Updated

Bealls opening set for Wednesday

By KELLI LEVEY

Eagle Staff Writer

Bealls in Bryan is planning a grand opening of its new store Wednesday, which will mark the first phase of development at the Tejas Center.

The store is opening ahead of schedule — in time for the back-to-school shopping season, a development team member said.

The stone facade that is scheduled for installation Monday at Bealls will provide a preview of the rest of the former Manor East Mall, said Jack Culpepper, who is coordinating the project’s development.

“Once that store and the JoAnn Fabrics are done, people will be able to see what we’re going to have there,” he said. “It’s going to be something great.”

The next phase of construction will entail building new locations for the Gold’s Gym and Family Dollar store, Culpepper said. Later, the Hastings store on the west end of the development will be expanded and remodeled, he said.

An H-E-B supermarket slated as the centerpiece of the 350,000-square-foot shopping center at 725 E. Villa Maria Road probably will open next summer, but first about 60 percent of the original mall must be demolished, Culpepper said. That can’t happen until the city of Bryan completes its renovation of the infrastructure.

A drainage ditch on the property should be covered by late October or early November, and a traffic light will be added soon after, said Kevin Russell, development coordinator for the city of Bryan.

“Once that drainage ditch is completed, the area where the creek used to be will become the staging area for the demolition,” Russell said. “Around the last part of this year, things should really get going.”

Jack Culpepper’s father, John, said the former Bealls location will be divided into several smaller retail spaces, but he wouldn’t elaborate on what other companies are coming to the center

“We’re working on several good ones,” he said.

Jack Culpepper said H-E-B officials have told him that once they begin construction on a location, it is complete in 33 weeks.

“At least we know the schedule from their end,” he said. “We just have to get to that starting point.”

• Kelli Levey’s e-mail address is klevey@theeagle.com

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