Scott Ball / Rivard Report
The next project for downtown developer Weston Urban sits in the morning shadow of City Hall and a block south of its most significant current venture – Frost Tower.
The developer purchased the 103-year-old building at the northwest corner of Flores and Commerce streets late last month with plans to turn 10,000 square feet on the second floor into what it calls “creative office space.”
“In that spot with that product, I think there’s silly demand,” Weston Urban CEO Randy Smith said.
Ground-floor tenants VIA Metropolitan Transit, 7-Eleven, and Metro PCS have leases and there is one empty ground-floor space. The building, located at 201 W. Commerce St., once was home to a Kress five-and-dime store and Melrose apparel store.
It has taken years for a developer to finally go ahead with purchasing the property to try to make it into something new. Back in 2013, the site hosted the first Center City Open House where developers, realtors, architects, and planners tried to reimagine the space.
Smith said the building is in an important spot adjacent to the heart of city government and many other current and planned projects, many of which Weston Urban is playing a part in or directing.
In addition to the new Frost Tower up Flores street, Weston Urban is working on or will be developing the tower’s garage and Municipal Plaza in the near future. The firm also is renovating spaces in the Milam Building and the Rand Building, which are both nearby.
Weston Urban also owns the parking lot behind the recently purchased property, a space that previously served as Frost Tower parking. He said a realistic timeline for completion of the office space project is six to eight months.
“We’re going to love on it,” Smith said. “That’s a really important corner.”
Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick contributed to this article.