The building that once housed Culpepper’s Furniture store and Hefner’s Fine Gifts and China on West Texas Avenue is getting some new life.
Situated next to the historic oak tree on Texas Avenue, the building is now an apartment complex with industrial-style lofts. Its name reflects the address – the 612 Lofts on West Texas Avenue.
Natasha Duhon, the 612 Lofts assistant property manager, said they are now pre-leasing and have signed up three tenants. The complex officially opens today.
Baytown councilman Chris Presley and his father, Artie, worked on the building’s redevelopment under their company, Presley Development.
“There were challenges,” Presley said. “It did take a little over a year and a half to complete the renovation. Any renovation of an old building is always a little complicated, but the final product turned out really nice. We are excited for it to open in the old downtown district. And it is solid, built like a fort.”
Presley added the design and renovation process was extensive. It included items such as total interior demolition, repairing and restoring the masonry facade, saw-cutting approximately 40 new window openings into a previously windowless building, installing a state-of-the-art insulative roof system, new mechanical, new electrical, new plumbing, and fitting the loft units with modern design elements and features.
The building’s location also has some remarkable appeal. Some residents can look out their windows and view the historic oak tree, and it is conveniently located near Lee College as well as Texas Avenue. On the other side, residents can view the campus of Memorial Baptist Church on West Sterling Avenue.
Duhon said she feels the lofts will help the historic area, where already work is about to start on the Brunson Theater renovations and Town Square has attracted people for various events.
“I love to preserve the history and being involved in that is an awesome deal,” Duhon said. “We hope with all that is going on with the Brunson and Town Square, that this will help bring people back here to live, work and play here.”
There are about 34 units in the building, ranging from one-bedroom units to single bedrooms with a studio to two-bedroom lofts. Duhon said there are at least seven different floor plans.
The prices range from $795 up to $1,100 for the units. They measure anywhere from 490-square-feet and up to a little over 800-square-feet. Storage closets outside the units are available near the laundry room. Some units will also have washer and dryer hookups.
Anyone who wants peace and quiet will be glad to know soundproof barriers were installed between the units.
Local artist, Armando Castelan, is also adding an artsy touch with pencil murals decorating the corridors.
“Amenities are the character of the building,” Duhon said. “We have 12-foot ceilings and exposed elements like the bricks and piping. It is a bit of nostalgia. They also come with a full appliance package so they will have everything from a stove, refrigerator and dishwasher. They are stainless steel and are modern, up-to-date appliances. Since they are in the loft style, you have that big city living feel in a small town.”
Residents will have a place to park their vehicles in a parking garage on the property.
“Plus, the building is resident-secured, so no one can access them from the outside,” Duhon said. “All of the lofts are upstairs, so residents have the luxury of not having anyone above or below you.”