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Mike Copeland: 10th and Webster; Warm cookies; Gas prices; EV maker visits Waco

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A local investment group, Wagboo Properties, is joining forces with Turner Brothers Real Estate to place a mixed-use development at 10th Street and Webster Avenue. They envision retail shops, dining venues, a movie screen for outdoor viewing and a game lawn, according to descriptions and renderings appearing on the LoopNet.com real estate site.

Themed areas include the Railcar Bar, Railcar Deck and Railcar Terrace, a marketing brochure for Webster Street Market says. A Union Pacific railroad track runs nearby, inspiring the names. The anchor building dates to 1898, and long ago stabled horses that pulled Anheuser Busch ice wagons. It most recently served as home to Diversified Product Development, which accepted Bellmead’s offer of a new building to relocate.

As an ode to the past, a retail area may become The Ice House Shops.

“The goal of the property is to bring quality tenants together to create a synergistic atmosphere and destination for both locals and tourists,” according to promotional material for Webster Street Market. It will have 54,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, nearly half designated a market hall.

Continuing, the brochure says, “There will be an outdoor recreational and event area on what is now 10th Street. Rooftop sections are a potential option above the anchor restaurants. The location will have 240 designated parking spots for visitors next to the building off 11th Street. It is two blocks from the Magnolia Silos and close to I-35 and Baylor University.”

Josh Barrett, with Turner Brothers Real Estate, said the floorplan appearing in the brochure and online has undergone minor changes.

“We’re working on a grocery concept. The museum once planned probably will be converted to retail,” Barrett said by phone. “A local group is looking at one anchor restaurant space, and another is looking at a second. We still may have a brewery concept in the back. We have a handful of leads for the smaller tenant spaces in market hall.

“Optimistically, we’ll have everything in place in 12 months.”

Warm cookies, anyone?

A chain of bakeries that specializes in delivering cookies, baked goods and ice cream until 3 in the morning plans to open a Waco location.

Insomnia Cookies has secured a building permit valued at $183,264, to finish out space at 1508 Speight Ave., near Baylor University.

Gas prices

Waco motorists now pay nearly $2 more per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline than at this time last year, according to AAA Texas. The local average on Friday stood at $4.61 per gallon versus $2.72 in June 2021.

Perhaps more troubling is that locals one week ago were paying $4.35 per gallon on average, meaning prices have risen 26 cents in one week. A month ago the prevailing rate locally was $4.02 per gallon, according to AAA Texas.

The national average continues to stalk $5 a gallon, reaching $4.98 per gallon for regular unleaded, AAA reported Friday.

“With the national average almost at $5 a gallon, and the statewide average reaching a new record, drivers can expect to see higher prices for the next few weeks — if not months — as Russian oil is off the market for many countries due to its war in Ukraine,” AAA Texas spokesperson Daniel Armbruster said in a press release.

Austin Avenue retail space

Available space along Austin Avenue has become scarce as downtown development surges, which makes noteworthy a listing by Gregg Glime, with Coldwell Banker Commercial. Retail condos from 2,400 to 7,400 square feet are for sale or lease between 1017 and 1019 Austin Avenue.

Glime said the space has large windows facing Austin Avenue.

“We just listed those and have had a good level of interest so far. No users to report yet,” Glime said via email. “It’s a little unusual product from what we’ve done a lot of downtown. We are taking the 7,500-square-foot building and converting it into three different retail spaces for sale or lease. Unique opportunity for someone to buy about 2,000 square feet in downtown Waco.

“We are hoping this caters well to local businesses, and offers a path to ownership for small business owners as most everything this size downtown has only been available for lease in the past. We shall see what happens.”

Yaki

Baylor University graduates Jake and Lindsey Patterson converted a former Sonic Drive-In on South Valley Mills Drive to their Yaki Texas Teriyaki fast-food joint, a brick-and-mortar version of their food truck, and have been up and running in the new spot since early this year.

Yaki serves box meals containing rice, smoked meats, sauce and slaw salad. A press release says their goal was to offer meals for less than $10.

Electric hybrid trucks

An intriguing press release from Texel Energy Storage arrived last week about a collaboration between the Sweden-based company an U.S.-based Triton to develop “the next generation electric hybrid powertrain for trucks.”

It says Texel and Triton are scouting locations in the United States, and both “recently visited Waco, Texas, as a leading state to expand their technologies.”

Kris Collins, who recruits businesses as senior vice president for economic development at the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, has not yet replied to inquiries about whether these companies were given the grand tour.

Triton Electric Vehicle is manufacturing “a new class of electric vehicles currently in India with plans of expanding globally,” the press release says. Texel specializes in technology related to energy storage in batteries.

“It’s a great honor for Triton Electric Vehicle to partner up with Texel Energy Storage to change the world, and we look forward to a long and healthy relationship,” Triton CEO Himanshu Patel said in the press release.

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