For decades, the question of what will become of the former Brownwood Hotel, located at corner of Fisk and Baker in downtown Brownwood, has been asked by virtually all who have seen the structure. An answer may be closer to becoming a reality as on Monday the 12-story building was contracted to purchase by Pecan Bayou Enterprises RE LLC, which is owned by Jeff Tucker, who renovated the former Weakley-Watson Sporting Goods Store at 102 Fisk, which is now Teddy’s Brewhaus.
“Pecan Bayou Enterprises RE LLC is the name of the company I own, and I have secured a contract to purchase the property,” Tucker said in a Tuesday afternoon phone interview. “We are currently performing a due diligence study period on the building itself. We’ll be doing some very specific inspections as to what type of shape the property is actually in. We’ve hired some outside firms to come in and do some engineering reports on the structure itself. We just want to see how fit and sound the property is currently. That’s the big first step.”
Tucker stated the determination on the structural soundness of the building will be complete in 90 days.
“It’s a pretty short due diligence period,” Tucker said. “I’ve actually already been looking at the property prior to securing the contract, signing the contract for purchase, for some time now. We’ve had some preliminary reports, some preliminary study done on the property so far.”
At the conclusion of 90 days, if all goes as planned toward closing, the next step will be to create a new entity for the physical property for its development, according to Tucker.
“I’ve got a specific individual in mind we’re going to partner with who has expertise in historic renovation,” Tucker said.
Tucker and the City of Brownwood have been in contact regarding what the future may hold for the property.
“We have met with the City, and we met with the City prior to this contract just to see what their view is,” Tucker said. “They’re obviously excited that this is going forward. We’ve told them basically our broad stroke plans in terms of what we want to do once we’ve completed the study and done our inspections and our surveys. Then we plan on sitting back down with the City to develop a logical timeline, talk about logistics and where there might be some things where we can partner together. This is obviously a really big project for Brownwood itself and Central Texas, so it’s going to be a rather larger investment in downtown. We’ve already been contacted by other hotel groups that want to look at discussing and possibly creating a relationship with them as well. Our plan is to get this tied up as far as the inspection and final closing, then we’ll sit back down in the city manager’s office and talk about what we can do to make this a positive step for Brownwood.” ”
In terms of his personal long-term vision for what the former Brownwood Hotel might become, potential options are still being weighed.
“It’s hard to answer that question fully because you can sit down and say it’s going to be a boutique hotel, but then as you start to dig into the architecture and the hotel survey information that the City of Brownwood has provided, that could start to point to other needs,” Tucker said. “The easiest answer is we’re going to try and make it into a viable
hotel with an event component. It has a lovely old ballroom upstairs that needs to be brought back to life and downstairs in the main lobby area, what used to be the old food area, we want to bring that back into something unique that can serve downtown and visitors such as an upscale steakhouse or breakfast bakery. There’ll be so many conversations between now and when the final decisions are made. I could tell you today it’s going to be hotel and boutique only, but we might end up putting retail office space in there as well. We are just excited to have an opportunity to bring this historic building back to life and create a positive impact for Brownwood and historic downtown.”
The former Brownwood Hotel was built in 1930 at a cost of $600,000 – which translates to $9,671,676.65 in 2021 according to the U.S. Inflation Calculator.
“We are currently performing a due diligence study period on the building itself. We’ve hired some outside firms to come in and do some engineering reports on the structure itself. We just want to see how fit and sound the property is currently. That’s the big first step.” – Jeff Tucker, Pecan Bayou Enterprises RE LLC