New Store Brings Hope for Waco Shopping Center Renewal - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

New Store Brings Hope for Waco Shopping Center Renewal

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A new option for central Texas shoppers is attracting a lot of attention.

The opening of Cabela's in the Central Texas Marketplace has other businesses nearby hoping to see a boost from their proximity to the new store.

For a struggling part of that popular shopping center, it could mean a fresh start.

The Central Texas Marketplace already has a lot of big-name anchor stores. That's one of the reasons shoppers like Lou Denn of McGregor,drive in from all over the area to spend money.

"I like to shop," she said. "You know, I'm retired now, so it's something to do."

The property owners call the shopping center "remarkably stable," but Denn has seen one particular corner struggle to keep businesses.

"I think there's a lot of hardship going on with these companies," she said.

Even right next to a major draw like Kohl's -- right off I-35 -- storefronts go unused.

And one building, the first you see from Highway 6, is almost completely empty.

"I think in the past that spot has not been a great entry point," said Julina Macy of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce.

Some of the empty spaces still have unfinished walls. Others obviously did have businesses in them that are now closed.

People are really hoping that the new Cabela's is going to bring some much-needed consistency to the neglected corner of the shopping center.

"This is a large complex," said Tina Nightingale, manager of Salons by JC, one of just a few businesses surviving in the otherwise empty building, "and I don't see a problem it filling up. And with Cabela's being here, I think we're going to get even more traffic."

Cabela's managers think so, too.

With so many outdoorsmen in central Texas, they're hoping to bring even more regional pull to a complex that already has plenty of it.

"It's the only place to shop," said Mary Lozano. "Penelope doesn't have any stores."

And as for the empty space, the Chamber says that's not a bad thing: They're always cultivating interest in high-profile shopping centers like the Central Texas Marketplace.

That's a good thing for browsers like Denn.

"Sometimes I'm just looking around to see what I can see," she said.

What she'd like to see -- a little breakfast place.

Cabela's is set to open October 30th.

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