Chip and Joanna Gaines announced Thursday they plan to transform the 90-year-old Grand Karem Shrine building at 701 Washington Ave. in downtown Waco into a modern hotel that’s slated to open in 2021.The Gaines’ home and lifestyle brand, Magnolia, announced a partnership Thursday with Adventurous Journeys Capital Partners to restore and renovate the building into a three-story hotel with a rooftop terrace, grand ballroom and ground floor restaurant and café.
“Home is a feeling, created by and for the people you love and share your life with; it’s a state of being known and loved just as you are,” the Gaines said in a press release announcing the plan.
“That is our dream for this hotel—that it would serve as an extension of the way we feel about our own home and all it represents to us, and that every guest who comes to stay would experience that same sense of belonging and community.”
Additional details will be released in the months ahead, Magnolia said.
Magnolia closed on a deal to buy the building from McLennan County in November 2018.
The building between Washington and Columbus avenues on North 7th Street, served as a home for the nobles of the Karem Shrine from 1928 to 1995, when the benevolent order moved its headquarters to Farm-to-Market 185, between State Highway 6 and China Spring.
The fraternity sold the building to McLennan County for just short of $400,000 and the amount Magnolia paid for it is about three times that at more than $1 million for the temple building and an adjacent parking lot.
— KWTX 10