NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - At this time next year, a new retail development center will cater to Nacogdoches residents and visitors. It will be called North Village Market.
However, the groundbreaking of North Village market also proved to be a fitting place for a Jones Family portrait. What's now a development was once the home place of Christine Jones, who will turn 100 in January.
Today the acreage is prime North Street property. In 1941, it was country living.
"And we had to clear out the brush in order to get to it," Christine Jones, the property's original owner, said at Thursday's groundbreaking.
In 1999, a fire destroyed the Jones home. The fire occurred when the family was in the midst of negotiations for a prior development.
"A lot of people know that we had a contract with Wal-Mart years ago that fell through, and ever since that point, it's just been, what do we do next?" Stanley Jones, the construction manager, said.
What's next is a plan for a family-oriented shopping center designed to create an atmosphere much like downtown Nacogdoches. To do that, Ed Pool, the leasing manager, said that developers need to visually connect North Village Market's architecture with the older-looking buildings downtown.
"We still need point to downtown," Pool said. "And so we feel like this development with the look of old buildings and the wide streets and the landscaping will do just that. Downtown will point to it and it will point to downtown."
Stanley Jones said, despite the daunting cost of such a large venture, " … quality retail will work in any town at any time."
When asked why it is important to start work on the development right now, Pool said, "It's a process. You have to have your product ready when retail is ready."
Cassandra Stokes, the owner of Wingstop has already signed on to open a new restaurant called Newk's. She said that it will feature California-style baked pizza, gourmet salads, and gourmet soups. Although it's still a long way from the home-cooked meals Mrs. Jones provided, there are no regrets.
"I think this has been a great day, and I think the future looks bright," Christine Jones said.