For years now I’ve been asking the question, what does Downtown Waco need. And for years the most enthusiastic response has been “Indian food!” Well, we have Indian food now, thanks to Stone Hearth at 506 Austin Ave.
So … now what?
There are a number of food and retail ventures already in the works for downtown. Some you’ve heard about and some are still under wraps. But there are a couple of properties that have me dreaming a little bigger.
The building at 712 Austin, formerly the Croft Art Gallery, is for sale and it’s an amazing space. It made a lovely art gallery and event space with room upstairs for artist’s studios. Dichotomy operated a coffee bar at the Croft before they had their own space and young professionals began to meet and do a little brewing of their own, of things to come in Waco.
I’m excited at the potential its next owner might see in it. Maybe art again. Maybe something else I can’t even imagine.
Another space that just recently became something to ponder is the Bank of America building on the 500 block of Austin Avenue. I don’t know that space as well as I do the Croft but a friend of mine said he thinks downtown needs more office space, more opportunities for ventures to settle downtown and bring more jobs down here with them.
I know I regularly have entrepreneur friends ask me if I know of finished office and desk space to lease downtown. Perhaps the Bank of America space would work for those purposes.
Right now is the most fun time to play this guessing game, while everything is still up in the air and the sky is the limit. So, what do you think? What would you like to see done with these large spaces downtown? What do we need?