For commercial activity, it’s a different story
By WES FERGUSON
Kyle’s and Buda’s fortunes are reversed when it comes to residential and commercial growth over the past three years.
Commercial construction in Buda almost came to a standstill in 2011. After peaking at 31 permits issued in 2000, the city gave the go-ahead for only two new projects last year — one for a day-care facility on Old Black Colony Road, the other for a Tractor Supply Co. store on Interstate 35 at FM 2001.
“Commercial development’s pretty much down everywhere,” Buda City Manager Kenneth Williams said. “Hopefully it will improve this year with the improving economy. It looks like some things are starting to break loose.”
Despite the absence of commercial growth, Buda’s residential construction remained steady in 2011, with 292 permits issued. That far outpaces the number of permits issued in sister city Kyle, which has about three times as many people and where an opposite story is unfolding.
Kyle’s booming pace of residential construction cooled considerably in 2011. It fell almost 40 percent from 323 permits issued in 2009 to just 196 issued in 2011, according to data provided by the city’s building permit coordinator.
But even as residential construction was tapering off, commercial permits jumped 50 percent last year, with a range of fast-food chains, office spaces, fitness centers and medical facilities moving into the suburbs to meet the new demand following rapid population growth over the past decade.
Diana Blank, the city of Kyle’s economic development director, said the commercial sector is just now beginning to catch up to the rapid residential growth of the previous decade. She said the slowing rate of residential development is not a concern for her.
“There’s no way we could have kept up that pace, nor would we want to,” she said. “The residential single-family home is more of a burden on the city (expense and infrastructure). Creating the commercial tax base is going to lessen that burden.”
In a sense, homes are loss leaders that draw in commercial development, where the city can make some real money.
“We really need to get commercial going,” Blank said.
Blank said she expects the growth to continue in 2012. The Applebee’s and IHOP chains are both planning to build restaurants next to McDonald’s and the Target store in Kyle. CiCi’s Pizza Buffet has also requested a permit to open in front of the Lowe’s home improvement store on Kyle Parkway.
Walmart, a second Walgreens and a Sonic Drive-In are all planning Kyle locations, and a Josie’s Yogurt is moving into the old Baskin-Robbins storefront next to H-E-B Plus.
Central Texas entrepreneur Frederick Rucker is also considering Kyle for a large bowling and family entertainment center on I-35. Blank said Rucker is looking at a triangular piece of property on the east I-35 frontage road near Goforth Road.
Residential construction won’t continue to decline, Blank predicted.
“We are seeing more residential developers coming back in with interest, but it’s not going to spike back up like it was,” she said. “We expect it to stabilize more than anything.”
In Buda, the Tractor Supply store at 15555 I-35 will employ around 15 full- and part-time employees, and the 19,100-square-foot store will include a sales floor and support service space.
Food chains, fitness centers and medical facilities moved to Kyle in 2011. The city issued more than 30 new commercial building permits last year.
|Jan. 18||Panda Express||5261 Kyle Center Drive||$450,000||2,737|
|Feb. 2||Plum Fit fitness center*||4100 Everett||$110,500||3,352|
|Feb. 3||Engineered building||24801 Interstate 35||$0||8,000|
|Feb. 18||Elite Body Works*||4100 Everett||$60,000||1,130|
|Feb. 22||Panda Express||5261 Kyle Center Drive||$450,000||2,737|
|March 1||Casa Garcia’s*||5401 S FM 1626||$250,000||4,973|
|March 4||Shell building||134 Elmhurst Drive||$600,000||9,811|
|March 8||Park construction||1300 W. Center St.||$74,000||N/A|
|March 21||Dialysis clinic||134 Elmhurst Drive||$1 million||9,757|
|March 21||Martial arts studio||5401 FM 1626||$92,000||2,485|
|April 19||Game Stop*||5167 Kyle Center Drive||$55,000||1,500|
|April 19||Little Caesars||5167 Kyle Center Drive||$100,000||1,400|
|April 21||Mattress Firm||5167 Kyle Center Drive||$175,000||3,500|
|May 11||Hays Free Press||113 W. Center St.||$625,000||5,700|
|May 17||Bunton Creek med. office||135 Bunton Creek Road||$4.1 million||41,550|
|June 3||Super Cuts*||5167 Kyle Center Drive||$0||1,200|
|June 3||Blizz Frozen Yogurt||5695 Kyle Parkway||$0||1,400|
|June 6||Discount Tire||20655 I-35||$750,000||9,052|
|June 8||Physiotherapy office||147 Elmhurst Drive||$15,000||1,450|
|June 13||Office*||4100 Everett||$47,000||1,183|
|June 23||Dialysis clinic*||134 Elmhurst Drive||$1 million||9,757|
|July 1||Casa Maria Cantina||22604 I-35||$500,000||4,997|
|July 8||Convenience store||102 Creekside Trail||$900,000||6,000|
|Aug. 2||Dickey’s BBQ||5695 Kyle Parkway||$0||3,000|
|Aug. 2||Chill Out Yogurt||5103 Kyle Center Drive||$50,000||1,256|
|Aug. 10||Panhandler Pizza||5401 S FM 1626||$150,000||2,153|
|Aug. 15||Dental office||165 Elmhurst Drive||$722,000||5,324|
|Aug. 26||Xtreme Power office*||1400 Goforth Road||$49,000||1,116|
|Sept. 16||Brazilian jiu-jitsu facility*||23703 I-35||$6,000||2,100|
|Oct. 13||Lake Kyle development||700 Lehman Road||$93,586||N/A|
|Oct. 20||Suite*||1180 Seton Parkway||$233,000||3,597|
|Nov. 18||Jera Motors||211 Old Highway 81 S||$0||447|
|Nov. 16||Rack Room Shoes||5132 Kyle Center Drive||$153,259||5,549|
|Dec. 1||Outpatient phys. therapy*||5695 Kyle Parkway||$263,000||1,260|
|Dec. 8||Austin Pain Associates*||135 Bunton Creek Road||$0||5,818|
|Dec. 8||Podiatry Group of S. TX*||135 Bunton Creek Road||$110,000||1,810|
* Permits to finish out buildings that had already been built
- City of Buda issues 13 building certificates 11/2/2011
- CiCi’s Pizza is coming to Kyle 06/13/2012
- Building the future: Construction continues in Kyle, Buda 02/2/2011