Wednesday, June 19, 2013

College Station Business Center

Looking east from the west end, where the beer supply store currently is.

Not to be confused with "The Business Center at College Station" off of Lakeway Drive, College Station Business Center (2151 Harvey Mitchell Parkway, originally numbered as 1501 FM 2818) is a cluster of mid-1980s buildings, with a small strip center portion facing Harvey Mitchell Parkway.

To me, the most notable tenant here (besides Paint N More, discussed in a bit), was Acrofit Gymnastics, formerly Linder's Gymnastics, and oriented toward kids and teenagers. I don't know when Linder's opened (between 1989 and 1993) but it was their second location (original on 2603 Rountree), and by 1998 only this location remained, suite 107 at that, now under the name of Acrofit Gymnastics.

My 1998 phone book mentions that it had a Houston location, here's some 1996 forum postings regarding it. It seems to suggest that Acrofit was renamed before new ownership took over in the early 1990s, but it give more information on the Houston location, which you can read toward the bottom of the new Houston - FM 1960 page on Carbon-izer.

About the time the Houston location moved to Kemah (and a new website was launched) in 2004, the facility closed. However, I tend to remember it pretty well, because it was one of those I went to in my youth, though emphasis on fitness never really stuck, I'm more fat and out of shape these days. Acrofit's predecessor, Linder's, had to be one of the original tenants there as it had warehouse ceilings (complete with visible insulation), an upper floor with windows looking out into the main gymnasium area, gymnastics equipment, chalk, a trampoline suspended over a six-foot concrete pit(!), running mats, no adequate air conditioning (just lots of fans). There were some rather dubious-looking paintings of children's cartoon characters (including Barney) and some framed pictures of Olympian gymnasts, and their own "AcroBus" (which was sold to Aerofit after closure with no initial changes in paint).

At the end closest to Longmire was a hardware store called Paint N More in the 1990s. It closed around the year 2000, then it became Franklin Candle Company a few years later (2004-ish), and then Dollar General after that before it closed. And yes, I realize that while there WAS a Dollar General at the old Kmart building, it opened a few years after the other one closed, maybe occupying it from 2005 to 2009. It later became Fastenal, which closed in June 2017 when it consolidated with the Bryan location. After that a fly-by-night rug outlet occupied the space for a while, but it has since departed as well.

There's a few warehouse areas behind it like an iPhone repair place invisible from all angles unless you were heading southbound on Longmire. Some of these include Aggieland Computer Repair and What's the Buzz Coffee Company. There was also a wholesaler's business back there, at least the last time I checked. I took a few pictures of this area, but they're not very good.

But aside from Acrofit and the end anchor, most of the tenants never really stuck out to me, being there and gone in a few years and mostly non-retail. Things may be changing, as a newer tenant, Brew Supply Haus, is expanding its space, and features not only supplies for home brewing but also a few novelty items (like soap made with beer) and gourmet food items (black garlic).

Beyond that, here's some other tenants that have come and gone.

2818 Grooming - This pet grooming place on the west end for much of the 2000s, which I recall the temporary sign being far better than the permanent one (an ugly backlit white-on-red sign, rectangular).

Action Printing - I remember this being roughly where Acrofit was, opening in late 2004/early 2005. It didn't last for more than 3-4 years.

Cycles Etc. - Briefly was here in the former Mom's Meals space before moving a block west. Used to be on Northgate, in a building that has yet to be covered as of this writing.

Dance Centre - A dancing center adjacent to Body Designs, a dancewear store, since 1982 (though it was not there, or that name, during that time). Even in the last twenty years, while the space is the same space (105) it has changed focus entirely...the modern website is exclusively adult dancing, while my 1998 advertisement is toddlers (age 2 1/2) to teens. My sister had gone here a few times when she was much younger.

Glass Doctor - Before its expansion, Brew Supply Haus occupied this space.

Mom's Meals - Early 2010s meal delivery service (suite 109).

Sign Express - Formerly Signs & Wraps by Sergio (and before that, Signs by Sergio), this place (110), as of 2016, had the "Wraps" portion of the Great Wraps that used to be at the Rise (or another defunct Great Wraps sign piece).

Southern Fastening Systems was at suite 107 (same as Acrofit, though Acrofit's space was divided) until early 2017 when it became SouthernCarlson (merger).

Thunder Computer Systems - Another mid-2000s tenant located closer to the Southwood end (might've been signed as "Thunder Computers"). Its website remained longer than the storefront did.

Finally, here's some pictures, some from me a few years back (when I had my old pre-iPhone cell phone, so no later than around early 2013) and an even older one from Loopnet (with Action Printing).

Updated March 2020