Big Blue, and its tiny counterpart the littlest skyscraper, have been the best known structures of downtown Wichita Falls for generations of visitors and workers.
But one of the biggest pieces of putting a vital downtown back together has been missing since costly repairs caused the First Wichita building, to close its doors and evict tenants last August.
“When it closed we did lose a little bit of business, with quite a few girls from the offices that would come over,” says Jennifer Amador, Owner of 8th Street Coffee House.
But 8th Street Coffee House may be one of many businesses that could soon get a spike in traffic with its new owners plans to reopen.
“With the closing of downtown, it must have hit downtown very hard, it's one of the largest buildings,” says Sean Kriger, Manager and Leasing Agent of Big Blue Properties.
Big Blue Properties normally revitalize multi-family housing, but they figured Big Blue was worth taking a risk.
“It has so much character, Big Blue. You're never gonna find another building with that much charm,” says Kriger.
Kriger says they hope to keep it's charm by making it more than office space but no solid plan for tenants are set for now.
“Everyone has plans but we don't know which ones we're gonna follow yet. There's a lot of things that we can do, there's like two hundred thousand square feet of office space, so it's an absolute monster when it comes to finally deciding what we want to do with the place,” says Kriger.
Before making those decisions, Kriger hopes to get input from the community, hoping to help make downtown exactly what Wichita Falls is wanting.
Kriger says they hope to be able to open in a few months and said more details will be announced later this week.
The main reason the building was closed last summer by owner Rodd Womble was the high cost of repairing the elevators
And, the new owners say will be the project taking the longest to complete.
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