Market, Haverty’s, and Bed Bath and Beyond, which relocated from elsewhere in the center.
Though he provided basic information about his Twin Peaks listing, Blandford did not return phone calls seeking further comment.