Developing downtown Waco market plans to include remnants of Anheuser Busch building

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 8:43 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A group of Waco developers are moving forward in converting the former historic Anheuser-Busch building into a flourishing market, aiming to cater to locals and bring them to the booming downtown area.

WAGBOO Properties, a group of developers who grew up in the Waco area, said they began the process to transform the site in October 2021. The building lies a few blocks away from the Silos on Webster Ave. between 10th and 11th streets.

“We love Waco and we love giving back to the community,” Josh Barrett, one of the developers in the group, said. “We’ve really seen there’s a need to connect Magnolia and downtown and bring locals to the area. So, we just thought this would be a great opportunity to create a mix that would incentivize that and bring locals here and kind of help us mix with the tourist crowd.”

Barrett said the market, which is planned to be called W10, will feature around a dozen restaurant and retail businesses. He said the area is specifically catered to local small businesses.

“This is more catered towards the local mom-and-pop shops that wanted a space downtown that was semi-affordable and could really feed off of the growth and the other activities in downtown Waco, so local is definitely our focus here,” Barrett said.

There will be different sections of the market, including a high bay, low bay and a space for a steak house restaurant with potential rooftop seating. He said retail spaces will be around 600-700 square feet of enclosed spaces, and he hopes sharing the space with other tenants will make it more affordable for local businesses to move in.

During the design phase of the project, the group decided to keep aspects of the Anheuser-Busch building.

“There’s some things we’ll have to change, but I mean, in terms of the shell and the building, we love the historical aspects of it,” Barrett said. “We want to keep as much of that.”

The market will still feature remnants of the brewery as well as keep the original walls and architecture. However, they plan to modernize it as well by adding windows and more features that fit the aesthetics of the market.

“We’ve already started cutting spaces for the windows, so the concrete is pretty thick, so it’s a bit of a process,” Barrett said. “We plan on keeping that as authentic and as untouched as possible, and then, other than that, just adding windows and creating more exposure and light, but then keeping the shell pretty much the same as it is…”

The group is also working to make the railroad behind the building a quiet zone, and they plan to abandon the dead-end part of 10th street past Webster Ave in hopes of making it an outdoor event space.

Barrett said they plan to start construction within the next month or two, hoping the market will be up and running by the end of the year or beginning of 2024.

He said local businesses interested in renting a space in W10 market can reach out to Turner Brothers Real Estate or find a QR code and phone numbers on the future market building.