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Mike Copeland: Central Freight complex; Shorty's growing; Sales tax holiday; Hispanic Chamber president

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Central Freight (copy)

The owners of the former Central Freight Lines complex in Waco, seen here in December shortly before the company folded, are considering leasing out the property or demolishing the existing structures for a new development.

Days before last Christmas, Central Freight Lines announced it would close for good following a 96-year run that started in Waco. Employees would need to find work elsewhere. Everyone is now gone from the Central Freight location at 5601 W. Waco Drive, said David Mercer, with Merck Asset Management, the entity that now owns the Central Freight complex.

“I’m using some of my local subs (subcontractors) to get the trash and unsaleable material off property,” Mercer said. “The remaining property that is saleable will be sold at auction, through Garner & Associates Auctioneers, at a later date.”

Mercer said local real estate agents Gregg Glime and Brad Davis are listing the property, including warehouses, an office building and a cross dock totaling about 200,000 square feet spread over 37 acres.

“Regarding plans for the property, we are open to leasing the facility to one or more tenants but also exploring the option of leveling the property for a new, ground up, most likely mixed-use, development,” Mercer said via email.

From a layman’s view, the site appears prime, located as it is next to Home Depot, near Richland Mall and only a half-mile from State Highway 6.

Shorty’s growing

Shorty’s is growing. The pizza parlor near Baylor University will open a second location, a Shorty’s II, across town, according to a building permit issued by the city of Waco. It says $876,000 will be spent to renovate and enlarge lease space at 8640 La Village Ave., just off Hewitt Drive next to Keith Ace Hardware.

Shorty’s Pizza Shack, 1712 S. 12th St., has become a favorite among students and outsiders alike, serving pizzas, Italian Style Knots, fried pickles, fried mushrooms, Pizza Pillows, mozzarella sticks, garlic bread, chili cheese fries and wings.

Sales tax holiday

With world conditions being what they are today, the state’s annual sales tax holiday on emergency items may generate more traffic than ever.

Next weekend retailers will sell merchandise sans sales tax that the public may find useful during severe weather or other threatening conditions.

“Whether it’s fires, freezing temperatures or tornadoes, severe weather conditions can strike at any time, so it is important that families, homes and businesses have the supplies they need to face these and other emergencies,” Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said in a press release. “This tax holiday can help Texans save money while stocking up for emergency situations.”

Shoppers can buy as many qualifying items as they want.

Merchandise includes household batteries, fuel containers and flashlights priced less than $75; hurricane shutters and emergency ladders priced at less than $300; and portable generators priced at less than $3,000.

Items not making the grade include batteries for boats, automobiles and other motorized vehicles; camping stoves and camping supplies; chainsaws; plywood; extension ladders and stepladders; and tents.

Local residents pay 8.25 cents in sales tax on every dollar spent.

Old Corner Drug

Now people do not have to drive to West to get — prescriptions filled. The well-loved Czech-recipe-inspired kolaches available there are another matter.

Old Corner Drug, a West staple more than 100 years, has opened a location at 6612 Woodway Drive.

“This has been a dream of mine for 10 years,” co-owner Jonathan Williams said in a press release.

Old Corner Drug specializes in compounding, which is the practice of tailoring medications to individual needs.

The Food and Drug Administration website defines compounding as when a licensed operator “combines, mixes, or alters ingredients of a drug to create a medication tailored to the needs of an individual patient.”

Compounded drugs are not FDA-approved, though the FDA does recognize their application. It says, for example, a patient allergic to a certain dye may need a medication to be made without it, or a patient unable to swallow a tablet may need a medication in liquid form.

“Compounding is one of the many ways we can offer that unique, individualized service patients won’t see from major retailers,” Williams said.

He co-owns the new location for Old Corner Drug with pharmacist Randy Niemeyer.

New QuikTrip

QuikTrip will open its second Greater Waco location May 26, near North Loop 340 and Interstate 35. That is a former Luby’s cafeteria location.

The Bellmead store will join the first located on New Road at I-35. The chain was founded in 1958 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and has grown to more than 900 stores in 15 states, with 24,000 employees and $11 billion in annual sales.

QuikTrip donates 5% of annual net profits to charitable organizations.

New Hispanic Chamber president

Andrea Kosar, a Baylor University graduate with a background in broadcast journalism and public relations, has been named president of the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, succeeding Alfred Solano.

Kosar also knows challenges facing entrepreneurs. She and her husband, Hunter Kosar, own a trucking company serving Waco, Bryan and Austin called Twisted Nail LLC. Its website calls it a brokering company whose services include refrigerated trucking and heavy freight hauling. It specializes in “pit-to-plant” delivery of sand and gravel, running up to 20 trucks a day.

Kosar said in a press release that she hopes to showcase Hispanic-owned businesses and chamber members. She said the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber’s focus will remain on Hispanic leaders, but it will take an all-inclusive approach to supporting small business.

The Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber has three strategic initiatives: advocating for the development of La Salle Avenue, providing opportunities to entrepreneurs with limited English proficiency via the CoStarters program, and creating diversity on local organizational boards through Hispanic Leadership Network.


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