A new home?

Rumors are circulating that Tractor Supply Co., a retail farm and ranch store chain, is eying the vacant Hobby Lobby Store in Texas City.

JENNIFER REYNOLDS/The Daily News

Supply side: Rumor has it that Brentwood, Tenn.-based Tractor Supply Co. has been eyeing the vacant Hobby Lobby store in Texas City as a possible retail site.

Those in the know said Tractor Supply, the largest retail farm and ranch store chain in the nation, would use part of the 60,000-square-foot building, while another retailer would use the remaining space at 9300 Emmett F. Lowry Expressway in the Mainland Crossing shopping center.

Officials with Tractor Supply said there “is no information to release about a potential new store location in Texas City at this time.

“What we can say at this time is that, as a growth-minded company, Tractor Supply Company is always looking for potential new store locations that are a good fit as far as the target market is concerned,” company spokesman Robert Hoskins said in a prepared statement.

“Concerning a potential location in Texas City, this is especially true in that the area is attractive due to the part-time and hobby farmers, and horse owners in the area.”

Tractor Supply’s product category expertise includes lawn and garden, and animal care products that service the needs of such customers, Hoskins said.

Tractor Supply, which began in 1938 as a mail-order catalog business, now operates more than 1,276 retail stores in 48 states.

A typical Tractor Supply store has about 15,000 to 24,000 square feet of interior selling space, with about the same amount of outside space to display agricultural fencing, livestock equipment and horse stalls.

The company, with yearly revenues of about $5.2 billion, usually opens stores in rural areas and the outlying suburbs of major cities, according to reports.

No word on the other retailer seeking space in the former Hobby Lobby building.

Despite intense efforts by city officials to keep the crafts retailer, Hobby Lobby closed its Texas City store in 2008 after it opened one in League City’s Victory Lakes Town Center on the northeast corner of the Interstate 45 and FM 646 intersection.

Brushing up: A new painting business has launched in League City. Joshua Ashley has opened a Fresh Coast Painters franchise. The business offers interior and exterior painting, wood staining and refinishing and wallpaper removal, among other services.

Ashley, 29, grew up in the Clear Lake area and served eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps infantry and worked as a finance manager at a car dealership.

Outside of work, Ashley is a supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project.

“I happened to be one of the lucky ones who didn’t get hurt in the service, but a lot of my guys were injured,” he said. “The Wounded Warrior project is an important cause and an organization that means a lot to me.”

Ashley chose to become a Fresh Coat franchisee, which has services in more than 100 North American cities, because it was veteran-friendly, he said.

Fresh Coast is part of VetFran, a program that helps returning service members access franchise opportunities through training, financial assistance, and industry support. Visit www.FreshCoatLeagueCity.com.

The scoop: Nearly two years after opening on the island’s East End, Hey Mikey’s Ice Cream is making a move to downtown. The shop, known for hand-dipped ice cream made on the premises and owned by Mike Bouvier and family, is planning an early May opening at 2120 Postoffice St., next to Mod Coffeehouse.

Hey Mikey’s outgrew its 902 Postoffice St. spot, Bouvier said. The new space will allow for indoor and patio seating and an expanded product line.

Hey Mikey’s no longer will serve coffee, but will add fruit pies and desserts that complement ice cream.

The shop offers such flavors as German Chocolate, Almond Joy and Moose Tracks, a confection made of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, to name a few.

Also look for the downtown shop to feature a snow cone section. Stay tuned.

Hammer time: Have a hard hat handy? Developers of Evia, a 93-acre residential community at 99th Street and Schaper Drive in Galveston are reporting strong construction activity.

Five new town houses are under way at the development and crews are breaking ground on four more single-family homes and a new model home on Mariner Pass.

About 100 homes of various sizes and styles have been built in Evia.

Laura Elder is a reporter for The Daily News. Biz Buzz appears Tuesdays and Thursdays. Email your tips and suggestions to laura.elder@galvnews.com.

(1) comment

Dwight Burns

Wow! A good fit for our area.

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