A bi-monthly newsletter investigating the people, places, and policies shaping Waco’s economy.
I'm Austin Meek, Vox of Waco Business News and host of "Downtown Depot," the radio show and podcast where we track the ins and outs of Waco business. Listen live on Fridays at 11:30AM on 103.3 KWBU-FM or stream previous episodes of "Downtown Depot" anytime via Apple Podcasts, NPR, and Waco Business News.
The Waco Business Newsletter: July 31, 2019
A lot of movement happening in East Waco! Revival Eastside Eatery, pictured above, is now open at 704 Elm Avenue serving farm-fresh sandwiches and salads. Dirt is turning on a tract on MLK between Bridge and Taylor Streets where two boutique lodging concepts, the Cambria Suites and the Even Hotel, will break ground in a few weeks. In the least surprising news of the week, Nancy Grayson is feuding with the TIF board over the roll-up doors she wants as the facade of her Elm Avenue Food Store, a design that many community members have said they do not like. Another day in paradise!
Carole Fergusson, who works at StartUp Waco and is heading up the inaugural Waco Restaurant Week, joined me on Downtown Depot last episode to talk about the early days of downtown and how she has noticed consumer tastes change. (Waco Business News)
Commercial expert Gregg Glime with nuggets about office space in downtown and a storefront for the William Hoyt bagel truck, which will introduce beer at its new location. (Waco Business News)
Interested in an investment property in Waco? The Brook Oaks neighborhood offers plenty of options with affordable housing, proximity to downtown and Cameron Park, and positive developments like Dewey Park, Mission Waco, and Harp Design Company. (Waco Business News)
Houston-based NewQuest Properties has broken ground on Cottonwood Creek Market, a 143-acre entertainment project off the west side of I-35 between New Road and Loop 340. Opening is scheduled for Spring 2020, which seems optimistic. Austin Baldridge of NewQuest is representing the landlord and has already secured a commitment from Cinemark for a 14-screen movie theater. (Rebusiness Online)
The Magnolia Foundation of Chip and Joanna Gaines recently distributed $73,000 worth of sporting goods, clothing, and shoes to underprivileged youth in Waco. The famous couple are also in the midst of a $10.4 million expansion project on their Silos property. They are making money and strengthening their city; please miss me with your hot takes about how they are "ruining Waco." (The Waco Tribune-Herald)
Urban designers and transportation planners say the kind of "street art" pictured above — bold colors, wide berths, something that makes drivers slow down to notice — results in safer intersections, stronger neighborhoods and better public health. (NPR)
"Supply and demand" isn't just a theory. It’s a statistically-proven explanation for why homes are expensive or cheap in given areas. The Houston & Dallas metroplexes have built far more housing, have lower price medians, and have grown much faster than San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Boston, for example. Interesting stat: 13.5% of approved building permits in the United States over the past seven years have been issued in the DFW, Houston, and NYC metro areas. (Market Urbanism Report)
Increasing tree cover may be like a "superfood" for community mental health, according to a group of Australian scientists. (Science X)
Housing construction in the U.S. has never been so polarized between density and sprawl, urban and exurban. This is largely an issue of restrictive zoning practices that don't allow "missing middle" housing options like duplexes and triplexes. (Bloomberg)
Philadelphia developer Stephanie Sena is building prefabricated modular housing units for the city's homeless population; the 900 square-foot units are priced under $100,000. Could this be a model for attacking the affordable housing crises plaguing many major American metros? (Plan Philly)
Downtown Houston is abolishing parking minimums in what's being dubbed locally as "market-based parking." As ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft proliferate, and as effective multi-modal transportation options like scooters, bikes, and bus rapid transit become more deeply ingrained in the culture, the need for car parking will diminish. (Streets Blog)