B/CS by the Year 2030

By: Ashlea Sigman Email
By: Ashlea Sigman Email

It's a glimpse into the future of what life could be like in Bryan/ College Station in another 22 years. Economist Ray Perryman has released his projections on consumer growth and personal income.

"I think both of us just really fell in love with the town," said Mechelle Milliorn, from the sidelines of her husband's flag football game.

Milliorn and her friends say they live in B/CS by choice. "A&M's here, we have everything we've ever wanted in our backyard," said Milliorn.

Economist Ray Perryman believes a lot of people feel that way. He projects another 60,000 will call the twin cities home by the year 2030. Its a number that includes retirees, Aggies who never left, and those who returned.

"A place to raise their kids that doesn't have the hustle and bustle of a large city," said Bryan/ College Station Chamber of Commerce President Royce Hickman.

Add to that the area's affordable homes and low commute times. "I think one thing is the access, the proximity to things, you know like shopping," said College Station resident Lisa Claborn.

Over the next 20 years, B/CS retail sales are expected to have the third largest increase of any of the 20 smaller metro areas in Texas.

"I think this community has become kind of regional hub for a couple of things and one of them is health care, and the other is retail sales.

A potential holdup to some of that growth? No major interstates in or out of Bryan College Station.

"If our transportation corridors aren't as good as competitive cities who are trying to get those businesses into their communities, we're not going to fare as well," said Hickman.

Earlier this year, Brazos Valley residents helped put a stop to new land going towards the Trans Texas Corridor, a victory for property owners, but maybe not for business.

"If we could have just gotten Interstate 69 close to us I think it would have benefited us and spurred the growth even more," said Hickman.

Whether the causes are transportation or part-time college workers being added to the equation, Perryman estimates the average wage growth in the Brazos Valley will be at a standstill compared to the rest of Texas. That number is expected to increase by only $8 in 22 years, while the bigger cities around us increase substantially.

"Those are the kinds of dollars they have to pay folks to come in to those kinds of environments versus the dollars we have to pay to get folks to come into our environment," said Hickman.

In 20 years one thing isn't likely to change: this community will still pride itself on its small town charm as it becomes an ever bigger set of cities.

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