Varisco Building in Downtown Bryan getting makeover, new entertainment venue coming
The Varisco Building is being redeveloped.
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The Varisco Building in Downtown Bryan is getting a big makeover soon.
The Bryan City Council is working with developers on a new project that will transform the historic high-rise. They approved the plan at their recent meeting.
Downtown’s tallest building will soon have a new look and new amenities.
A new agreement will turn the ground floor into a distillery, update office space, and add a new entertainment venue to the top floor.
“Major investment in Downtown Bryan with the Varisco Building, two stories of renovation for a distillery, rooftop bar, it should be a destination for Aggies and their parents and all the families here in the community,” said Mayor Andrew Nelson of Bryan.
Nelson says the city is partnering with the development and offering up to $480,000 to assist with safety, exterior improvements, building the rooftop bar, and waiving some permit fees.
“Both parties, the city and the business, are doing some things for each other, making investments, and agreeing to do things that will add to the entertainment,” said Nelson.
Destination Bryan says the plans complement all of the work that has been done in recent years to enhance downtown.
“From a tourism perspective it’s just adding to the greater piece of the pie of bringing people here and giving our locals something to do in Bryan and the B-CS community as a whole,” said Abigail Noel, Destination Bryan PR and Communications Manager.
The $8 million project is expected to start soon.
“It’s exciting. A world class university needs a world class community. To do that we need to have interesting places,” said Nelson.
“Yeah there’s an explosion of excitement, new business excitement,” Nelson said.
Those new businesses also bring new jobs.
“We also have new businesses, new restaurants, new bars. We’ve got commercial buildings that are opening up,” he said.
Further down Main Street, work on the Queen Theatre should wrap up in early February. The Palace Theater is also getting remodeled with more jobs for these venues coming.
“We are so happy to be a part of the vision of the revitalization of Downtown Bryan. It’s a great place. It holds a special place in my family’s heart, the Schulman family and we are just so excited to be a part of helping it grow,” said Emily Bell, EPMC Group Director of Marketing and Sales.
“Through COVID and through 2020 when so many small businesses were hit really hard we actually saw 6 new businesses open in Downtown Bryan in 2020,” Noel added.
Nelson says a lot is in store in downtown for both locals and tourists.
“You know there’s plenty of room for more growth here,” he said.
As part of that agreement, work on the Varisco Building is expected to take about 15 months.
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