Owners of Waco’s La Fiesta will have bar concessions inside Union Crossing Food Hall
DAVID STONE | OUR TOWN TEMPLE
New and renovated buildings along Central Avenue in Downtown Temple will become home to more than a dozen new retail shops, eateries and office spaces, and they could be open by summer.
According to Jonathan Garza, director of development for Waco-based Turner Brothers, the first floors of the former Sears building, the old Hawn Hotel and the new 4th Street Parking Garage will be leased as retail and office space. Another development across the street — Central Plaza Apartments — also will include first-floor stores and offices.
“The Sears building will be first-floor retail and office space, and we will have one restaurant location in that building,” Garza said. “The second floor, however, will be strictly residential with 26 apartments. An additional two or three units will be located in the former auto shop between the Sears building and Precious Memories Florist & Gift Shop.”
While retail tenants for the Sears building haven’t been finalized, plans are moving forward on the ground floor of the old Hawn.
“This first floor of the Hawn will be an 8,000-square foot food hall — Union Crossing,” Garza said. “It will be the third food hall owned by UnionBrands Eateries Texas, which also owns Union Hall in Waco and Union Grove which is being built near Woodway.”
“Union Crossing will have a railroad theme, and it will have eight vendors. One of those vendors will have its own entrance.”
The Castillo family, which owns La Fiesta Tex-Mex restaurant, Wacool Tacos & Tamales, Sam’s Bar and Fiesta Catering, all in Waco, will have the main bar concessions at Union Crossing. Garza did not say what food concepts the family will implement inside the Hawn.
“Union Crossing will serve as a family oriented food incubation system,” Garza said. “The food hall allows local restaurateurs to experiment with different concepts and bring their community new and diverse cuisine options.”
“Places like Union Crossing can be a stepping stone for growing your food business,” he said. “We’ve seen food hall businesses take off and open their own restaurants. We’ve also seen food truck vendors who wanted to test out a stationary location without having to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
While the Hawn’s ground floor will be dedicated to food and drink, floors 2 through 9 will house 31 one- and two-bedroom residential units. The leasing process for the apartments will begin in early 2023, he said.
All four of Turner Brothers projects in Downtown Temple are on schedule to open in summer 2023.
“We likely will have rolling openings, but they should be close together,” Garza said. “Union Crossing will likely be last. We want to finish the apartments before we bring in people to eat.”
Garza said the renaming of the Hawn will be one of the last things to do before it opens, but it will “likely include the name ‘Hawn.’” The Sears building will be renamed because of legal reasons.