What’s the scoop?

We all drive past those storefronts and construction sites wondering what is planned for the space, especially when a dumpster or work truck is parked outside.

We’re going to provide some answers in this space every Wednesday, giving you information instead of random speculation. If you hear a good rumor, pass it along and we’ll find out if there is any truth to it.

Here is some of what we’ve seen around Brazoria County to get things started.

Gutted feeling

For now, the giant trash bin outside the old El Nayarit Tex-Mex Restaurant site in Clute is only about tearing down, not building something new. Demolition permits have been issued, but there’s no word on why the owners decided to gut the restaurant’s remnants three years after a fire destroyed the inside.

You’ll remember a late-night fire ripped through the steel building after condensation got into the neon signage and sparked the blaze, Clute fire officials told us.

The space previously housed Roland’s restaurant and Lupe’s Mexican Restaurant, and with its prime spot at Highway 288 and South Main Street across from the plants and on a hotel-lined block, it wouldn’t be a shock to see a new tenant. We’ll keep looking.

Old Randalls site could become office space

The weathered outline of the Randalls Food & Pharmacy sign can still be read on the grocery store off Highway 288 in Lake Jackson, but new tenants are looking to move in.

Rumors had it The Oaks of Lake Jackson apartment complex would put its leasing office inside the storefront at 604 E. Highway 332, but the 58,000-square-foot space would be a bit roomy for that purpose. But it could take up just some of the available space with the rest renovated into additional offices, which is what Lake Jackson City Manager Bill Yenne believes is planned.

The plat has been redone to meet landscape requirements on the 5-acre site, but nothing has been finalized, Yenne said.

Return of Church’s possible in Freeport

The surprising thing about the Church’s Chicken in Freeport back in spring 2018 was that it continued to sell its fried fare even with a closed dining room and plastic hanging from the ceiling.

That plastic is still there long after the building locked its doors in May 2018, a decision helped when the city gave the franchisee an ultimatum.

At the time, beams supporting the building were significantly rusted and weakened from exposure to the elements after damage from Hurricane Harvey. The fast-food fowl dealer had run only its drive-through between the storm and its closure.

The city and franchise owner are working on the permits to get the building in shape before it can serve food again, City Manager Tim Kelty said. A reopen date is far down the line, he said.

Dow site beaming for Pack expansion

Those white steel beams visible from Highway 288 heading into Freeport will lead to more room for Dow Chemical’s Pack Studios, though the company couldn’t elaborate on what would be housed inside the addition, spokeswoman Andrea Raiff said.

The award-winning Pack Studios, 2301 N. Brazosport Blvd., is part of Performance Packaging at Dow, which designs packaging for frozen dinners, bottle tops and other items using polyethylene pellets produced by Dow.

Fashionable boutique opens in Lake Jackson

Bringing Houston Galleria-esque fashion to Brazoria County, Stand Out Fashion, 22 Circle Way St., is a new high-end boutique featuring women’s clothing including tops, pants, dresses and accessories.

The store opened a few weeks back but has been in the works for a long time, owner Kamisha Jackson said.

She wanted a fashionable store in Lake Jackson that could bring something personal and fresh to residents, Jackson said.

“It feels intimate here,” she said.

Doctors still aren’t in

What happened with the planned Neighbors Emergency Center near H-E-B in Lake Jackson has never been clear — it looked on the verge of opening, then shortly after Harvey hit, the building went up for sale.

It still is on the market, targeting doctor offices, a surgical center or veterinary clinic. Chris Wadley or Emily Asmus at JLL Houston are handling the sale. Call 713-888-4094.

What questions do you have about local businesses? Let reporter Connor Behrens know at 979-237-0150 or connor.behrens@thefacts.com.

Features Writer/Reporter for The Facts in Clute, Texas. I'm a communications graduate from the University of Houston. I have written for publications such as the Washington Post and the Galveston County Daily News.

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