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Podcast: Jones Crossing H-E-B built for technology – and pizza

H-E-B’s newest store in College Station is set to open Sept. 12, and there will be striking differences when compared to locations at Holleman Drive and at Tower Point.

In this edition of the podcast, H-E-B Area Community Coordinator Diane Besosa talks about everything from app-based shopping/checkout to the restaurant that will be located inside.

Listen to the Podcast: Jones Crossing H-E-B built for technology – and pizza

 

Why doesn’t College Station have a Waffle House?

By , Economic Development Manager

On Monday, I received an email asking a simple question: Why has the City of College Station not reached out to Waffle House or made plans to build one in our community?

Since Waffle House is the mecca of waffle aficionados across much of America, the question is reasonable — and it’s one we hear a lot.

So why don’t we have a Waffle House?

Restaurants such as Waffle House are planned and built by private businesses. We proactively recruit many companies, including restaurants, and we’ve pursued Waffle House for several years. Unfortunately, its management has repeatedly said it has no plans to expand to College Station anytime soon.

The role of the city’s Economic Development department is to identify commercially zoned property with good visibility and access that companies such as Waffle House would find attractive. We then help that business navigate our development and permitting processes.

I’m a big fan of waffles and would love to see a Waffle House in College Station. If you have an influential contact who could change the company’s decision and bring a location here, you’d be a local hero.

Get to work!

Photo Copyright: dehooks/123RF Stock Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Podcast: Chef Wade Barkman dishes on The Republic and Primrose Path

After 10 years of owning and operating The Republic Steakhouse in College Station, executive chef Wade Barkman is finally building his own restaurants – an updated Republic, plus a brand-new concept that shares a common slab – from the ground up.

In this podcast with Public Communications Director Jay Socol, Wade talks about life leading up to this point, and what people can expect with these new properties.

Total run time: 32:03

  • 00:00 – Show open.
  • 01:00 – PART ONE: Wade starts from the beginning, including how he found Texas A&M, moved on to culinary school, then California, Vegas (thank you, Aggie Network) and finally back to CS in 2006.
  • 08:20 – Wade finds his restaurant location — home to three or four previous ones. (Can you name them?)
  • 11:42 – The highs and lows of Chimney Hill: Why did Wade stay?
  • 14:30 – How he found a concept — The Republic — that the town needed, even if he wasn’t a steakhouse guy.
  • 17:48 – Why dozens of restaurants have come and gone in 10 years, but The Republic has survived. “I would not wish this business on anyone.”
  • 19:47 – PART TWO: The Republic is being recreated + Primrose Path, a “gastro-pub wine bar.”
  • 21:13 – The differences between the old Republic and the new one.
  • 24:14 – What is Primrose Path going to be?
  • 26:58 – Will you miss the old building, or take anything with you to the new place?
  • 28:07 – How was your development experience with the city of College Station?
  • 30:11 – Sometime in fall 2018: Republic will open, with Primrose Path doing so about a month later.
  • 30:49 – What’s your guilty pleasure in terms of food?
  • 31:49 – Show close.

 

Is This A Thing? What’s coming to CS and what’s not (Episode 6)

It’s been a long time since Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz and Public Communications Director Jay Socol talked rumors versus reality in terms of restaurants, retail, and more. This episode of “Is This a Thing?” covers a lot of ground, including flip-flop scenarios about In-N-Out Burger.

Using examples of Academy and Gander Mountain, Nat also gives great insight into why vacant properties stay empty so long.

Total run time: 44:09

  • 00:00 – Show open.
  • 02:20 – University Drive: Kinds of businesses interested in University Town Center, its challenges; announcements by fall, then construction.
  • 05:45 – Chimney Hill: The Republic Steakhouse and Primrose Path; drive-thru Starbucks looks like a thing; what else has potential; the REAL story about In-N-Out Burger.
  • 10:36 – Burger Mojo update.
  • 11:50 – Century Square: Review of all the recent openings + what else is coming soon. How sustainable are all these businesses?
  • 15:43 – Northgate: Seeing more restaurants and retail interests. Food truck park. Small grocery has to be on the horizon.
  • 18:15 – Texas Avenue: Ace Hardware, Red Lion.
  • 19:15 – Pappadeaux status.
  • 22:05 – Honest talk about Harvey Road.
  • 26:15 – Why “available” buildings aren’t always…available. Example: The old Academy building.
  • 30:15 – Status of the Gander Mountain building.
  • 32:35 – Jones Crossing: Status of H-E-B and more.
  • 33:37 – Chef Tai’s Urban Table (I botch the name).
  • 34:15 – CapRock and Tower Point: Rx Pizza, Casa do Brasil, Ground Shuttle Transit, The Yard, Bottleneck Wine Bar, offices and more.
  • 36:05 – Gringo’s now has a building permit. Walk-On’s moving forward. TaD’s Louisiana Cooking.
  • 37:05 – Stella (from the owners of Harvey Washbanger’s).
  • 38:13 – New car dealerships.
  • 38:40 – Dunkin’ Donuts — anything?
  • 41:00 – Big boxes hit pause on new developments in 2017. Now, “the Amazon Effect” has forced brick-and-mortar brands to be creative with new online partnerships.
  • 43:51 – Show close.

 

Podcast: “I had probably the most-pleasant development experience of my career (in College Station)”

Whenever we hear about new businesses, it’s typically an initial announcement about what’s coming, where it’ll be and when it’ll open. Maybe you’ll eventually hear about the ribbon cutting, but that’s about it.

In this podcast episode, we talk with Ted Ent — president and COO of Mac Haik Hospitality — about the new Embassy Suites that’s scheduled to open Oct. 2 near the Texas A&M campus. Ted describes how he was able to secure a location that no one thought was available, what successes and challenges were part of the development process, and whether or not College Station has too many hotels.

00:00 – Introduction

01:45 — Ted talks about his background in the industry

03:00 — How did College Station get on your radar?

04:40 — “Folklore in the hotel industry”: How he secured such a prime location.

09:28 — College Station provided the most-pleasant development experience of his career.

13:08 — Ted’s role throughout the development process.

14:53 — The use of a local artist; other Ted touches.

16:30 — The Sabre

17:24 — Challenges along the way (traffic, utilities).

21:12 — Don’t we have too many hotels in College Station?

25:34 — What amenities are needed in the area that don’t currently exist?

29:40 — Show close

Uptown University Drive: The Unofficial Entrance to Aggieland

Article excerpt:

…University Drive is now one of the busiest streets in College Station. Chains like Ulta, Home Depot, and Michael’s join locally owned businesses such as Veritas Wine & Bistro, Blue Baker, and Charli women’s clothing store. Both residents and guests have plenty of opportunities to shop and dine along the three-mile stretch. Aggie entrepreneurs are well-represented along the three-mile stretch: Aggieland Outfitters, the Republic Steakhouse, David Gardner’s Jewelers, and Paolo’s Italian Kitchen all the way down to the iconic Dixie Chicken at Northgate.

Student and young professional housing options now line University Drive. Northpoint Crossing occupies the prime corner of Texas Avenue and University Drive. Formerly the location of the Ramada Inn, the student apartments provide housing to hundreds of students as well as retail and restaurant space on the ground level.

Further down the corridor, Century Square is the newest development directly across from the Texas A&M campus. This urban center is located where Texas A&M’s former married student housing once stood. Cavalry Court, a Corps-inspired boutique hotel, opened in November 2016. Across the complex, The George hotel is set to open in August offering an “upscale whiskey and leather” ambiance. The George’s design is a nod to the early beginnings of College Station as part of the railroad routes, says Century Square General Manager John Taylor.

Restaurants and retail will surround the Midway and Valencia-owned hotels. Food locations include Hopdoddy, Zoë’s Kitchen, Blaze Pizza, Tiff’s Treats, Berryhill Baja Grill, Piada Italian Street Food, Mo’s Irish Pub, Sub Zero, and Sweet Paris Crêperie. Retail stores will include Merge, Hey Sugar, and Runway 7. A movie theatre, Star Cinema Grill, will also open around the holidays. Other additions to the urban center include the Breakaway Ministries administrative office, Galleria Day Spa, Neighbors Emergency Center, and Orangetheory Fitness.

Two office buildings will open on either side of The George. A 21-and-older living community, 100 Park is located across the street from one of the office buildings, and offers studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom floor plans…

Full article at Insite Brazos Valley Magazine

 

Four new tenants announced for upcoming Century Square project

The roster of tenants filling out College Station’s forthcoming Century Square added four new members Thursday, including a mix of local and national businesses.

CS City Council approves rezoning for commercial uses along Texas 6

The College Station City Council approved zoning changes Thursday to allow for commercial development on six different properties, half of which have frontage along Texas 6.

Podcast: Is this a thing? What’s coming to CS (episode 3)

This is the third edition of “Is This a Thing?” with Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz, who talks about restaurants and retail that are more than just a rumor.