Casting an eye toward downtown revitalization, tourism and economic development, the Brownwood City Council and the nonprofit Brownwood Civic Improvement Foundation entered an agreement Tuesday that’s expected to bring massive renovation to the old, blighted Timmins Building and the block that surrounds it.

Council members approved an agreement that effectively gives the 2.4-acre tract of property near the Brownwood Coliseum — bounded by Lee, East Baker, Washington and Greenleaf streets — to the foundation. It will be up to the foundation to decide how to develop the property, which has been owned by the city and used as a warehouse.

Renovating the property into an event center is among the possibilities, foundation president Debbie Morelock said.

“At this point, now that the council has approved, we will be meeting with some developers to begin a plan for the property,” Morelock said. “(The agreement has) given us a list of things it can be and it cannot be, and we obviously are going to be working within those guidelines.”

Morelock provided the media with a copy of a written statement saying the Brownwood Civic Improvement Foundation (BCIF) “is requesting that the Timmins Building and adjacent property be donated to the BCIF in order to improve the property for civic development consistent with the Master Plan. This will improve the blighted area and attract new businesses that will be sales tax producing to the city.

“The BCIF has previously led revitalization efforts including the development of the Aldersgate Enrichment Center, the Depot and Plaza, the Lehnis Railroad Museum property, Coggin Park renovation and Feels Like Home celebration. The BCIF has a proven track record and would like to continue to assist in the community via this venture.”

Council members entered executive session, then reconvened into open session and unanimously approved the agreement.

“I’m excited about it. I think this can be something very positive for Brownwood,” Mayor Stephen Haynes said. “We’ve said over and over and over again that we’ve got to improve the blighted area of our community. We’ve got to improve our rundown and deteriorating public facilities. This is a great opportunity for us to take something that’s an eyesore and make it into something that’s beneficial to the community.

“I know they’ve got some some ideas in mind. That’s an organization we’ve worked with numerous times. They’ve got the heart of Brownwood in mind. We’re just giving it to them and telling them to run with it, basically. Details of what they do and how they do it is up to the BCIF. As far as we’re concerned, we’re not dictating that it go to anybody. The BCIF can work with however they want to as long as it gets done.”

BCIF vice president Steven McCrane said what happens with the property “depends on what the developer brings to the table. The exciting thing is, the city doesn’t have to spend the money to do it. We can work with the developer to bring in outside investment or inside investment from the city.”

The plan is for the BCIF to continue to own the property for a time while working with developers. “We can help them bring down dollars from the state, from grants, things of that sort, tax credits to benefit the citizens of Brownwood instead of spending taxpayer dollars,” McCrane said.

According to the agreement, permitted uses include:

•  Multi-use event center available for rent for banquets, weddings, conventions, concerts, meetings, special events, festivals and other similar events

• Hotels, stages and/or gathering areas for outdoor concerts

• Winery, brewery or distillery or manufacturing or promotional items to promote them, or distribution facilities

• All other commercial and complementary businesses and activities not specifically prohibited by the agreement

Prohibited uses include:

• Sexually oriented businesses

• Tatto and/or body piercing businesses

• Junk yards, salvage yards or wrecking yards

• Government health, safety or welfare uses

• Funeral homes

• Group homes

• Industrial/manufacturing uses (with the exception of manufacturing of distilled spirits, wine, beer and other products to promote them).  

Brownwood foundation taking possession of old Timmins Building for renovation

Casting an eye toward downtown revitalization, tourism and economic development, the Brownwood City Council and the nonprofit Brownwood Civic Improvement Foundation entered an agreement Tuesday that’s expected to bring massive renovation to the old, blighted Timmins Building and the block that surrounds it.

Council members approved an agreement that effectively gives the 2.4-acre tract of property near the Brownwood Coliseum — bounded by Lee, East Baker, Washington and Greenleaf streets — to the foundation. It will be up to the foundation to decide how to develop the property, which has been owned by the city and used as a warehouse.

Renovating the property into an event center is among the possibilities, foundation president Debbie Morelock said.

“At this point, now that the council has approved, we will be meeting with some developers to begin a plan for the property,” Morelock said. “(The agreement has) given us a list of things it can be and it cannot be, and we obviously are going to be working within those guidelines.”

Morelock provided the media with a copy of a written statement saying the Brownwood Civic Improvement Foundation (BCIF) “is requesting that the Timmins Building and adjacent property be donated to the BCIF in order to improve the property for civic development consistent with the Master Plan. This will improve the blighted area and attract new businesses that will be sales tax producing to the city.

“The BCIF has previously led revitalization efforts including the development of the Aldersgate Enrichment Center, the Depot and Plaza, the Lehnis Railroad Museum property, Coggin Park renovation and Feels Like Home celebration. The BCIF has a proven track record and would like to continue to assist in the community via this venture.”

Council members entered executive session, then reconvened into open session and unanimously approved the agreement.

“I’m excited about it. I think this can be something very positive for Brownwood,” Mayor Stephen Haynes said. “We’ve said over and over and over again that we’ve got to improve the blighted area of our community. We’ve got to improve our rundown and deteriorating public facilities. This is a great opportunity for us to take something that’s an eyesore and make it into something that’s beneficial to the community.

“I know they’ve got some some ideas in mind. That’s an organization we’ve worked with numerous times. They’ve got the heart of Brownwood in mind. We’re just giving it to them and telling them to run with it, basically. Details of what they do and how they do it is up to the BCIF. As far as we’re concerned, we’re not dictating that it go to anybody. The BCIF can work with however they want to as long as it gets done.”

BCIF vice president Steven McCrane said what happens with the property “depends on what the developer brings to the table. The exciting thing is, the city doesn’t have to spend the money to do it. We can work with the developer to bring in outside investment or inside investment from the city.”

The plan is for the BCIF to continue to own the property for a time while working with developers. “We can help them bring down dollars from the state, from grants, things of that sort, tax credits to benefit the citizens of Brownwood instead of spending taxpayer dollars,” McCrane said.

According to the agreement, permitted uses include:

•  Multi-use event center available for rent for banquets, weddings, conventions, concerts, meetings, special events, festivals and other similar events

• Hotels, stages and/or gathering areas for outdoor concerts

• Winery, brewery or distillery or manufacturing or promotional items to promote them, or distribution facilities

• All other commercial and complementary businesses and activities not specifically prohibited by the agreement

Prohibited uses include:

• Sexually oriented businesses

• Tatto and/or body piercing businesses

• Junk yards, salvage yards or wrecking yards

• Government health, safety or welfare uses

• Funeral homes

• Group homes

• Industrial/manufacturing uses (with the exception of manufacturing of distilled spirits, wine, beer and other products to promote them).