In 2009 the Grapevine Chamber of Commerce had 750 business members and a staff of four. Ten years later the chamber has grown to more than 1,200 business members and a staff of six.
During that time, the chamber has had an office at 200 Vine Street, which was built in 1999 and meant to accommodate three to four employees. Chamber leaders are saying it is time for that to change.
“We have outgrown our current space and we can’t even host a lot of our programs and committees anywhere in our own building,” Building Campaign Chair Theresa Mason said.
In 2013 the Chamber of Commerce Board purchased the full acre of land the chamber building sits on, anticipating the need to grow.
“The building that the chamber has right now is going to be turned into all offices so that we can expand,” Mason said. “Then we’ll be building essentially about 3,200 square feet of community room that we can host our programs and our committees. … A lot the committees have grown in size, and we’ve had to move to other places, but they are now going to be back in the Chamber.”
She added the new building will also include a catering kitchen as an added amenity for those who use the community room.
The capital campaign for this expansion was launched April 18, seeking sponsorships for the new building. Mason said the chamber needs $1.5 million for the expansion, which will include the construction of the new building, remodeling of the existing building, the furnishings and appliances. Several sponsorship levels are available from $500 to $300,000. Donations can be paid at one time or over a maximum of a three-year period, she said.
“We think it will be really beneficial for our small businesses to feel like they can contribute because they sometimes can’t compete with the larger corporations. They just don’t have the money to do it,” Mason said. “So if you spread out a $5,000 donation over three years that’s about $140 a month. That’s doable for a lot of people.”
She said giving will earn recognition for contributors all the way down to $500 on a “Wall of Fame” that will be built in the new building. The more a person or business donates, the bigger the person's name will be on the wall.
As of April 18, the Chamber had raised $143,500. Mason said $300,000 will be needed to break ground on the new building, and said she anticipated a groundbreaking in mid-May. Construction should take about six months, weather permitting, and the building will be finished by the end of the year.
“This is going to be a great asset to our committees, and our committees will be able to meet at this space, our businesses will be able to use this space and we really feel like it’s going to add a lot of value to our membership and to our community to have this,” Mason said.
For more information or to donate to the project, contact the Grapevine Chamber of Commerce at 817-481-1522.