By Don Bolding

Killeen Daily Herald

A new upscale little row of shops on East Stan Schlueter Loop gets its formal inauguration with a series of ribbon-cuttings Monday morning.

Officials of the Greater Killeen and Harker Heights chambers of commerce will take their giant ceremonial scissors from one door to the next at the Shops on Stan Schlueter Loop starting at 10 a.m., to finish with refreshments and door prizes at Keller Williams Real Estate in the center of the L-shaped plaza, where three real estate professionals, plus the agency, have joined independently.

"But I hope they'll all stop by here after it all for coffee," quipped Levi Noguess of Java Jo'z, a coffee-and-smoothie shop at one end.

Noguess and his wife Juli were among the main organizers of the project with Tammy Gilbert of Le' Spa and Salon and Jim Wright of Jim Wright Co., who built the center.

Gilbert's shop was the first to open, on Feb. 16. "We're the only shop in town now with a salon and spa together," she said. "This is an upscale center, and it's time for things like this in Killeen. We have so many people here from so many parts of the world that we need something that will appeal to them."

About the clustered ribbon cuttings, she said, "We did something like this at Empire Suites in Harker Heights when I was with Edward Jones there. When we were talking about opening events for this center, I told Jim Wright that the idea had worked really well there and said we should try it here."

Besides Java Jo'z and Le' Spa, the businesses signed up to participate late last week and their managers are i scrapbook, Icela Agnello; Beauty Depot, Michille Seo; and Modern Nail Salon # 2, Andy Nguyen. The individuals at Keller Williams are LaDonna Wall, Shakim Gonzales and Kim Galvan. Some businesses are not participating because they haven't joined either chamber. Most have joined both, but an announcement from the Harker Heights chamber did not mention the Keller Williams group.

The Heights chamber reported that a ribbon cutting is planned at the same time in the Schlueter cluster for Nguyen's Modern Nail Salon # I at 1015 S. Fort Hood St.

Agnello's shop is devoted to preservation of family keepsakes. Java Jo'z is a national organization based in Florida. The Noguesses have Internet connections and games, plus live music on weekend evenings. They are trying to make the cafe a smoke and alcohol-free community gathering place. They said that on some evenings it has been filled with students from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

Wright said all spaces in the center are rented. The $658,000 building permit was issued to Stefek Sears Builders in April 2005. Wright said the 18,740-square-foot floor plan, designed as 14 separate suites, is the same as his Shops at Modoc now under construction in Harker Heights. The Heights center is more than half rented.

Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce membership development director Thad Byars was still holding out hope that the remaining shops in the Stan Schlueter center would jump on the bandwagon as the week ended. He said the entire Monday morning party would take an hour to an hour and a half.

Contact Don Bolding at

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