It is great to see the revitalization of the Waco downtown area. There has been much conversation over this topic over the years and now we are seeing the transition play out. The investment along the Brazos river, moving the Zoo to the Cameron Park area, and the addition of McLane Stadium by Baylor have all been pivotal in breathing life into the city. The latest addition to the downtown Waco economy comes on the heels of the hit TV show Fixer Upper.
Chip and Joanna Gaines have taken the old grain mill in downtown Waco, and renovated it into a home decor market. Magnolia Market has become a destination for many who enjoy the TV show and want to see first hand the type of renovation work featured on the program. The grain mill and adjoining “silos” have sat vacant for as long as many can remember. The project made perfect sense. The Gaines had quickly outgrown their Bosque Blvd store, and this was just the type of project they are know for; renovating the oldest ugliest property into something fantastic.
Even the cold February weather will not deter the show’s faithful viewers from visiting the market. Waiting as long as 15-20 minutes to get inside the market, the line continued to grow as I observed from under the awning of the silos (they made for a pleasant wind break for the cold norther wind). Complete with a play area for the kids and food truck court for those hungry it is a well thought out attraction that is worth a visit.
Just down the street from Magnolia is The Findery, another well done home decor store housed within the renovated Percy Medicine building. Complete with original paint, the charm and atmosphere of downtown has been beautifully preserved, while providing a unique shopping experience. It warms my heart to see the life that has been brought into the downtown Waco area.