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Railyard project coming to Hickory

Profile image for By Caitlyn Jones
By Caitlyn Jones

New complex to feature apartments, restaurants, office space downtown

New developments are coming to the other side of the railroad tracks as local contractors break ground on a mixed-use space designed with techies in mind.

Fresh off the opening of H Squared on West Hickory Street, Links Construction and the Martino Group have shifted focus to an old warehouse building at 608 E. Hickory St. that will become the Railyard, a development housing apartments, restaurants and a collaborative office space.

“We’re moving to the other end of Hickory to try to build that end up to give it a full corridor,” CEO and owner of Links Construction Lee Ramsey said. “I think it’s going to bring very much a Denton feel to that end of town.”

Construction has begun on the project, located 52 feet from the Brock Downtown Denton Transit Center. The exterior of the retail and office space should be completed by November, Ramsey said, while the apartment complex is expected to be finished by March.

The apartments will function as a multi-family complex with approximately 105 units and an urban-style loft feel. Architect Mark Martin said some units will feature a large deck and all units on the third floor will be two stories.

The retail portion includes space for two to three restaurants, but Ramsey said he is taking his time in choosing tenants.

“A lot of guys have already approached us on the restaurant piece of it, but we’re being really patient so we can get the right mix there,” he said.

The “mix” the group is looking for includes many of the city’s burgeoning technology companies. Developers partnered with the city to create a collaborative workspace at the Railyard where multiple companies can lease individual desks or portions of the space from which to work.

The City Council approved funding for the space last summer, city economic developer Aimee Bissett said, but talks of a collaborative workspace in Denton began two years ago.

“This creates an opportunity for entrepreneurs to come together and bounce ideas off of each other,” she said. “You can’t create in a vacuum.”

Ramsey said two tech companies have already signed leases for the space but declined to specify who they were.

The current building at the location, a warehouse once used as a storage facility for RDL Supply, will be transformed into a modern office building with open ceilings and exposed air ducts. Ramsey said crews will work to retain as much of the original brick as possible.

“We wanted to keep what was down there,” he said. “It’s an old warehouse building and you just can’t recreate that with new construction. That was important for us to develop our site around that.”

As the company’s first multi-use development east of the train tracks on East Hickory Street, Ramsey hopes this complex will bring new growth to the area.

“It’s a project we’re really excited about, and I think you’ll see it spurring development on that side of the railroad tracks,” he said. “Sometimes it takes a pilot project to do that.”

CAITLYN JONES can be reached at 940-566-6845 and via Twitter at @Coj9211.