Feature Illustration (above): Conceptual rendering of a mixed residential and retail development on a vacant lot next to the pedestrian Waco Suspension Bridge. Courtesy of 101 Elm St. LLC.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Waco (McLennan County) — Three of four urban development commercial projects considered in December by the Waco TIF Zone 1 board were approved and one postponed.
Following a site tour of the project sites on Dec. 20, the board of directors recommended development incentives of more than $1.6 million to assist in the development of Mammoth Culture Club, the Patio & Slab; Pivovar Brewery Restaurant and Hotel; and 101 Elm Avenue–a mixed residential and retail project.
The fourth project on the agenda, Embassy Suites Full Service Hotel, was postponed. The developers seek up to $4.9 million for façade and public improvements, including a structured parking structure that is to complement a 238,757-square-foot Embassy Suites Hotel.
The planned Embassy Suites is to be located at 301 South 2nd Street in downtown and will have 168 guest rooms and 15,000 square feet of meeting space.
The combined estimated construction value of the three projects is about $13.24 million and all must begin construction within six months to comply with the terms of the TIF incentives, unless extensions are granted.
Czech Brewing Co. plans to add two stories to the brick building at the corner of 8ths Street and Jackson Avenue for a boutique hotel, brewery, bakery and restaurant. Courtesy: Czech Brewing Co.
Pivovar Brewery, Restaurant & Hotel – 320-324 South 8th Street
The Czech Brewing Company LLC sought and received $683,291 in funding for façade and public improvements associated with an $8.67 million construction project.
This is for the conversion of an existing 9,383-square-foot one-story building into a three-story, 28,714-square-foot retail and hotel building with 32 guest rooms above a street-level restaurant, bakery and brewery.
The retail portion totals about 9,383 square feet. Public improvements include new sidewalks, landscaping, streetscape and repairs to Jackson Avenue. The site plan provides 10 parking spaces.
“The brewery will produce Czech style lager using old traditional brewing recipes and methods,” the project summary states. “The brew kettles will be visible to the patrons and so will the beer storage tanks.
“This building is constructed out of masonry stone with wood truss and deck roofing components. The second and third stories construction will consist of structural steel framing and light gauge metal studs covered with material consistent with the original material used on the building.”
The ground floor site plan for the Czech Brewing Co. retail project. Courtesy: Czech Brewing Co.
Julius Kramaric and Oldrich Cichon are the principals in Czech Brewing. According to a Waco Tribune-Herald report, their contractor is Brian Mitchell. The architectural renderings are by Sterling Architects LLC.
Construction is expected to begin in February and be complete by September.
Site plan for Mammoth Culture Club, Patio & The Slab. Courtesy: Revanch on Elm I LLC.
Mammoth Culture Club, the Patio & The Slab – Estimated total project cost: $1.37 million
The developer, Revanche on Elm I LLC, plans to redevelop a half acre in the 400 block of Elm Avenue (401-413 Elm Ave.). The site includes a historic building, the Bull Durham (circa 1899) that is in need of restoration. The club will be a 3,500-square-foot event space replete with an indoor stage for live entertainment, a recording studio, full bar, rooftop deck, and a Pokey O’s Cookies & Ice Cream shop.
A mammoth relief sculpture by Native American artist Dan Brook will serve as the front door.
The club patio site plan is 7,500 square feet of open space between the indoor club and The Slab. There will be an outdoor stage, biergarten-style seating, yard games and a 75-foot long mural wall along Elm.
The Slab refers to a planned outdoor shopping mall for eight to ten mobile vendors that will use the existing concrete slabs and shipping containers surrounding a central covered pavilion. The shipping containers will feature storefronts for graduates of Start Up Waco’s business incubator program.
Street and pedestrian views of Mammoth Culture Club, Patio & The Slab. Courtesy: Revanch on Elm I LLC.
The developer was awarded $275,223 of the $349,065 that was requested for remediation, partial demolition, structure stabilization, MEP, ground floor glazing and brick façade restoration. Public improvements include bike racks, fencing and sewer line replacement. The award amount represents 20 percent of the total project real property investment.
Revanche on Elm I LLC is controlled by Austin Meek, founder of Pokey O’s and the host of “Downtown Depot,” a Waco radio program on KWBU.
“My hope is to set a precedent of thoughtful, community-oriented, human-scale development on Elm Avenue … (to) create a ‘cultural watering hole’ in East Waco,” Meek stated on his project description.
The project is slated to start construction in July and be completed January 2020.
101 Elm Avenue
A residential project that will include two to three retail shops, simply known as 101 Elm Ave., was awarded $660,000. Located at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between Elm Avenue and Bridge Street, the total construction cost estimate is $3.2 million.
The developer, 101 Elm St. LLC, describes the project scope as a three-story, 34,283-square-foot structure with 4,280 square feet of common area and 44 new parking spaces. There will be 33 residential units and two units are described as workforce housing.
“Inspired by the warehouse style buildings that once blanketed the area, we anchored the development on the corner of Bridge Street and MLK Blvd. with three story Chicago-fire brick warehouse style loft buildings. This brick will resemble the brick that was used on similar structures that once stood on this very site,” said Irving-based project managers Brad and Ed Kinkeade.
“We softened the 90 degree angles at both corners of Elm Ave. and Bridge St. with a more welcoming flat front facing entrance. On the corner of Elm St. and MLK Blvd., we worked with City Center Waco to incorporate destination retail–drawing tourists to walk across the Suspension Bridge and serving the needs of the local community.”
The townhouse style apartments will have a gabled roof with two story Chicago-fire brick pop-outs to accentuate depth. Public art will be provided in the form of an Art Wall with retail style Windows on Elm.
Architectural elevation and sidewalk perspective of the east elevation: Elm on Windows. Courtesy: 101 Elm St. LLC.