Recent removal of a former locker plant, ice house and Texaco distribution center prepared property at 707 S. Pecan Street for a possible retail and upscale apartment development.
Recent removal of a former locker plant, ice house and Texaco distribution center prepared property at 707 S. Pecan Street for a possible retail and upscale apartment development.

Property owners hope to construct a six-story building -- with one floor of retail space and five floors of upscale apartments -- on a downtown site where an abandoned locker plant used to sit.

Owner Mike Irvin said he hopes to begin construction by the summer of 2020 on what he said will be an approximately $4 million project.

About a month ago, Irvin and his wife, Sandra, purchased the former locker plant property at 707 S. Pecan St. Combined with property the Irvins acquired just to the north, where the remains of an ice house sat, the site is about 1.3 acres total.

The Irvins had the old locker plant and a former Texaco distribution center cleared from the site, and they had the ice house rubble removed from the property.

The Irvins' property extends to about 40 feet from Sulphur Creek, and the city owns the strip of land immediately next to the waterway. Mike Irvin said he made arrangements with city officials and then had about 400 feet cleared along the north side of the creek.

Irvin said he wants to put in sidewalks, retaining walls, palm trees and lights on the south side of his property, near the creek.

Irvin has been a full-time steel contractor for more than 40 years, and he said the six-story development he is proposing will be a steel building. The facility will sit by where the locker plant used to be, Irvin said.

The bottom floor will have about 10,000 square feet, with multiple retail units, he said.

Plans for the building's upper five levels call for 40 apartments -- eight per floor, Irvin said. The developer said each floor will have four two-bedroom apartment units -- about 1,100 square feet apiece -- and four one-bedroom dwellings, which will be about 700 square feet apiece.

The top floor will feature a balcony, along with a recreation and fitness room, Irvin said.

A parking area will be on the north side of the property, where the ice house used to be, Irvin said. He said he may try to put in covered parking.

Irvin said he will need a zoning change to allow for his proposed development. He said he is working with City Manager Finley deGraffenried on that and a list of other items Irvin will need to do. Irvin said he needs to hire engineering and architectural firms for the project.

Irvin noted he grew up in Lampasas and graduated from Lampasas High School in 1976. After working as a businessman and developer on the West Coast, Irvin returned to this area in 1994.

He and his wife recently developed Market Place at Sulphur Creek, a 1.86-acre commercial site with a combination of storage, retail, warehouse and office space. The three buildings in the new complex -- located on U.S. Highway 281 South at what once was Lampasas Rental -- total 36,000 square feet.