Building buy: A long vacant building on a highly visible parcel in Galveston has a new owner and soon will have new tenants and a fresh look. Members of the island’s Sullivan family have acquired the 73,801-square-foot Del Papa Distributing Co. complex, 6702 Broadway, with plans to consolidate their various island offices there.
The building has been vacant since 2012, when Del Papa moved to Texas City. The Sullivan brothers, Billy, John and Todd, operate various businesses, including disaster recovery firm SLS Co. and Callan Marine, which specializes in dredging and marine construction.
The Sullivan brothers still are making plans for the building. But it’s likely SLS will be its first tenant, Billy Sullivan said. That company specializes in disaster recovery, with work on the island but mainly in New York, South Carolina and Louisiana. SLS will use some of the abundant warehouse space, but plans to sublease some of it, too.
The sale did not include and won’t affect the 22,000-square-foot building Del Papa donated in 2012 to the nonprofit Lighthouse Charity Team.
The building is in solid shape, but the Sullivans plan to make some improvements, including architectural work to enhance the exterior, which is highly visible as people come and go from the island. Work could begin in late summer or early fall, Billy Sullivan said. Stay tuned.
Keeping abreast: Rarely a day goes by that a reader doesn’t inquire about the status of Hooters and its plans for the island.
The breastaurant chain, known for chicken wings and sexy waitresses in short-shorts, is still hush-hush, with nary a word on opening date plans.
But it’s obvious crews are making quick work renovating the island building at 6028 Heards Lane. City officials last week confirmed that Hooters is planning an interior renovation and major changes to the building, specifically where it faces 61st Street. Hooters, however, doesn’t plan to change the lighting and landscaping.
Hooters in September confirmed it would return to the island, eight years after Hurricane Ike smashed to pieces its popular seawall restaurant on a pier over the Gulf of Mexico. Stay tuned.
Melt in your mouth: Lately, the word snowflake has drifted into the popular vernacular as an insult, usually aimed at young liberals. But in this case, the word is sweet for doughnut lovers. Chandara and Savonn Meas have opened Snowflake Donuts, 3011 Broadway on the island. Look soon in this column for more about the shop and its owners.
Tallow tattle: An inquiring reader emailed: “I see that land on the west side of Century Boulevard (in Texas City) is being cleared and would like to know for what purpose.”
Texas City Engineer Doug Kneupper had this answer: “The city is just getting the tallow trees and undergrowth out of the way. This will make it easier to maintain the property in the future. No other project or development at this time.”
Lidl did we know: A German chain is continuing its push into what’s become a hotly competitive grocery market in and around the county. Reliable sources report that Lidl — pronounced leedle — is planning a grocery store in Friendswood, near Friendswood Drive and Leisure Lane. More details were elusive. Lidl already plans a 35,000-square-foot grocery store at state Highway 96 and Tuscan Lakes Boulevard in League City.
Lidl operates about 10,000 stores in 27 countries throughout Europe and bills itself as a low-cost grocer. Business Insider called Lidl a cross between a Wal-Mart and Trader Joe’s. The chain offers deep discounts on groceries, household appliances, clothes and more.
Grocer gossip: Meanwhile, rumor has it that Lidl, no-frills grocer Aldi and possibly other supermarket chains were interested in the 200 I-45 S. building in League City. But it’s complicated. The building was left vacant by Kroger last year when the Cincinatti-based chain opened a 123,000-square-foot Kroger Marketplace, 1920 W. League City Parkway. Those in the know say Kroger stills controls the lease on the I-45 building and isn’t much interested in negotiating with a competitor. Stay tuned.
Businesses doing good: It’s a longtime tradition for islanders and businesses to participate in the “Share Your Holidays” food drive. And it’s a Biz Buzz tradition to write about the launch.
For the third consecutive year, grocer Randalls in Galveston, 2931 Central City Blvd., will be host of a two-week, in-store promotion to help feed those in need throughout Galveston County.
The initiative, Christmas in July, kicks off Monday and goes through July 30. On Monday, Ball High School students will be at Randalls for the launch. Michael Dudas is the Galveston Independent School District Share Your Holidays coordinator.
This is the program’s 37th year. Student Council members coordinate throughout the community by soliciting contributions, making collections and preparing collected items for the Galveston County Food Bank. Randalls, through the Christmas in July food drive, offers prepackaged bags food for shoppers to buy and donate during the two weeks.
Last year, the drive collected 15,534 pounds of nonperishable food items. And according to the Galveston County Food Bank, that poundage is the equivalent of 18,641 meals for islanders and Galveston County residents in need.
New community partners include: The city of Galveston, Galveston Police Department; Galveston Fire Department, Frost Bank, HomeTown Bank and Texas First Bank. They join the University of Texas Medical Branch‘s island and League City campuses; American National Insurance Co.‘s Galveston and South Shore branches; Moody National Bank, Moody Gardens, Galveston Ministerial Alliance, Galveston County Young Lawyers Association, Classic AutoGroup Galveston and the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Galveston Restaurant Group (Mario’s Seawall Italian & Pizzeria and Gumbo Diner) and Starbucks on 61st Street are in-kind partners.
This year’s ABC13 Share Your Holidays Food Drive will culminate at Ball High School on Friday, Dec. 8.
“Randalls is proud to kickoff Galveston’s Share Your Holidays Food Drive with Ball High School students by hosting Christmas in July Food Drive in our Galveston store July 17-30,” said Randalls Public Affairs Manager Dawne Proffitt. “We all want to realize the Galveston County Food Bank’s one simple mission: to feed and to improve access to nutritional food for those facing food insecurity.”