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University Square under development

Published: Monday, June 25, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 19:07

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Julie Blanco -- THE BATTALION

Hurricane season comes and goes, but students of College Station don’t need to worry about Hurricane Harry’s going anywhere soon.

Concerns have lingered as to what will be torn down to make room for new development built in the University Square shopping center at the corner of South College Avenue and University Drive.

This property includes businesses such as the vacant Albertsons, Traditions Bookstore, BCS Bicycles, Hurricane Harry’s, Texas Coin and Jewelry Exchange, A+ Tutoring and Piranha Fitness Studio.

The development endeavor is called Legacy Point and will require the demolition of several University Square businesses.

The project is led by the Culpepper family, who has developed the area since before College Station was officially incorporated as a city. They have owned the building structures that are currently standing in University Square since its construction in the 1960s.

Although many businesses are closing, relocating or being demolished, Hurricane Harry’s will do no such thing.

“We are excited to have Hurricane Harry’s there and expect to have them there for a long time,” said Jack Culpepper, manager of Culpepper Family, LP and president of Stalworth Corp.

The most that’s expected to happen to Hurricane Harry’s is an outside renovation.

Sarah Buckwalter, sophomore physiology major at Blinn College, is one of many who have wondered the fate of this establishment.

Buckwalter said numerous ideas have been going around, but no one really knows what the plan is.

As for the remainder of the property known as University Square for the past 40 years, a dramatic transformation is coming soon.

“It’s kind of exciting,” said Frank Heifrin, director of leasing and development at Stalworth Corp. “We’ve owned that property since the sixties and now here we are over forty years later with the opportunity to develop it into something that’s new and nice that meets the needs of the local market.”

Legacy Point will be a mixture of student living and commercial space and will be developed in phases.

Phase I of the project is to construct The Stack, a student apartment-style housing complex. The Stack will be a five-story building, which will house more than 410 students. It will also include two levels of underground parking. The Stack is scheduled to open in time for the school year in August 2013.

“This area will have an urban feel to it for students who come from larger cities,” Culpepper said. “Students that want to walk or bike to campus can. It will be very convenient to get to most local places easily.”

Alejandra Quinones, senior communication major, said this will take away from the small town feeling that College Station is known for and it will seem like a busier city.

“It feels like we’re turning into UT,” Quinones said.

A+ Tutoring, Fat Burger and Albertsons are parts of the shopping center that will be demolished first for the construction of Phase I. The demolition is scheduled to begin in July.

“We’re eventually going to have two more phases to include various components from retail, restaurants, more student housing and possibly a little bit of office space,” Heifrin said.

Traditions Bookstore and BCS Bicycles will be demolished in a later phase of the project scheduled for March 2013 and will relocate beforehand.

Schlotzsky’s, Crazy Cajuns’, and IHOP — believed to be the oldest continuing operating restaurant in College Station — will all remain in business and will not close.

 

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