Work at the site of the Baker Katz shopping center project in Brenham led the month of November for building permits issued by the city.

(Mark Whitehead)

A $5 million permit was issued to BK Stringer, Ltd for site work for new retail development at the site, located on 35 acres of land at the intersection of Highway 290 and Chappell Hill Street.  The work is contracted to Arch-Con Corporation.

The project has seen delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the expected opening date of the first stores in the shopping center was pushed back from spring of 2021 to spring of 2022.  Construction is expected to resume this winter.

A total of 33 new permits were issued in November for $7,212,913.  Last November, the city issued 12 permits worth $1,274,590.

Shown here are the City of Brenham building permits through November.
(courtesy City of Brenham)

A total of 16 new homes were permitted in November, totaling $1,980,480.  Ten of the new homes are to be located in a new subdivision located on 11.3 acres of land east of Old Masonic Road and north of Ava Drive.  The permits were issued to DSW Homes, LLC out of Galveston.

Through 2020 so far, 88 homes have been permitted for $11,772,771.

To date, 286 permits have been issued this year for $84,984,971.  At this time last year, 252 permits had been issued for $37,762,354.

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  1. So true here from obviously a longtime Brenham Resident. If Kroger will put a store here that would help & not sure pop.has to be 40,000 or more. HEB has a monopoly & they are not best grocery store….they continue to push their brands & ousting other brands….their Brands not always good & never my 1st choice. Until a new grocer comes we’re stuck w/ WM & HEB.

  2. Many of the businesses that people want to come to Brenham (from the earlier comments) will usually not even consider locating a new store unless the population is nearing 40,000. When HEB relocated from South Market Street (next to the Higgins Branch store) to its current location, there was some rumor that a clause was written into the sales agreement that prevented any grocery store from buying or leasing the property. I cannot speak for its truthfulness; Safeway/Appletree was the first grocery store to come into Brenham in about a decade at that point, and when they faltered and failed, HEB purchased the property because it likely doubled or tripled their earlier store’s size where the AutoZone is now.
    I’m sure that many of the larger sized stores in the new shopping Center will have to pay $50,000-$60,000 per month in rent, in addition to their employees, utilities, insurances, and the like. For you old timers, remember that Brenham once had many smaller grocery stores, including City Foods #1 & #2, Piggly Wiggly, Humpty Dumpty, Schmidt Bros./Savitall, Andrew Murski’s, Jerry Wilson’s, Tony’s, A&P, Food City, and Stanley’s. All of those fell to larger corporate stores, and thus we are in the state we’re in now. Likely to, is that all of the above stores (save for the last three) would allow a customer to keep a tab and pay their bill at the end of the month. While that may not be the best business practice, it certainly developed a bond between the store and the customer, and I remember that many people were very loyal to small grocery stores that allowed them to purchase on credit with the promise to pay later in the month.

    1. The county’s population is well in excess of 40,000 and the trade area is larger than just Washington County.

  3. There was once a J C Penny’s here.
    I would love to see a Real vitamin store here
    i.e. Vitamin Cottage.
    For a town the size of Brenham, I feel they have good
    industies i..e. Blue Bell, Sealy Mattress, Valmont,
    Brenham Wholesale Foods, to name several.
    There is also Baylor Scott & White Hospiital
    and Clinics, and Blinn Jr. College, which is
    growing… expansion.
    Did you know they once made brooms and
    wire coat hangers here?

    1. JC Penneys could not make enough to be profitable. We also had a Bealls, Sears, a Hallmark Store, at least 5 grocery stores, a Weiner’s , 3 Perry Brothers stores, 4-5 bakeries, at least 4-5 cafes (not fast food chains). And yes we had Cleaner’s Hanger company and Brenham Broom and Mop as well as Brenham Mattress company. We HAD lots of stores in the past that could not survive up against Walmart and HEB. We HAD lots of reasonable clothing stores and shoe stores that people that live and work here could afford to shop at. We HAD those things but “growth” killed them.

      1. None of those places can really survive anywhere. JCP is filing for bankruptcy all over the county. Find me a Perry Brothers anywhere! Weiners is out of business. You are right, those stores aren’t here. But they aren’t anywhere else either.
        We need new businesses. Places where locals can shop. Because right now, most people are driving outside our city limits and spending tax dollars in other places.

  4. An Academy!!!
    But what we will probably get to replace the rolling pasture that was once there is another nail salon, Asian buffet, mattress store, 99 Cent Store, etc. Another cheap retail site like thousands of others lining the way into Houston.

  5. WmmmJust saying
    Healthy competition is good for business, it causes the tried and true to step up their service game.
    A Target and a Krogers could be the catalyst in the ” Be Best” for the citizens of brenham

  6. I think we all need to be realistic here. In a town the size of Brenham we should be able to ……. We can’t support a JC Penneys store, or a Sears store, or a host of other businesses that have closed here. Many people shop online. Many people live in Brenham but work in Houston or Bryan/College Station and do their shopping there. If Brenham wages made it practical for people to work in Brenham, if we had job opportunities here for people, then maybe we could have some of these businesses. Walmart and HEB have the grocery business wrapped up, poor Brookshire Brothers makes it because of people that don’t like the traffic or the gigantic size of the store. Until we help ourselves by increasing our wages and providing more jobs, we won’t grow like we should.

    1. Brookshire bros here or Bellville store offer great weekly specials. By far I will shop there before the other 2 mentioned. Russell in BB Bellville or David here appreciate your $$$ spent.

    1. That would be great, But I don’t think a Target will ever happen here in Brenham. But I am with you I would love to see a Target here in Brenham. For a Town as Large as Brenham ( Including Surrounding Communities ) We really have no place to Buy things. and Really only a limited amount of Grocery stores. Plus bringing these types of stores to Brenham would provide more jobs here. People would spend their money here and the increased Sales Tax revenue would Decrease our property tax amounts . So Brenham Growing is a win for everyone. more choices in shopping, more money put back into the community and a lower tax base..

      1. I’m mostly satisfied with the retail offerings in Brenham. We’ve got a good HEB and it’s going to get bigger soon. It would be nice to have an Indian or Thai restaurant, maybe a Best Buy, Harbor Freight, or a Hobby Lobby. Department stores are really hurting right now and the outlet stores aren’t really that far away on 290, so it’s hard to imagine getting anything bigger than the Palais Royale (which we have but are losing to the HEB expansion) or a Beall’s. There’s always going to be some leakage of retail spending. Can’t have everything.

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