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Bryan Guy

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  1. According to www.wulfe.com, the leasing agent, the following have signed leases or are in discussions to locate in Bryan Town Center: Burlington Coat Factory, Anytime Fitness, EyeMart, Baskin Robbin's, Shipley Doughnuts, CitiFinancial, Maurice's, Rack Room Shoes, Rue 21, Nail Topia, Logan's Roadhouse, Salt Grass Steakhouse, IHOP. I heard a rumor that Coldwater Creek was looking at the center for another location. Nothing too earth shattering just yet but I'm hoping the ball will get rolling once Target opens this summer.
  2. Here's a real blast from the past. Anyone remember the "Tokyo Steakhouse"? The Coldwell Banker office just north of Texas & University was originally an upscale japanese steakhouse if you can imagine that. I remember a few dinners there as a small kid. Had the sliding paper doors and everything if I recall correctly. Fajita Ritas! One of the hottest spots in town til probably the mid-90's or so when all of the franchise places started popping up. Now some random lil' mexican joint that can't be long for this world. Casa Thomas...in the center at Rosemary & Texas. Used to have a line out the door every Sunday. Fountain in the center kids would throw pennies into. Had my fair share of Roy Rogers (cherry coke) and Shirley Temples (cherry sprite) there. Now a quilt shop or something. Too young to remember Youngbloods but I've certainly heard about it. The Prosperity Bank in Bryan at Texas & Villa Maria (formerly State Bank, First State, First Federal S&L, etc) was an upscale seafood restaurant at some point? Too young for that too but man, how random. My parents had their rehearsal dinner at Ken Martin's on Texas in Bryan...in the cave room. I have a couple of brief memories of the place before they moved to 29th Street. My folks tell me it wasn't their first choice but there literally were very few options in B/CS in the mid '70's. Oxford Street in Bryan was originally a Steak & Ale when that was one of the nicer chains in the south. There used to be a private club called "Plaza Club" on the top floor of the now Wells Fargo Plaza at Briarcrest & Hwy 6. Closed in mid '90's or so. Served dinner, drinks, etc. Its amazing how many really nice things this town used to have that have faded into history. The Texan!!! You have to have lived here for a while to know about the Texan. Its now the scuzzy cigarette shop at S College & Villa Maria. Was a 5 star restaurant for years owned by the Tapley family. Served mahi-mahi, conche, amazing steaks, ostrich, crab, etc, etc, etc. The place was always a hole but you went there for the food! Silver Lining Salad, Kubra Libra Salad, Ceasar like you've never seen before..man, oh man, that was a big night out on the town. Had several birthdays, senior prom, etc there. Closed in 2000 or so....almost immediately after Christopher's opened and their regulars bailed. The nail shop at Texas & Southwest Pkwy was originally "Pelican's Wharf". Very nice seafood joint. Vacant for years then it was Pasghetti's....same owner as Fajita Ritas I think. Didn't last long. Then it was a cake & pie place owned by a family out of Round Top, now an asian nail shop....go figure. Man, I could go on and on.
  3. You're right. The HQ building on Tarrow was nothing but a concrete shell for probably a decade before A&M bought it and completed it. There were several structures like that that began in the early 80's but were victims of the Texas bank crash of '84-87. Most sat vacant for quite some time. The St Michael's Academy building on South College was originally going to be an office park that sat incomplete for years. The Crystal Park Plaza building at Hwy 6 & Emerald Pkwy was never completed and it sat there with broken out panes of glass for close to 10 years up until the mid '90s. Adam has already tried to get A&M to take his house as a living trust donation but they turned it down. I'm assuming that was so he didn't have to pay the $50K+ a year in property taxes on it. I don't know Mr. Adam personally, but from what I do know, he doesn't like to lose. He will finish that building. There are some pending lawsuits between him and the 1 or 2 general contractors who were on the job before his own Madison Construction took it over recently. With his luck he'll probably get back all of the money he paid those companies and use it to complete the building. I just wish it'd be over with already. I drive by that thing everyday would really like to see it completed. It will be a great addition to B/CS when it finally is done....if I remember from the original groundbreaking news it was the largest building between Houston & Dallas to break ground in decades if not ever.
  4. I have a very reliable source that tells me they'll be open no sooner than June 1 and most likely late June, early July. Can't wait. Not that I'm that into German food or Irish Car Bombs but from what I've seen and heard the facilities themselves should be pretty impressive and avery nice addition to Downtown Bryan.
  5. I literally laughed when I read this. I'm a B/CS native. My parents were born and raised in Bryan and when I was about 5 we made the "big" move out to College Station. We lived in Southwood Valley on Van Horn in a new house my dad built. The Kroger center you mentioned was literally as far south as College Station went, retail wise, at the time. It was one of the cooler centers in town for the period. The Kroger used to have this big, glass entrance with a sunroof....totally early '80s retro. The center had a Chuckie Cheese in it for a while before the oil bust of the 80's killed the local economy. Do you know that that particular Kroger sold more kegs than any other grocery store in the US for a long time? Random fact but I guess b/c it was the furthest south grocery store in CS it was just the easiest target. They actually used to close the makeup/perfume counter (yes, Kroger used to have one) and sold kegs there after about 8:00....crazy times. You bring up a good point though. No one in their right mind would've thought to plant trees in or landscape a parking lot back then. Glad that has changed a bit.
  6. Cinemark 16 (aka Hollywood USA at the time) opened in 1993 and now has 18 screens, I think, so they'd still be larger than Premier. I remember it clearly b/c I saw Jurassic Park for the first time at Schulman 6 in Bryan then saw it again with a friend at the new theatre. The sound at Cinemark was so much better it was like seeing a different movie. Amazing difference for the time considering all we had was the Schulman's and the two or three 3 screen theatres scattered in town. Wasn't "Aggieland Theatre" called Campus Theatre? Pretty sure if you pulled the wood trim off of Shadow Canyon you'd see a big sign that says: CAMPUS. Schulman 6 did close for a short time in the '90's. It had already begun to suffer when Cinemark opened in '93 but then they had a late night burglarly where a manager was shot and killed. They closed for probably 3-4 years then re-opened in Fall '97 following an extensive remodel. They re-opened first as a $1 theater then soon added new films. I think they hoped the opening of the Blinn Campus next door would provide a new market. The small retail center, next door, that is also now owned by Blinn was built that year. It housed a Double Dave's Pizza, a coffee shop, a bookstore, a haircut place, etc. If memory serves the Schulman's worked out a deal with Blinn in probably '02 or so to buy their building with an ongoing lease. A few months later their A/C failed and they closed leaving the building for Blinn's use. I actually worked at Cinemark my senior year of high school then Schulman the fall of my sophomore year of college. Two very fun jobs in hindsight. Schulman 6 was really cool b/c you could tell it was built by a family with such a theater history. Upstairs there was these old private viewing areas above each theater. From what I was told, they could be reserved by parties and individuals and alcohol, etc was served up there. Later they were walled off and used for storage. The Schulman's offices were up there too and at one point the entire lobby ceiling was two stories with a balcony looking down....blast from the past. The Church behind Wendy's was also a Schulman theater...I think it was called Parkway Theater. It was really cool architecturally for the time but unfortunately it opened when B/CS was in an economic doldrum and the location wasn't nearly as hot then as it is now. The last movie I can recall seeing there was as a kid, Griswold Family Christmas or whatever it was called with Chevy Chase. I remember going with a buddy....one of the first times I went to a movie without my parents. Would've than been '89 or so. It closed not long after that. Not sure when it was actually built by the Schulman's though. Most likely only a couple years before that b/c I don't remember seeing but one or two flicks there. It remained vacant for years until the string of bars took it over. Manor East III most likely opened in the late '70's. The lobby and restrooms had this funky foil wallpaper that could've only come from that era. I'm talking yellow and silver! It most likely closed in the early-mid '90's when Cinemark came to town and put everyone else out of business. Where Harry's is was a Cineplex Odeon....can't believe I remember that. It closed most likely in '93 when Cinemark opened. They literally forced everyone eslse out but Post Oak within less than a year.
  7. Bringing back an old topic. My how things can change in a year and a half. Not only did Bryan secure the Texas A&M Health Science Center, though at another location in west Bryan, but they've already broken ground and the plans appear to be more grand than I'd ever imagined. I feel it will be a true boon for western Bryan, including Traditions, and the city as a whole. Texas A&M Health Science Center at Bryan, who would've ever thought. But, thats not what I'm revisiting here. I want to go back to my original post regarding the Bryan Municipal Golf Course. I was driving down Villa Maria this past weekend and passed over the new underpass at Wellborn Road which appears to be very close to completion. I noticed that the road you now travel on appears that it will no longer be used once the underpass is complete. It looks like Villa Maria will shift about 30 yards to the south to travel under Wellborn. I'm curious if the land that was carved out of the Golf Course to make a temporary roadway will be returned to the course or left as public right of way. Secondly, the issue of selling or redeveloping the course doesn't seem to be as dead at City Hall as I'd previously thought. An article in The Eagle recently mentioned that a multi-year pollution study very recently made another report indicating Municipal Lake is largely free of arsenic. It even went on to say that fish caught there were edible...not sure about that one, don't think you'd catch me eating anything out of there. However, thats much better news than a few years ago. If I'm not mistaken the article said that though the lake water is largely clean, the sediment may still contain some trace levels of arsenic. And, that there were 25 "hot spots" throughout the golf course that still had elevated arsenic levels though the overall area is now considered clean. The kicker is this, the state of Texas has now mandated that all public spaces, including parks, must have pollution levels no higher than a typical residence. Meaning, I believe, that if this area is to continue to operate as a city park and golf course that the remaining arsenic "hot spots" and sediment will have to be removed. Obviously, that would be a large undertaking and I don't believe any further claim settlement money is coming from Elf Atochem who caused the arsenic to be there in the first place....the money the city did get was long ago spent I'd surmise. My thinking is that this new state regulation may make it all but impossible for this land to continue to be used as it currently is. I believe I read in the article that if the area was used for something else, ie. bulldozed and redeveloped into retail, office, apartments or what have you, that they wouldn't have to remove the remaining trace amounts of arsenic as it would no longer be a publicly owned and used space. I hold hope that there are enough visionaries in Bryan and the community at large that can see the huge amount of acreage right in the middle of town is much better suited to be redeveloped. It could literally transform all of central and south-central Bryan up to the College Station/A&M border. With the underpass near completion, travel time between Traditions and the new Health Science Center in west Bryan and Miramont and all the other development in east Bryan will be cut down dramatically. This site can be a pinnacle of success for the city. Lastly, the city could take the money from the sell of the land and develop a new municipal course, with a little further investment, either at the intersection of University & Hwy 6 as mentioned before in conjunction with College Station, or they could go out to Lake Bryan and build it there furthering the recreational amenities at that location, or any host of other locations that aren't suited for better use. This may be a pipe dream but I'm holding out hope.
  8. For anyone who travels downtown often I'd guess the fact that Doe's Steakhouse closed down is no big surprise. Though their other US locations appear to have done well this one just never caught on. The atmosphere was sparse and didn't really draw anyone back there from my and other's experience. However, whats taking Doe's place might be better in the long run. Opening soon is "River Bridge" which is the newest venue opened by the successful owners of the Koppe Bridge locations in College Station. Apparently they're taking the theme thats worked well at the other two locations and upgrading it a bit to include steaks and other finer dining items as well as a bar. I think its a great addition to Downtown Bryan and the Howell Building and most likely has a better chance at success given the investment made in the interior and the owners' knowledge of the local market. I'm sure the following website will be updated soon to include more info: www.koppebridge.com
  9. It looks like this topic has been discussed pretty thoroughly already but I can't help myself. I have MANY memories of Manor East Mall, unfortunately, no pictures. Someone had posted them on this forum in an earlier thread though. I was born in Bryan in the late '70s and Post Oak Mall wasn't built until '82. As a kid I referred to Manor East as the "white mall" and Post Oak as the "new mall". I recall stores such as The Fair (which became Crafts, Etc later), a jeweler, an asian import store, an Orange Julius, the JC Penney (which later became Food 4 Less), there was an upscale lady's store, video arcade, KKYS, a photo finishing store (Fox maybe?), Eckerds, the ice cream stand in front of Bealls that hung on forever after the mall began declining, the pet store, an optometrist, a home video rental store (long before the days of Hastings, Blockbuster, etc), Montgomery Ward's that my grandmother shopped at religiously and still had a catalogue order/pick up counter, an indoor putt-putt course by the movie theater (remember the foil wallpaper in the theater lobby?), wasn't there a Court's or other western wear store at one point?...I had more than one set of pictures made with Santa and the Easter Bunny on that center stage let me tell you. Pier 1 Imports was even in the strip center at the corner of Texas & Villa Maria and El Chico was located in the building that now houses the three restaurants facing Texas Ave. It was so sad what a dismal site Manor East had become by the late '90s. Once Wal-Mart moved to Briarcrest that was the last nail in the coffin....not that it'd been a great addition to begin with but I think the Culpepper's hoped it would help the mall hang on for a while after Penney's and others started heading south. Unfortunately, Manor East's lingering demise probably really pulled all of central Bryan down with it for a time. Inroads are being made daily to reverse that trend now but it has a long way to go. Its great to now drive by the Tejas Center and see a jam-packed HEB, a Starbucks (in Bryan!...who would've thought), Bealls, Baskins, Golds Gym, Hastings, small stores, restaurants, etc.
  10. There's currently a proposed multi-use development for the plot of land between Tom Light Chevrolet and McCoy's, between the Highway 6 frontage road and Boonville/FM 158. It appears to include an upscale Best Western hotel and has space for quite a few other retail, business opportunities. Austin's Colony Parkway would supposedly be extended through the development, ending at Highway 6. If you drive by there now there's a real estate sign showing an available "hard corner" at the proposed new intersection. This is pretty exciting...that plot has been proposed as so many things in recent years it'd be great if something actually happened there...and as a homeowner and worker in east Bryan I'd personally love some more venues on this side of town. There's a really neat brochure for the development on the realtor's website: www.oldhamgoodwin.com. I tried to get a couple more pictures but I'm not savvy enough to do that apparently. The brochure gives more info on the hotel, etc. Here's one though: Current View West:
  11. You're probably correct b/c the Target in College Station is only 5000 sq ft different in size than the square footage referred to in the Lauth press release. I guess they'd be hard pressed to fit a Super Target in there. Not sure we needed ANOTHER grocery store anyway. The site plan is on the city's website. I think they've got the link to this specific project blocked but its the last one in the list. Bryan Current Project List
  12. When the rumors about this deal began circulating around town about a year ago I heard that Target wanted to exand in this market but that there was no room at their current location. The rumor was that they'd close the CS location and build a Super Target in Bryan and that Old Navy would follow them. I'm now thinking thats probably just rumor. As far as I know the CS location will remain open as a regular Target and the Bryan location will be a Super Target.
  13. Here's a link from the developer's site. Sounds like they're having some more interest at least.Lauth Press Release
  14. I actually attended a luncheon hosted by the Research Valley Partnership held at Pebble Creek Country Club a month or so ago regarding this proposed development. Several members of the "task force" attempting to bring this to B-CS were there. I believe at that point B-CS was on a list of 16 remaining communities still under consideration. There was to be an envoy from the government visiting the proposed site within a week of that luncheon to make an actual physical tour of the site. I haven't heard anything since then so I'm thinking we may've been cut...but who knows. Our community had several things that made us a desirable location but so do a lot of the other towns. If I hear anything I'll post it.
  15. Looks like it is going in between University Dr. and Villa Maria on Texas Ave. This will be good for that corridor. Currently it is mostly mid 20th century shopping centers. Along with the Tejas Center, this should give a nice boost to that corridor. Yes, its going in at the NW corner of Texas & North Avenues in the new North Park Plaza. I agree that it should really help spur growth along Texas Ave by increasing traffic somewhat to that area. Anything that pulls some visitors north of University should be helpful and help continue the direction the area is currently going in. I honestly think that the old Fajita Rita's location would be a little better if they were determined to locate in that area but that wouldn't really have benefited Bryan other than increased sales & property tax at that one location b/c it wouldn't pull people very far north across the city limit. Its been mentioned on this site before that others agree that the area along South College Ave, near the Old College Road intersection, would've also benefited from this type of development. With its existing eateries and bars and proximity to Northgate I think a Hooter's would've been a welcome addition. But, hey, I'm not going to knock this either...who would've ever thought it, a Hooter's in Bryan?! Plus, for every franchise that is successful in the city there are sure to be more to follow. Its going in at the pad site on the left. I wish the center was as attractive as the rendering. The final colors are VERY loud but they should mesh with a Hooter's alright.
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