A new marketplace is coming to the beautiful buildings at 616 and 620 Texas Street. The ground floors of the deep-fronted 2-story Zodiag Building and the 3-story building adjacent to the Lofts at 624 are being reimagined by businesswoman Tonya Yates as the the Refine Design Boutiques. Yates and husband Mark will soon be the new owners of the three buildings that make up the Lofts commercial space and high end apartments. “I’ve been thinking about things to do with that great space since we started looking at the buildings,” Tonya told me.
She is in the planning stages of a concept that will play on the high visibility location and available square footage and make it available to retailers, artists and others who crave an upscale, functional brick-and-mortar space that won’t break the bank. Her idea is spaces that can be configured according to space needs, but will look like a million dollars. “I plan to have a single cashier working every day who will handle the transactions for all of the spaces,” Tonya says. “That way, the boutique owner won’t have to be here, they can be at their other job while making money here.”
The concept will be very much like the Painted Tree Boutiques in Houston.” The Painted Tree is touted as ‘the Big Way to Shop Small’; hundreds of shops under one roof featuring a huge variety of home decor, fashion items and gifts. This ‘co-retailing’ has been a hit around the country, a way for small business owners to test business models and merchandise and to make money in their ‘shop’ while working their other day jobs. “I won’t be trying to compete with local vintage and antique malls,” Tonya says. “Our boutiques will be a different type of concept.”
Tonya is currently space planning the Refine Design Boutiques for 25+ vendor areas; that number could change depending on the size of spaces vendors would like. She would love to bring in a food or beverage vendor – a smoothie shop or cupcake bar- that would help encourage foot traffic and lingering. She will already have help in that regard by the strong foot traffic created by Rhino Coffee, just next door.
The overall look of the space will play on greens and the outdoors. Tonya wants to bring the outside in with a live wall inside 620 Texas just as you walk in, hanging wood chairs and vendor spaces set off with cedar casing and faux boxwood hedges. Lots of wonderful lights and large industrial fans will complete the look, but inside their spaces, vendors will be able to create whatever feel they wish. “I would love to see interest from people who sell candles, socks, jewelry, interior design services, hats, olives…there are just a variety of things that would work well together.”
She intends to create a pass through that will allow easy back-and-forth to the Zodiag Building, home to the new Jess and Jane Beauty Bar that will offer facials and other beauty treatments.
In addition, Tonya plans to add some small kiosks to the large lobby at the Lofts of 624. If you are interested in talking to her about any of these spaces, she would love to hear from you, to help create an area that will be perfect for your needs. Contact her here.