Canales furniture; International Investments; Another castle; Bruceville-Eddy Drive-in Theater

Canales Furniture, a family-owned company based in Fort Worth, has signed a lease for the former Dirt Cheap space at 300 N. Valley Mills Drive, according to Waco real estate agent Randy Reed, who brokered the deal.

Fort Worth-based Canales has grown to about 20 locations in Texas and Oklahoma, according to its website. It will occupy 34,995 square feet in the old Dirt Cheap building located next to Planet Fitness. This Waco Commons shopping center is also home to a tractor supply store.

Reed also lists the former CVS Pharmacy store at New Road and Valley Mills Drive, which was just vacant. Some may believe that the space is hard to fill, given that it was created to accommodate a niche consumer.

But Reed said he already has several interested parties.

International investments

Chris Collins, senior vice president of economic development for the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, shared an interesting statistic with business leaders Friday when he presented the latest findings of the Greater Waco Economic Index.

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The GWEI declined in September for the seventh month in a row. But Collins softened the blow by pointing out that Waco has become a melting pot for industrial development. Seven new companies from five states have set up plants in Greater Waco since 2020. The announcements by companies from Mexico, Canada, Germany, Spain and Thailand created $455 million in spending, 1.5 million square feet of new construction and 578 new jobs.

Castle Market Update

Chip and Joanna Gaines have taken their Cottonland Castle off the market, deciding to resume public tours of the landmark Austin Avenue property.

But future castle owners still have options. Parsons Castle on Lake Whitney recently became available at $5.5 million. It has 10 bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, 11,000 square feet, a ballroom, commercial kitchen and bar, as well as suites for the bride and groom, according to a Hacker Property Group listing. The owners reportedly designed and built the home over 10 years as a private residence that could accommodate weddings.

The owners “have hosted weddings there … but never heavily marketed it as an event space,” said Eric Hacker of Briggs Foreman Sotheby’s International Realty. Hacker said he has sold other properties considered castles, “but I’ve never seen anything that overlooks a lake like this.”

The property is located in Bosque County and has an address in Clifton.

Car theater

Pamela Cervantes dropped out, but not on Monday. Her new car dealership in Bruceville-Eddy didn’t draw the crowds she’d hoped for over the weekend. In fact, she and the family members who got into a pickup truck probably outnumbered the outsiders in attendance.

“I don’t understand why the community didn’t come out,” said Cervantes, who wondered if Friday night football games were part of the crowds at her grand opening. She thought she got a positive response from those she told about her plans. She worked overtime spreading the word on social media and even got several local TV stations to enthusiastically tell her story.

Her husband, Julian Cervantes, owns a Dallas-based construction company that specializes in building highway bridges for the Texas Department of Transportation. He devoted money and manpower to make the 19-acre drive-in theater setting presentable and accessible. A stage, screen, projector, sound system, concession stands and bouncy houses were ready.

But few came and the feedback was not encouraging. C&C Theater took heat online for its pricing. Several posters compared it unfavorably to the Gatesville Auto Show. Pamela Cervantes said in an interview that the Gatesville drive-in is a different animal, operating throughout the week, not just on the weekends. She charged a little more for admission so she could charge less for food and drink, she said. But the community spoke up, so she made price adjustments for this Friday and Saturday night.

Children under 4 and adults over 65 pay nothing. Four people or less pay $15 per car, more than four pay $20 per car, she said in an interview. The Cervantes don’t have permits to show movies for the first time, so November is “hallmark” month and December will show holiday favorites.

Pamela Cervantes said the movie lot would accommodate about 150 cars under ideal parking conditions. The exact address is 2355 N. Old Bruceville Road, which is about a 4-mile drive from Interstate 35. Cervantes suggested taking Interstate Exit 321, going to Callan Ranch Road and watching for signs.

Load up at Buc-ee’s

Buc-ee’s and Mercedes-Benz are teaming up to give drivers a toll on their driving. The luxury automaker announced in a press release that it has partnered with the booming Texas-based chain “to launch a network of premium EV charging stations” in North America.

Once located exclusively in Texas, Buc-ee’s now has locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee. He broke ground on new stores in Colorado, Missouri and Mississippi.

“Buc-ee’s strategic locations along major travel routes, combined with their commitment to clean and affordable amenities, align perfectly with our vision. Together, we’re not only delivering exceptional value, we’re redefining the EV charging experience for drivers across the country,” Mercedes-Benz North America CEO Andrew Cornelia said in the press release.

The closest Buc-ee’s location to Waco is in Temple, but another is under construction about 30 miles up Interstate 35 in Hillsboro.

In 1995, Balkan leaders met in Dayton, Ohio, initialed a peace plan to end 3 1/2 years of ethnic fighting in Bosnia and Herzegovina and other events that occurred on this day in history.

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