Mike Copeland: Summary of Planning Permission; neighborhood purchase; biscuits for insomnia; Stellar Service Splits | Local business news

Without a scorecard, it would be difficult to keep track of all the million-dollar building permits that local cities have issued over the past few weeks.

Topping the list is Baylor University’s remodeling of Collins Hall on South Eighth Street at an estimated cost of $28.5 million. AstenJohnson, an industrial textile manufacturer, secured a $25.4 million permit for a nonwovens manufacturing facility on Tirey Road near Texas State Technical College. A $20 million building permit allows plastic hangar manufacturer Merrick Engineering to build a new headquarters and manufacturing facility at 7101 Mars Drive.

Store House Storage has a US$3.5 million building permit for construction at 9919 China Spring Road. The First National Bank of Central Texas will spend $1.8 million to renovate its lobby at 1835 N. Valley Mills Drive and install LED lighting.

Others worth noting but not hitting the million-dollar mark include permitting Chuck E. Cheese to spend $420,000 remodeling its premises at 5106 W. Waco Drive, according to information from the local office of Associated General Contractors of America. An estimated $250,000 permit will allow exiting space at 5301 Bosque Blvd. for a Scenthound dog grooming franchise.

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Neighbor buys Lawn Pride

Waco-based Neighborly continues its growth spurt and announces the acquisition of Lawn Pride, a professional lawn care company based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Neighborly now has more than 30 home service brands.

Neighborly sells another lawn and garden brand called The Grounds Guys. Es and Lawn Pride “will operate independently using two distinct service models and systems, led by Neighborly,” according to a press release.

Neighborly powers 5,000 franchises serving 12 million customers in six countries. The portfolio of brands includes Mr. Rooter, Mr. Appliance, Mr. Electric, Mr. Handyman, Molly Maid, Mosquito Joe, Shelf Genie, Window Genie, Drain Doctor, Glass Doctor and Dryer Vent Wizard.

Insomnia cookies open, late

Insomnia Cookies opened a store this weekend at 1508 Speight Ave., near Baylor University. According to a press release, the Waco store is Insomnia’s 14th in Texas. The company offers customers in-store and delivery options by 3am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays or by 1am on other days. The rotating menu includes warm cookies like Chocolate Chunk, Snickerdoodle, and Confetti Deluxe, as well as ice cream and vegan options.

Philadelphia is home to Insomnia Cookies, which was founded there in 2003 by Seth Berkowitz, a University of Pennsylvania student. The Waco site is hiring part-timers, delivery drivers, and shift supervisors.

Trane highlights safety record

Trane Technologies’ McGregor facility has a lot to offer. It employs more than 200 people who make heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems safe and energy efficient, the company said in a press release. Its most recent achievement is that it has operated 750,000 man-hours for two consecutive years without any downtime incidents. It’s on track to hit 1 million hours in March.

In its 2008 report on “environmental sustainability,” Trane said it had upgraded the plant’s HVAC, roof, and lighting systems to reduce water and electricity use, “and created a more comfortable, efficient environment.”

Trane Waco last sent garbage to the landfill in 2017. All non-recyclable garbage is sent to a facility that uses it to generate electricity. By 2018, water consumption had been reduced by 60%. An expansion this year doubled the facility’s stormwater harvesting capacity to 300,000 gallons. Water-powered heat pumps and LED lighting have also been installed in the facility.

New HEB articles

HEB sponsors an annual Quest for Texas Best contest that encourages people to submit ideas for food, beverage and general merchandise that may hit store shelves. No one from Central Texas has won awards for their entries, but the region may be able to see the winners by visiting the HEB.

McAllen’s Annie Leal won the grand prize with her salsa I Love Chamoy; Lakeways’ Ashley Cameron took first place with Love & Cookies frozen cookie dough; Karim and Mansour Arem from Houston took second place with zwita, a spicy traditional harissa; Brent and Juan Reaves from Dallas took third place with Smokey John’s, a barbecue rub; and another third went to Burnett Ranches LLC of Guthrie with Four Sixes Ranch Chuck Wagon Chile Mix.

Since 2014, HEB has reviewed more than 5,380 samples, more than 860 of which were deemed shelf-worthy, awarded nearly $500,000 in prize money and provided $900,000 in marketing and mentoring support, according to a press release detailing the findings were announced.

Stellar Service Brands to Dallas

Stellar Service Brands moves from Waco to Dallas. The franchise organization, which includes Restoration 1, bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, The Driveway Co. and Softrock, will exit Steinbeck Bend Drive and move into a 60,000-square-foot space in Dallas’ upscale Uptown neighborhood. Most employees will be relocating this fall.

“The decision to relocate our corporate headquarters is intended to enable us to attract the best talent to meet the needs of each brand’s growth,” CEO Sherry Rose said in a press release.

Companies under the Stellar umbrella have 465 franchise locations.

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