Monday, May 6, 2019

"At Home" on the Boriskie Ranch

College Station never had a "Garden Ridge" store, but better late than never, right?

It's rare these days when Project HOLD actually helps contribute to an article and answers questions asked, but Project HOLD came through and delivered an article on Boriskie Ranch, located off of the Highway 6 bypass. I had actually wanted to publish this in 2017 before some unfortunate situations in my life derailed my plans on revitalizing the site (chronologically, this was supposed to be published after the former Café Eccell page before the site effectively went on a year and a half hiatus). I wanted to try to contact the author, but in my research of it when first writing this article, found that Burton Hermann had passed away two days prior to when I had looked it up [archive].

The ranch dates back to the 1800s and once covered an enormous part of land stretching to Texas Avenue to the west and what would be Southwest Parkway to the south, and includes a vast part of east College Station, including Post Oak Mall, Allen Honda, Wolf Pen Creek Park, a bunch of apartment complexes, Dairy Queen, a section of Earl Rudder Freeway, and others. Obviously, these will not be covered today (if ever), though some are already covered in some form.

There's not a lot I can say about the part that's already written (if Project HOLD changes links again, just search "boriskie ranch"), other than a few facts that Post Oak Mall was built in 1982, not 1989. Following the expansion the driving range was "College Station Golf Center" at 2301 East Bypass. In 1989, I can find a listing for "Brazos Valley Golf Driving Range" but the address (and number) listed is for 2400 East Bypass, the current Grand Station (the building was a former Lowe's, but the Lowe's listed in the 1989 phone book has a non-existent East Bypass address, because at some point the addresses were renumbered). But then again, there didn't seem to be a building for the golf center in 1995, which indicates that it didn't have a phone number, so it's one of those cases in which I don't know.

Regardless, Academy Sports + Outdoors (2351 Earl Rudder Freeway) was built and opened in February 2002, as the article says (see this article). The golf center, with its long poles and overgrown netting to prevent balls from going out into the highway, closed in the mid-2000s and was torn down for a shopping center. This would be the home of Gander Mountain (2301 Earl Rudder Freeway) and Dickey's Barbecue Pit (2297 Earl Rudder Freeway). Gander Mountain would open June 2007, giving another option for the local economy and another large store on Highway 6.

The closed Dickey's.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit was the last commercial development at Boriskie Ranch. This is covered in more detail at this article.

Around 2011, We Rent Storage at 2672 Horse Haven Lane opened, replacing an oil field.

In 2017, several shakeups changed the face of the former Boriskie Ranch. In addition to the aforementioned Dickey's Barbecue Pit, Academy moved less than a mile away closer to the intersection of Raintree and Highway 6, Gander Mountain closed in August following the parent company's bankruptcy, and Hunter's Creek Stables (now with an address of 2741 Horseback Drive, as opposed to the original address of 2401 East Bypass) eventually closed and was torn down to allow further development of Horse Haven Estates.

However, some life did come back when At Home Group Inc. announced that they would build a store in College Station. The new name of what used to be Garden Ridge, the Texas-based chain has had stores in Houston (often enormous, though they've scaled down in recent years), San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, and parts beyond for years (even Syracuse, New York got a store before us). They tore down a covered outdoor annex of Gander Mountain to build an expansion (I think this had boats, I'm not sure).

UPDATE 09-15-2021: Slight cutting to officially spin off the Academy and Masfajitas (Dickey's) articles. Added [College Station] to the post.