When you drive in College Station it is obvious by all the construction going on that its business community is growing. Planning and Development Assistant Director Lance Simms says College Station is attract several companies looking to set up shop here in Aggieland.
"With total permits, building permits we're looking at probably a 700-800 range," Simms said of the number the city issued in 2006.
One of those companies with a permit is Kohl's. The department store will be moving into one of the city's older strip centers, Culpepper Plaza. With close to 65,000 square feet, it will become the anchor store for the shopping center.
Just up the road off Highway 6, another large store is going in. Gander Mountain is not releasing any details, but plans to open in May.
But while new stores certainly offer advantages, the city isn't forgetting about its older areas. Revitalization programs are ongoing with a goal of preserving key commercial centers.
"We are trying to promote some redevelopment in Northgate," Simms said. "As a matter of fact, there is a project that is starting in Northgate. "It is called The Factory."
That new residential building slated to open in August, and will have 107 units with 150 parking spaces.
With all of this construction, what about the traffic?
"(That) is a special challenge for us," Simms said. "Some of the developments are in pretty good shape as far as infrastructure others are not. I will say that the city is doing everything that they can to get ahead of the growth and provide for traffic and other infrastructure needs."
All of these projects translate into economic growth. In 2006, the College Station's sales tax revenue was around $16.7 million. That was up by eight percent from the previous year.
For this coming fiscal year, they're estimating a five percent increase. If construction continues at its present rate, meeting those expectations should be business as usual.