Buyer looming for The Containery in downtown Waco
Seven months on from a bank foreclosure, The Containery remains ready for a new owner.
“We’re negotiating to put it under contract,” said Waco commercial real estate agent Gregg Glime, who confirmed interest by a party waiting in the wings.
With a deal on the brink of coming together, Glime said he would prefer not to discuss specifics. He said the prospect foresees little, if any, change in potential uses for the 33,888-square-foot development built with stacked shipping containers front and center.
Small retail shops, cafes and perhaps boutique lodging are what Bill Wetterman, The Containery’s original developer, had in mind.
But some city leaders could not contain their shock at The Containery’s appearance, specifically the paint job. They made their displeasure known and moved to put official city action behind it. When Wetterman applied in the summer of 2020 for a deadline extension on a previously approved $500,000 Tax Increment Financing Zone grant, a common practice, the board voted to make the extension contingent on repainting with more muted colors.
Then-board Chair Ruth Jackson and then-Mayor Kyle Deaver were among the city officials who said the business should be repainted. Deaver is now chair of the TIF board.
The Containery’s colors have not changed, but ownership has. TFNB Your Bank For Life, which financed construction, foreclosed on the property in June, claiming 4th & Jackson LLC defaulted on a loan of more than $4.4 million.
Glime, previously hired by Wetterman to find tenants, turned his attention to marketing the entire building at a price of $6.5 million.
That price has not changed, Glime said last week.
In June, Glime told the Tribune-Herald, “I’ve talked with architects, designers and other artistic folks in town, and we’ve come up with a couple of ideas for maintaining the uniqueness and eclectic nature of The Containery.
“Dissatisfaction with the color has been brought up by the city, but everyone has been open in talking this through. Everyone wants what’s best for the property,” Glime said.
Suggestions had included cloaking The Containery with murals, ivy or creative landscaping, he said at the time.
Asked last week if the colors would change under new ownership, Glime said he would prefer not to answer that question at this time.
Glime said The Containery has not proven to be a tough sell, nor did he find it difficult to interest lessees in its many nooks crannies. He said in June he had had 75 offers on lease space over four years, beginning in 2017.
“It’s always proven to be very marketable to retail, restaurant and office users. We just need to get it over the finish line,” Glime said at the time.
A brochure Glime prepared to market the site mentions its proximity to the Dr Pepper Museum, Magnolia Market at the Silos, the Hippodrome Theatre complex, Waco Convention Center, Indian Spring Park and Hotel Indigo.
It mentions The Containery’s three-story height, and the presence of an elevator, rooftop and skywalks. It says it would easily accommodate uses to include food and beverage, clothing, home goods, office and event space.
Fabled Bookshop & Cafe operates a short walk from The Containery.
The Containery is changing hands in the midst of much excitement downtown and along the Brazos River. Baylor University and the city of Waco recently announced collaboration on a new $185 million basketball arena, serving as centerpiece to surrounding development city officials have said will total $700 million.
That total includes work Dallas’ Catalyst Urban Development has already started on apartments and retail space in the area.
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