WACO, TX — Central Texans will soon have more entertainment choices as two huge developments will soon turn their first shovels of dirt in Waco.
There's good, bad and a silver lining to what those projects bring to the area.
Bryte Sellers says as exciting as working at a motorcycle shop can be, she's excited about the new entertainment complex going in next door, to expand her options.
"You know, it is a little bit limited right now, so I think it's awesome for the city to get a complex like that," she explained.
Newquest Properties has plans for a 142 acre complex, including movie theaters, indoor golf, family entertainment and restaurants, along I-35 between the Flying J truck stop and the Central Texas Marketplace.
On the south side of I-35, Waco businessman Mark Schulman will build a 90-thousand square foot "Movie Bowl Grille" as part of a more than 300 acre shopping and entertainment center on that side of the highway.
Both developments bring two important things to Waco, new entertainment options and jobs.
"It's going to be 250 new jobs that will be offered at the facility, 75 of them full time, so it's a definitely a good place to get your start," said Kent George, Economic Development Manager with the City of Waco.
While many of these developments may not create lots of jobs with big salaries, experts say they play an important role in recruiting jobs that do.
The very kind of jobs Waco hopes the merged L3 and Harris Corporations will bring to L3's site at the TSTC airport.
After all, folks with big paychecks look for places with a good quality of life.
Plus, economic development experts told us last year, a survey of needs showed a strong desire for more entertainment options.
”I would hope we would get some of the things that are on our wish list, items like we get from fellow co-workers or citizens approach us with things that they'd like to come to market,” said George.
So think of your favorite brands from other cities, and get your e-mails ready.
One day, a cornfield could have your favorite store or restaurant.
Bryte Sellers can't wait.
"I think anything that brings people to Waco and keeps people in Waco is good for the city," she said.
And that's exactly what the big economic experts say.
Construction on the Schulman development, the Movie Bowl Grille, will begin within a month, and hopefully open within a year.