If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
By Jackie Zimmerman/The Red River Sun—
In the Spring of 2021, new loft apartments and retail space is expected be ready for occupants in the Childress Hotel.
Owner and developer Mark Hicks said last week the sheetrock is being installed and work is continuing toward his deadline of completion in the first quarter of 2021.
“We are looking forward to providing Childress with new living and shopping spaces,” Hicks said.
Hicks purchased the hotel in 2016 after he first noticed it on a trip to New Mexico. It is very similar to a project he is working on in Lufkin, the renovation of the four-story, 60,000-square-foot Angelina Hotel. This project consists of loft apartments on the upper floors and retail and restaurant space on the ground floor.
Hicks contacted the economic development director in Childress and after a few discussions, he purchased the hotel with the help of an incentive package to assist in the renovations.
“The economic development group put in $150,000 to be paid in three portions,” Hicks said. “The first $50,000 was due upon the installation of the roof and new windows. The second portion is due after the interior framing, HVAC, electrical and plumbing was completed, and the third and final payment is due upon completion of the project.”
The five-story, 30,000-square-foot building will house 20, one- and two-bedroom loft apartments on the upper floors and retail space on the ground floor along with a restaurant and the new offices for the Red River Sun.
“We are considering some of the lofts also could be used for overnight accommodations for travelers rather than all long-term apartment rentals,” Hicks said.
Hicks also has purchased six other Childress buildings, and he said he will renovate the building in which the Red River Sun is currently located once it moves into the new space in the Childress Hotel.
Doc Smith, executive director, Childress Municipal Development District, Office of Economic Development, said the organization appreciates Hicks’ interest in Childress.
“In Childress, Bobcat Pride reigns supreme. Several years ago, the Childress Economic Development Corporation wanted to shift some of that pride to the long neglected downtown district of Childress,” Smith said.
“To jump start the revitalization effort, the CDEC entered into a $150,000 grant agreement with Calmar Holdings LLC of Lufkin, Texas, payable toward the renovation of the Childress Hotel. The Childress Municipal Development District, as successor to the CEDC, is proud to continue this vision. Upon completion, the Childress Hotel will be a major focal point of the area bringing visitors to what is envisioned as a downtown destination zone. In addition to LK Media of Lufkin purchasing the Red River Sun newspaper, other Hicks Company entities have also acquired six buildings on Main Street for renovation. The CMDD is appreciative that the Hicks Companies have recognized the potential of Childress, and we value their insight and investment.”
Hicks said he believes there is real potential in Childress because of its location on U.S. 287, a main artery through the state. “People travel through Childress to out-of-state locations, and we want them to get off the highway and come into town.”
To date, Hicks has purchased and renovated more than 40 buildings in downtown Lufkin. He also has opened several restaurants and coffee shops.
The revitalization work in downtown Lufkin earned Hicks the 2011 Golden Anvil Award, an Angelina County Chamber of Commerce award. The award is given to someone who has made a big impact on the community during the previous year.
“I have helped numerous retail businesses by assisting owners in getting the business set up and running, and then they can buy me out,” Hicks said.
Along with Lufkin and Childress, Hicks has set his sights on Paducah where he has purchased 20 properties in the downtown area.
“We are working on a restaurant concept for Paducah and finishing out a building on the square for a new public library.”
A native Texan, Hicks grew up in Lufkin. He admits he prefers small town life because of the community and positivity.
“I want to see small towns thrive. They have the most unique buildings and were once a hub of activity. I think it’s important to revitalize and restore downtowns and keep our small-town life alive.
“The people in these small towns – Childress, Lufkin, Paducah – are very community oriented. They stick together and want to see good things happen for one another. There are good, strong bonds between people here. It’s positivity. People working together. While we all may not agree, we all work together to make our communities better.”