WACO - The long-vacant Stratton Building located at South Eighth St. and Austin Ave. in downtown soon will be transformed into a vibrant arts and dining center. Ellis Isle Equities is the company working to develop the building that will include space for art displays, residential lofts, an upscale pub and a coffee bar.
The whole project is expected to cost about $15 million, including about $3.3 million in renovations for the Stratton Building that will preserve its historic design from its construction in 1923.
The first level of the five-story building will be converted into a gallery space to be occupied by Art Center Waco. A portion of the main floor will also be removed to expose the basement, which is to be transformed into an upscale pub.
A coffee bar and cafe with seating for up to 50 will be created in the mezzanine. Part of that level also will host art workshops and classes organized by the art center, while the upper three floors will be turned into 27 loft-style apartments.
Ellis Isle’s proposal also includes a second phase of development called Stratton Square, which would include building an additional 95 lofts, a parking garage with a skybridge connecting to the Stratton building, and commercial space to support up to ten retail and restaurant development spaces.
The company hopes to have the Stratton Building completed by early 2015, while the Phase 2 Stratton Square development should be finished in late 2016 or early 2017.