STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY
BURNET — Economic Development Corp. officials have shifted gears on planned development projects by putting a 21-acre commercial park up for sale and moving forward on the renovations of an historic courthouse square building.
“We’re still interested in developing the (commercial park) property,” said Burnet City Manager and EDC Executive Director David Vaughn. “If an offer on the 21 acres comes in the meantime that would be attractive enough to the board, the board would be willing to sell the property.”
The land, formerly owned by the Frank Fickett estate, is on Texas 29 within the eastern city limits.
In the meantime, on April 17, Burnet EDC board members are expected to consider a contract with STR General Contractor and Construction of Liberty Hill to launch a $1.5 million to $2 million renovation project on the Badger building, 229 Pierce St.
“The real story is about the Badger building (work) being kicked off. That project has been sitting there for four years,” Vaughn said. “The Badger building has taken priority because we have structural concerns with the building.”
EDC officials rekindled talks with a San Saba-based winery to potentially lease the building. However, whether or not that deal unfolds, the board will continue the renovation process to coax other possible ventures.
If the renovation contract is approved during the board’s upcoming regular meeting, work could begin in May and the building would be ready for occupancy in about a year.
“We’ll probably borrow about a million, and we’ll have to cash flow the rest,” Vaughn said. “The biggest thing is making sure we put our resources where we need them the most for now.”
The next regular Burnet EDC meeting is 3 p.m. April 17 at City Council chambers, 2402 S. Water (U.S. 281) in the Burnet Municipal Airport.