The Lone Star State is booming, and the city of Huntsville and Walker County are no exception. In fact, Texas is ranked as the second largest state economy in the U.S. and ranks 10th largest in the world ahead of countries like Canada and South Korea. And that’s not all! Texas boasts a population that increases by more than 1,000 people every day. In the city of Huntsville and Walker County, Interstate 45 is attracting an assortment of restaurants, retail and residential options for current and new residents.
“There has been tremendous growth through the I-45 corridor, with the largest being the Ravenwood Village Shopping Center,” said Ken Holland of the Huntsville-Walker County Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Council. “New businesses such as McAlister’s Deli are attracted to the increasing economic climate that has been created around the Ravenwood Village area and realize that they would have a great opportunity to have a strong customer base. Existing businesses such as Whataburger have also recognized this and strategically relocated and expanded their ability to serve more customers with a larger store.”
But nationally recognized chain restaurants aren’t the only ones enjoying success.
“There have also been many successful local restaurants located in the core of Huntsville, off the interstate,” said Huntsville City Manager Aron Kulhavy. “We believe these small local businesses are even more important to the continued success of Huntsville.”
Sam Houston State University, located in the heart of Huntsville, is also helping draw development to the area.
“There are a lot of developers looking into the area, from commercial developers to subdivision developers,” said Jimmy Henry of the Huntsville-Walker County Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Council. “Due to the major growth of Sam Houston State University, there is an apartment boom in the area. In the last few years, there have been some major donations made to the university that have allowed for new building growth and expansion of its academic programs.”
Single-family homes are being built in new subdivisions like Texas Grand Ranch and Sterling Ridge, as well as on remaining lots in existing subdivisions. For multifamily living options, Kulhavy said between 500 to 1,000 bedrooms are added every year with the majority focused on college students, such as The Armory, set to open in the summer of 2018.
“There are newer apartments being constructed that are being geared for families as well. Then of course you have the Avenue areas in Huntsville — the older historic district that has the charming homes that are in high demand,” said James Logan of the Business Training Council at the Chamber. “There are a number of new hotels, restaurants and new retail businesses that are making this area home. What makes this great is that the interior of Huntsville remains a vibrant, small hometown while the perimeter offers the advantages of a larger urban area.”
By Brooke Payne