Lange family building coffee shop and Airbnb in Ballinger

Bill Hancock
Runnels County Register
The Lange family purchased the old Security Title Co. building in downtown Ballinger, at the corner of Hutchings Ave and 8th Street. The 3-story building, constructed in 1909, will be renovated as a coffee shop, gift shop and Airbnb.

The Security Title Co. building at 801 Hutchings is going to get a big makeover. The three-story building was recently purchased by the Lange family, owners of Lange Funeral Home.

The building will become "The Hotel on Main." While the structure is weeks away from opening, the Lange family has already started working on generating interest with their websites and social media pages; www.whatshappeningonmain.com and www.thehotelonmain.com. On Facebook, they're under The Hotel on Main.

Gillian Lange says that the first phase will be to renovate the front area of the building and put in a coffee shop that will also serve adult beverages. They're also going to construct a loft, "We want to give people a place to hang out."

Ryan Lange said his travels helped with the decision, "I was in inspired by trips to California. We wanted to build something nice that Ballinger can be proud of." Gillian said that the hotel has a primary goal, "We want to bring business to downtown. We want to showcase local business. We'll have the coffee shop and loft and eventually an Airbnb."

When the building was constructed, it was the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Ballinger. The building, built in 1909, has aged well on the exterior. Other than installing new windows, the exterior is in pretty good shape. The work inside will be extensive, "We want to restore this building to what it looked like back in the 1920s and 1930s, during the Great Gatsby Era." Part of that work includes keeping the original tin ceiling that many of the older buildings in Ballinger have.

The Lange family purchased the old Security Title building at 8th Street and Hutchings Ave. Eventually it will become an Airbnb. Part of the construction includes keeping the original tin ceiling.

The work will include rewiring most of the building, constructing the aforementioned loft, installing equipment for the coffee shop and bar, food prep and kitchen, building a gift shop, installing tables and chairs for customers, as well as turning rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors into suites for the Airbnb.

The Lange family history runs deep in this area, but it's the overall history of Ballinger and the hotel that the family wants to showcase, "Each hotel room will have a book about the history of the hotel," Gillian said. According to Gillian, the rooms will also have amenities such as picnic baskets and afternoon tea and sandwiches, "We should have 10 rooms, with a big suite up front."

The large, grand room, will eventually be turned into either hotel rooms or an auditorium. The Langes will be using local vendors for much of their supplies. They'll have Longhorn Coffee, as well as baked goods from Ballinger's Chocolate Chip Cookie Cottage. The family is also looking at possibly putting a salon in the building.

Renovations to the grand room on the 3rd floor of the building will be extensive. Eventually it will either become an auditorium, or more suites.

The first stage of construction will be the coffee shop, with adult beverages. They have put out their notice for a TABC permit.

The task at hand for the Lange crew is no small matter. The extensive interior work on the Airbnb will take months and with lumber prices skyrocketing higher every day, it won't be cheap.

The Airbnb will have its own separate entry from the street. The main suite on the 3rd floor has a turret-style corner with windows that look out over Hutchings Avenue, 8th Street, and most of downtown. The view is spectacular.

The turret style wall in the building will become a large suite. The windows offer views up and down Hutchings Ave, as well as 8th Street.

Gillian said that they aren't looking to make the place into something like you'd see in Austin or elsewhere, "We want to showcase Ballinger. People don't come out here to stay in a place that looks like something in Austin. We want people to see something that is part of who we are out here."