The economic development agreement between Jackson Street Market and the City of El Campo grants financial incentives to bring a multipurpose business to the town.

Molli Bodungen, the current owner of Molli B’s and Paint Perfection, plans to improve an existing brownfield site at 111 Ave D. The former ferrotherm building will have a coffee shop, office spaces, a commercial kitchen and an open-air market.

Molli B’s will move to the Jackson Street Market when it opens, and the coffee shop will feature a drive-through lane for those on the go. 

“We are going have a lot of great features to this building and hope to involve the community as much as possible,” Bodungen said. “The drive-through, incubation kitchen, office space and market will only work if people participate.”

The market will have 25 slots available for local vendors, and some coffee shop concessions will be made in-house in the incubation kitchen.

Jackson Street Market construction will cost a minimum of $715,000 and must be started within six months of the agreement date, according to the deal approved in a Sept. 20 vote.

“I couldn’t figure out a way to pay for my reno and pay for my taxes, but finally, all the ideas came together,” Bodungen said. “This way, I can bring some cool things to the community and still pay my bills.”

Section 380 will wave $2,250 in building permit fees and freeze property taxes at the base 2021 rate of $416.79 until 2027.

Bodungen requests no money, but $20,625 of city revenue will be lost due to building fees and property taxes over the next five years.

The economic impact of the business is expected to far exceed the lost revenue for the building project.

“I admire people like Molli who take a chance like that. She is not a wealthy person, but she has a vision, and I don’t know anyone who works as hard as her,” Mayor Chris Barbee said. “This has the potential to impact this city and the surrounding area in a very positive way.”

Middlebrook Construction will be the main contractor, and A.J. Homebuilders will do concrete and brickwork.

After a brief discussion, Council Member Philip Miller motioned to approve the resolution authorizing the Section 380 Economic Development Agreement with Molli Bodungen for the Jackson Street Market. 

Gloria Harris was the only member of the city council present to vote against the agreement. 

Bodungen plans to begin renovations on the site next week.

“When you’re a small business owner, and you’re not a franchise with multiple locations to offset each other, you have to take what you can get,” Bodungen said. “ You don’t know in that moment if they will help you pay your employees or get back on track. I am thankful to the city for this help.”

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