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Renovation a boon for city

Buildings evolve over the years, depending on their owners. And in a thriving community like Denton, re-use of existing buildings can be as important for economic development as attracting new buildings. In the eyes of the passersby, a renovated building is just as attractive as a brand-new building.

We mention this because a father-and-son team has renovated a two-story 1920s building at 1512 W. Hickory St. and turned it into a new hangout, the Treehouse Bar & Grill.

Formerly known as the Sigma Nu fraternity house, the building sits across the street from the University of North Texas, a few blocks west of the bustling Fry Street area. The location of the business farther west extends the business district and provides more options within walking distance for the tens of thousands of students who come to class each day.

Owners Mike and Grant McGuire worked with Jason Williams of Links Construction to renovate the 5,000-square-foot building, moving an interior stairway outdoors and keeping the structure’s original bricks. They worked with a pier-and-beam foundation — not an easy task in our moving soils. They also reworked more than 90 years of plumbing and wiring — also not a job for the faint of heart.

It is their attention to detail, willingness to preserve the history of the building and interest in bringing new life to an existing facility that we applaud.

As the economy continues recovering, we welcome these types of renovations and re-use opportunities as much as that of new development. In-fill development brings as much to the community as new development does.

Just ask the folks around us on Hickory Street east of the Square where redeveloped buildings have brought us Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Rooster’s Roadhouse and Dan’s Silverleaf from a former feed and grocer’s store. A former barbershop became the Love Shack, which will be redeveloped yet again into another concept from owner and longtime Denton resident Tim Love.

These are but a few of the many in-fill developments Denton has seen in recent years — developments that show a healthy combination of new and existing growth.