Historic Belton train station getting revamped

Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 8:08 PM CST
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BELTON, Texas (KWTX)-- The sound of drills and saws are now a common fixture at the corner of East Street and First Avenue in downtown Belton as construction is underway at the old Belton MK&T Depot.

The original Belton Depot has been there since 1899 and for decades a train ran routes from the station to Temple. However, in the past few decades it has been largely inactive.

“In the past it’s just been used as a storage facility. So, it really hasn’t been used to its full capacity in over 30 years,” said Luke Potts, one of the four private investors transforming the space.

Now Potts and his partners say the plan is to transform the space into a commercial complex that includes restaurants, bars, shopping and even an outdoor lounging area.

“We want to do everything in this downtown area, the historic section to bring people down here and let our community enjoy it,” Potts said.

The City of Belton and the Belton Chamber of Commerce are applauding the development.

“It brings people from out of the area because they’re going to want to see this. This is something people are going to put on their ‘I need to go to Belton so I can see what they’ve done at the depot’ list,” said Randy Pittenger, the president and CEO of the Belton Area Chamber of Commerce.

For the developers, they say an important part of the project is maintaining the history by keeping much of the original building intact.

The developers recently brought in one of the actual train cars that once ran on the Belton MK&T line and a caboose from that era.

“Our caboose that we got is from the 1940s. Alot of it has been rotted out, it’s got structural issues. But in order to fix that we’ve been finding products from around that same time period,” Potts said.

The developers have been doing much of the remodeling work themselves including building the railroad tracks by hand.

They say they hope to have the project complete by the end of the year. Then they’ll begin renovating another historic building right next door-- an old grain storage building called The Katy.

Between The Belton MK&T Depot and The Katy, Potts says 10 new businesses will come to downtown Belton.

The developers ask that any businesses interested in leasing a space can email Beltondepot@gmail.com

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