Former fire station to become Common Grounds’ new home

Staff Writer
Brownwood Bulletin
Yesy and Marco Sandoval are pictured in the Brownwood City Council chambers Tuesday morning.

The building that once housed Brownwood’s main fire station at Main and Austin has sat empty for five years.

That’s going to change.

Brownwood City Council members approved an agreement Tuesday in which Common Grounds Coffee Shop and Deli owners Marco and Yesy Sandoval will lease the building with an option to buy. After renovation of the old fire station is completed, the Sandovals will move Common Grounds from its current location at 2208 Austin into the former fire station.

Adjacent property at 809 and 810 Booker is part of the agreement and will be used for parking.

The city owns the former fire station and Booker Street properties.

The Sandovals hope to start renovation in about two months and expect the project to take four to six months.

Common Grounds’ new home will offer more parking and far space than the business’ current location. “It’s probably four times what we have,” Marco Sandoval said.

Yesy Sandoval added, “I think we have just outgrown our current location. The biggest issue is parking. We just needed a bigger place and parking and just a bigger kitchen.”

Future plans are to have coffee roasting and a conference room for businesses, the Sandovals said.

The Sandovals have operated Common Grounds for nearly nine years.

“We’re very excited,” Marco Sandoval said. “We look forward to expanding and extended business hours.”

The business will look at having ice cream and live music and wants to be a place “for students just to come and hang out,” Yesy Sandoval said.

Common Grounds will offer its current menu and expand on that after the move is completed, the Sandovals said.

Ray Tipton, executive director of the Brownwood Economic Development Corp., said the BMDD helped put the deal together.

“I think it’s a great use for the property,” Tipton said. “It helps complement our development in the downtown district since the fire station flanks the downtown, but is also adjacent to Howard Payne.

“I always thought a coffee shop or eatery would be kind of the perfect thing for that location. The Sandovals have a proven business, and they have just kind of outgrown their current location. It seemed like a really great partnership to engage them in a lease and help them take the business to the next step.”

The building that formerly housed the Brownwood Fire Department's main fire station is at Austin and Main.