There’s good news for Stephenville residents regarding the property on Washington Street – just west of McDonald’s - that used to house the Coca-Cola plant. Plans for a substantial remodel of the property have been drawn by the local architectural firm of Fred Parker & Associates and when the project is complete, the city will have a brand new strip mall.

Heidi Olsen of Brooks Real Estate who is spearheading the leasing of the property says, “The current Coke building is approximately 16,000 square feet. That building is basically going to undergo a facelift; we’re not doing a full demolition. Only the front wall will be removed and replaced with a whole new stucco, rock and glass elevation. The other three walls will remain in place."

The plan is for the building to accommodate six units.

"They’ll range from 2,275 square feet to our end-cap units at 3,443 square feet," Olsen said. "The ultimate goal is for those end units to house two national-franchise restaurants as our anchor tenants. I don’t have any names of tenants at this time because nothing has been finalized on leases, so we very much welcome inquiries from interested parties.”

She said the project is aimed at putting the highest and best spin on commercial frontage in the community.

"One of the best features is that, with the approval of the city, we’ll have more than ample parking for the mall," she said. "There’s a parking lot in front that people see when they drive by on Washington Street, but there’s additional parking in the rear that’s not visible from that angle. We want people to get in and out and park and turn easily so that parking isn’t any kind of a drawback."

The property belongs to a longtime local owner who preferred not to be included in this article, but Olsen emphasizes that if bids allow they will go with a local general contractor and subcontractors.

“We can’t guarantee that, of course, because it ultimately will be a question of how the bids come in," she said. "But we’d like to keep the money and the work here in the city if possible.”

Olsen said there are still spaces available for restaurant and retail businesses and welcomes inquiries, but adds, “This is not a project that’s suitable for offices. Our vision is definitely geared toward retail and dining. And most people who are looking for office space are not going to be interested in paying commercial prices, so it’s really just not a fit for that type of use," she said.

For more information, contact Olsen at 254-965-5051 or 254-592-2562.