San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

February 9th, 2014
Updated: Hays County sells last two downtown properties [PRO]


3:48 p.m. TUESDAY, FEB. 11: The story and table were updated to include sale prices for Records Building and the Courthouse Annex.


Hays County officials have closed the sale of the former Courthouse Annex and the Records Building, both of which have sat vacant for two years on opposite corners of the downtown San Marcos square.

The buyer is Primus Real Estate Services LLC, the Austin-based development and brokerage company that bought the 2.4-acre former site of Hays County Justice Center in 2012.

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18 thoughts on “Updated: Hays County sells last two downtown properties [PRO]

  1. Let’s see…now that those properties have sold what will we have downtown? More bars or more apartments?

    When was the last time any of you San Marcos residents (not students) went to the Square and/or surrounding area to do any shopping? I can tell you the last time I was there was when Serur’s was still in business.

    Are any of you Mercury readers going to participate in the latest scheme ( the Cash Mob event) to get us downtown? Of course not.

  2. Jim, don’t be such an unnecessary pessimist. Would you rather have those two empty buildings continue to sit empty?

  3. I would like to see one of the sites become a parking garage for the downtown area….but I’m pretty sure that ship has sailed.

    San Marcos residents (not the students) had their shot at creating a downtown that would appeal to them as well….and they blew it. There have been a ton of small (non-student oriented) businesses in the downtown area, and the locals have turned their noses up at pretty much all of them.

    So, now it’s a fun place for the kids to go at night instead – and pissing and moaning about it sure isn’t going to change anything. Perhaps if some people had put their money where their mouth is, it would be different. But again, that ship appears to have sailed.

  4. Am not a pessimist, frrtches…just facing reality. And, Dano…we long-time San Marcos residents tried and failed to create a downtown area without all the bars and small businesses that cater only to students. Actually we had it at one time but slowly the University took over with the help of those with an agenda.

    Pissing and moaning? You betcha…it’s my prerogative after all.

  5. What is this Cash Mob Jim speaks of you ask? Well, this Friday from 11-2pm we are encouraging everyone to shop, eat, have your hair done, get your car fixed, drop off your dry cleaning or just come and show your love for downtown. Anyone who comes out will be entered into a drawing for $200 CASH! As a bonus, if you mention you saw this on Mercury you will receive a free LOVE Downtown shirt. Follow the link below to see the shirt and learn more!

  6. Just be sure to get all of the downtown love out of your system in 2 hours or less, or you may get a different prize.

    Also, don’t park at Subway and try to love anything else downtown.

  7. I grew up in the area, and have been hanging around San Marcos in particular since 1990 or so. In the 24 years I have been here, I remember “the square” always being the center of night life in San Marcos. Nephews, Restless Wind, Draft Choice, Cats, Top Cats, Hungry Stick, and whatever that one on the corner (it’s Bar141 now) was that week.

    Other than the bars, there were attorney’s offices (cashing in on proximity to the County offices), a few restaurants (Valentino’s, Cafe on the Square, Gordo’s)….and not much else. A printing shop, a barber shop, and a couple nick-nack stores. Every other building was empty, and some (the old two-bitter where Sean Patricks now resides) had actually turned to blight.

    So I’m particularly interested to hear when San Marcos had a thriving, non-student oriented downtown…..particularly from someone who admits to not shopping downtown since Serur’s closed (what was that – 1999 or so)? It has to be more than 25 years ago….and if that’s the case I got news for ya – things change!

  8. I will take a crack at that one. I recall a time where:
    (1) the library was just off square,
    (2) the City’s second largest church was next door,
    (3) Hillburn’s provided a drug store with food,
    (4) a nice shoe store was on the Root Cellar catering corner,
    (5) the leading theater (top movies) was where the dollar theater is now,
    (6) Serurs was across the street,
    (7) a large arcade was where Emeralds is,
    (8) county offices were everywhere,
    (9) my folks had a flooring retailer on a corner,
    (10) a car dealer was opposite the courthouse,
    (11) Klipples office supply just off square,
    (12) a grocery store where Kinko’s is (Wuests),
    (13) a huge sporting goods retailer (Alert) on another corner,
    (14) sights and sounds in December,
    (15) a bike store,
    (16) a pretty good bookstore
    (17) Winns or an 80’s small target by Wuests, and
    (18) the humidor.

    Now my memory may be conflating overlapping items, but I think all of those were here simultaneously in around 1982 because I remember walking to nearly all of them during the summer with my best friend Charles. Things change for sure, and I am not making an argument for or against what is down here now. In fact, I office downtown and frequent many of my neighbors. I am providing a historical answer to Dano’s question.

  9. Things do indeed change. These comments make me wax nostalgic and I have to wonder how many other fogies remember when downtown San Marcos supported both the Holiday and Palace Theatres, Duke & Ayres, Pappas Cafe, Western Auto, Ben Franklin, Dollahite’s Shoe Store, Colgin’s Jewelers, Simon’s Bakery, and a great pharmacy?

  10. Good stuff John. I remember many of those businesses as well. I also appreciate the trip down memory lane. As a kid, I played video games in Diversions (the arcade, but my memory was that it was where Vodka Street Bistro is now), I went to the movies at the Showplace (I remember when “Cinema 5” was built in the spot that’s now a Dollar General over by Hastings), and I bought my first “real” grown up suit at Serur’s. Though my earliest memories of Wuests was at the Springtown Center (where I also used to buy comic books at Books Etc), it’s still a name that I remember.

    But times do change, and though some complain about it, many things haven’t changed quite as much as some believe. To wit:

    (1) the library is still just off the square – a couple blocks up Hopkins
    (2) the Methodist Church is just a block off the square to this day
    (3) the Root Cellar is a fine restaurant that doesn’t specifically cater to the “college crowd”,
    (4) the dollar theater is still a theater, and judging from my last few visits, caters to the local population far more than the college students
    (5) while Serurs and Hillburns may be gone, there are many vintage and boutique clothing stores in downtown – such as Emeralds.
    (7) though the county offices (and soon the attorneys) may have moved out from the square, that’s hardly anyone’s fault….they just needed room to grow. I’m excited to see the possibilities that will come from the renovations of these buildings.
    (8) I don’t know why McGlothlin’s moved out to RR12, but I’m guessing it had more to do with the growth of the business than anything else.
    (9) Kinko’s replaced Klipples – if one didn’t cater to the university, why does the other?
    (10) we still have the little HEB in the downtown area
    (11) sights and sounds is only a couple blocks away
    (12) there’s still a bike store
    (13) there’s still a pretty good bookstore
    (14) the humidor is still there

    Plus, now there are a couple coffee shops, quite a few restaurants (including some of the best ones in town), the LBJ museum, the ubiquitous Paper Bear (though it is smaller these days), and many other businesses in our downtown area that make it far more than just a party place for the college kids.

    I encourage “Jim” to spend some time in our downtown area, since he claims to have not done so in 15 years or so. Have a meal at Sean Patricks, Root Cellar, or Vodka Street. Take in the improvements made to the sidewalks, light posts, and landscaping. Shop some of the local retailers. But your wife a candle at Paper Bear.

    There’s far more to downtown than you seem to realize.

  11. I remember all those places, John and Cindy…and, Miller’s Drug Store, Bass’s Collegiate Shop, San Marcos Department Store (Elwood Soechting was the manager), Wood’s Jewelry Store (Hollis Smith was a co-owner), Red Simon’s Ford Dealership was on the corner.

    FWIW, Serur’s closed in 2001.

  12. What was that little department store that used to sit over at the corner of 35 and 123 (or thereabouts), in the general area of where the Red Lobster and McDonalds are now? I remember shopping there as a kid but can’t recall the name of the store.

    I seem to remember the name beginning with an “O”, but my memory could be bad there.

    Could it have been an Edison’s?

  13. Oh yes, Bill…Ol’Bossy on West San Antonio Street. Best tasting milk ever. White’s Appliance Store was on the corner and there was a children’s store directly across the street from them. Hill Auto Store occupied that space later.

    To go back even further do you remember when Hays County was dry? Corrie’s Barn, BeBack Inn and Hermann Sons?

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