While having lunch together one day, Jed Walker was asked by a longtime client if a 158-acre industrial tract of land could be developed into a high-end commercial project. Being familiar with the tract of land on IH-35 and Loop 340, Jed sketched his ideas onto a napkin – complete with two lakes and a roundabout.
The client was so motivated by this unique opportunity that he requested Walker Partners prepare a conceptual land plan. The napkin sketch transformed into a Concept Plan with proposed land uses, a street and lot layout, pedestrian paths, two parks, a round-about, and a regional stormwater retention-detention facility.
Interestingly, a hospital campus was sketched onto 75 acres of the Land Use Plan as a potential, future use. Here at Walker Partners, we have a credo – “If you want to make something happen, sketch it up and put it on the wall!” We did just that, and a few days later, another client came into the office to discuss something completely unrelated. When he saw the sketch on the wall, he informed us that he was chairman of the board of a regional hospital and the layout along IH-35 looked very intriguing.
Within weeks, the regional hospital – Baylor-Scott & White Hospital – purchased those 75 acres and the engineers and surveyors at Walker Partners began designing Waco’s “front door” from the South.
The Hospital now sits stately within an environmentally-friendly and accessible network of hotels, eateries, parks, lakes, and pedestrian paths. Juxtaposed with IH-35, recognized as one of the greatest highways in the world, this development has galvanized the area, meeting the needs of the regional medical community and significantly impacting the economies of Waco and surrounding cities.
From a simple napkin sketch to a world-class medical center, Walker Partners has helped create an atmosphere of health and prosperity to the users and the community. Walker Partners transformed an under-valued industrial tract of land and created a gathering place that connects the community with the region, State, and beyond.
completion date: 2008
location: waco, tx
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