Some Central Texans are renovating the old train station into a multi-commercial property.
BELTON, Texas – If you’ve been to downtown Belton, you’ve probably seen a big red barn.
If you’re on the corner of East Street and First Avenue, that’s the original Belton Depot. It’s been there since 1899.
In recent decades, however, it has been lifeless.
Kayla and Luke Potts and a couple of their business associates took their proud heritage, love for the city and decided to transform the empty train station into a new travel destination.
“None of us have ever done anything with a train depot and learned how to build railroad track, how to put wagons on the tracks, how to work with the building, level it,” said Luke Potts, one of the four owners of Belton Depot and The Katy. “What’s the basis like? Just a lot of different challenges and but it went really well.”
The Potts spent several hours a day manually converting the depot into a mixed-use business park.
They will be renting out space to business owners and are looking for restaurants, boutiques, art galleries or really anything that brings excitement and entertainment to downtown.
“Eventually you’re going to see two wagons, that’s also going to be retail space,” Kayla Potts said of part of the property. “We’d love to see something like the wine bars, the restaurants or the retail stores come in because we’re going to have this great outdoor space with outdoor seating.”
The Potts say they want to preserve as much of the story as possible. They build their own railway line to put a car on it that was originally on the Belton Railway.
“You know that all of our community share the history of this city, and we love looking back at the history that has made it such an amazing place,” Luke said.
They plan to keep most of the frame and reuse some of the furniture and equipment. They hope it will inspire people to learn more about the history of the railway and the town of Belton.
The Belton Depot isn’t the only building to get Potts’ touch! They also plan to renovate The Katy, which is right next door.
The Potts have another store downtown and look forward to contributing to the growth and development of downtown Belton.
“Just looking at the growth over the last 10-11 years and the new companies coming in and the transformation of these historic buildings makes me think we want to be a part of that,” Kayla added. “We want to continue to be a part of that and I think there’s just a craving for these rich inner cities.”
The Potts hope to be open by early fall.
Once they finish renovating the Depot, they start renovating The Katy.
The Potts would love for you to follow the renovations at the depot. You can do that here.
For space rental inquiries, please email [email protected]