Malcolm and Taylor Kanute with Keewaydin Developments have only lived in Stephenville a few months, but that’s not stopping them from taking big steps in bringing new business to town.

The father-son duo sat down with the E-T on Tuesday to discuss their plans for property they are purchasing in Stephenville.

“The fact that Tarleton is growing is a big opportunity for developers,” Malcolm said. “And Stephenville’s proximity to the Metroplex gives us all the key elements for growth.”

The Kanutes moved to Stephenville from Chicago where they spent years in the real estate business.

They are in the process of purchasing two acres where the old Fiddle Creek restaurant is located and a 4 1/2 acre of land behind it.

Calling the project “Tarleton Crossings at the South Loop,” the Kanutes plan to build a hotel and revamp the 5,000 square foot restaurant space to include new businesses.

“Our site plan incorporates that whole 6 1/2 acres,” Malcolm said. “We plan to blend local businesses with regional and national ones.”

They have already reached out to companies like Dunkin’ Donuts, Chick-fil-A, Buffalo Wild Wings and Applebees, hoping to entice them to the area.

“The opportunity for new restaurants and retail is just blossoming here,” Taylor said. “We are in the right place at the right time.”   

Ashleigh Feuerbacher, director of marketing and administration for SEDA, said she has enjoyed working with the Kanutes and appreciates their vision for the city.

“These new developers have had a hand in regional and national developments and that’s exciting,” Feuerbacher said. “They see a jewel in Stephenville and want to expand it.”

Plans for the four-story hotel include 90-100 rooms, conference rooms and a meeting center.

“We have already met with city officials and they have reviewed the site plan,” Malcolm said. “They have expressed excitement to see this deal happen and have offered their support.

“We have already been approached by several established local businesses looking to relocate to larger buildings with greater visibility, and we also have inquiries from a number of national restaurant franchises. We don’t expect that the sites will last very long.”