Mineral Wells Area News

Twenty-four year old Villanova Grad Leading the Development of Historic Seaman Building; Seeks Community Input to Finalize It’s Purpose

Amy Bearden

Twenty-four year old Villanova Grad Leading the Development of Historic Seaman Building; Seeks Community Input to Finalize It’s Purpose
July 25
07:21 2022

By Amy Bearden / Mineral Wells Area News

You’ve driven by it hundreds of times as it sits on the corner of Highway 180 West and Northwest 1st Avenue in downtown Mineral Wells.

Maybe you have even been inside to purchase a tool or a gallon of paint when it served as hardware store back in the 1980’s. Or maybe you have enough life experience to remember great-grandpa buying his first Plymouth from the car dealership inside the building.

The Seaman Building on Highway 180 and Northwest 1st Ave is being renovated and community members are being asked to input ideas for the buildings future purpose

However, if your memory of this monstrosity known as the Seaman building fails you, Remy Fairchild is giving you an opportunity, not only to experience the space again before it is restored, but the 24-year-old developer wants your input on the future of its redevelopment.

“We have initial ideas. We have so many ideas getting thrown around. But we want it to be for the community, which is why we’re inviting the community in and to share their vision and we’re going to try to pick pieces from what everyone says, put it together and hopefully create something that serves the current community, but then also can evolve for the growth of Mineral Wells and future tourists,” Fairchild stated.

The young entrepreneur is no stranger to the idea of being a visionary. It runs in the family apparently. She used to ride through town as a kid in diapers, heading to Possum Kingdom Lake with her dad, Laird Fairchild, who is one of the principal developers in the renovation of the Baker Hotel and Spa.

Her dad dreamt for years to see the Baker restored and after graduating from Villanova in 2020, she joined his business development team. She has been managing investor relations and social media accounts for the Baker group, but recently decided to step out on her own.

Remy Fairchild looks through the broken windows on the 2nd floor of the Seaman building. She is the leading the redevelopment of the historical space.

With the help of downtown developer and investor Randy Nix, this young entrepreneur is dreaming big things for this enormous building.

“We know from what we’ve heard initially, there’s a desire for family entertainment. Somewhere where your kids can maybe be running around playing, while the adults might be sitting and having a drink hanging out. What we really want it to become is for it to be a place kind of like the living room of downtown. This is one of our initial ideas where people will want to be and just hang out,” said Fairchild.

“We also see a need for fresh produce and culinary arts. So we could go that direction where there’s artisans in here baking bread, slicing up fresh, local meats. So there’s a lot of different ways that we could go with this.”

Another idea she has heard is rock climbing or skating. She says they are open to all ideas and wants the community to be involved so the concept is successful.

The Seaman Building has over 20,0000 square feet of space. Developers want to possibly attract businesses geared towards family entertainment

“You hear a lot about skating rinks, and all those things are amazing, but you have to find a way that makes a successful business also. So we’re thinking a lot of that family entertainment will come from programming. So maybe it could be this space is not a skating rink, but once a month or something you move everything out and invite everyone to come in and skate. That’s why we’re trying to be creative in ways that we design this. So it’s constantly evolving and people want to come back, but definitely family focused is the goal.”

Inside look of the Seaman Building

Finding information for the Seaman building has been difficult for the team leading the redevelopment but they know it was built in 1926 and has served as car dealerships, including the Frank Meyers Motor Company, a furniture store called ABC Furniture, as well as Davidson Ace Hardware store that relocated to the building when their original store across the street burned down in 1975.

The Seaman Building was built as an automobile dealership in 1926 but has also served as a furniture and a hardware store Photo Provided by Remy Fairchild

Locating the historical information has been imperative as developers intend to restore the building utilizing the Texas Historical Commission’s tax credits which is the same program already being utilized for the The Crazy Water Plaza and The Baker Hotel. This is not an unfamiliar undertaking to downtown developers whom are already familiar with the cumbersome requirements for historical restoration.

According to Fairchild, it’s a much more tedious process to do historical renovations but says you leave so much opportunity on the table if you do not restore to historical standards.

“You’re much more limited on what you can do. So it’s not like you can build a bunch of walls or tear a bunch of walls down. We have to still keep the bones of the building the same,” she explained.

Open House July 30

The building was once used as an automobile dealership and has a huge ramp up to the 2nd floor. Developers want the community to view the space on July 30 during an Open House and offer them suggestions for it’s use and purpose

So why would the developer want so much input from the community? The answer is simple according to Fairchild.

“I think that a lot of the other historic buildings kind of already tell you what they should be. The bigger ones obviously need to be hotels again, but this one, it’s a little bit different because I mean, it’s telling you it needs to be some type of automotive something with all the garage and ramp but, you know, that’s not really the long term vision of Mineral Wells. We don’t think that’s what this building needs to be.”

That’s where the public comes in to play on July 30.

“So this is an open house event from 4:00 to 7pm. Just come and go as you please. You could be here for two minutes just to write down on a sticky note your thoughts or you could spend 20 minutes and I would love to talk with everyone and get their ideas.”

Fairchild wants to create an evening of fun and says there will be four food trucks parked outside and live music nearby as citizens have an opportunity to see inside the building.

Remy Fairchild is no stranger to developing historical buildings. She has worked several years on the Baker Hotel and Spa as the investor relations manager as well social media management for the development group

“There will be like a little walking path through the whole building. They’ll get to see the entire building. And I’m thinking about giving everyone sticky notes when they walk in. So as they’re walking through and they get an idea, they can just jot it down and just like slap it on the wall,” Fairchild said.

She hopes by the nights end she will have a wall of sticky notes with great ideas for the 20,000 square foot space.

“I think inviting the community in and letting them say this is what we need. This is what we want, is a good idea. I’m also new to Mineral Wells so I don’t think I should come in and just say I think this is what should go here because I don’t have the same experiences as other people who have been here longer, so I think inviting them in is also a way to have their opinions heard and make them feel like they’re a part of it. You know, a passion project for everyone.”

Construction has begun on the building to shore up the walls and the roof. There is no time frame for the completion of the project but developers hope to have the roof, windows, doors, and walls completed by the end of this year.

Amy Bearden

Amy Bearden is the Publisher/Editor of Mineral Wells Area News and loves celebrating her favorite town by telling the stories of the people in the community. Amy has a passion for local sports, news and business development. She spent 10 years marketing a professional sports team and is now focused on growing the cultural wellness and creative arts space throughout the area. Amy has four kids, two dogs and a garden she cherishes, along with her yoga mat.