Four new businesses were granted construction permits in the city last month and February may echo that, city planners said.

“I think is is just a really exciting thing to see … the commercial (businesses) coming to the area,” Planning and Development Director Tommy Garcia said.

According to the city’s January Project Master Report released in early February, four businesses received construction or finish-out permits for construction.

The total valuation for all four businesses was more than $1.2 million, the report stated.  The four businesses included a salon at 2300 Verna Lee Suite 113, the Army Medical Home facility at Market Heights, a Which Wich also at Market Heights and Taco Bell at 500 E. Farm to Market 2410.

These businesses have looked at building in Harker Heights for at least the last six months and the city is fortunate to have them enter this stage of the construction process at the same time, Garcia said.

February may also see similar results as the city anticipates an IHOP, the Harker Heights Seton Medical Center another medical building, a Cefco and Guys with Green Shoes will receive construction permits this month, Garcia said.

“Hopefully it is a sign of continued growth,” City Manager Steve Carpenter said.  “We have a lot of attractive areas, and we have a lot of areas for the people to move into.  I think there is no doubt that we are an attractive community to come to.”

These businesses help generate sales tax and property tax revenues for the city by expanding the diversity of the city’s tax base, Garcia said.  They also contributed to the improvement of the quality of life by providing services residents want and because the ordinances created by the City Council make their facilities more attractive and sustainable.

“We are really excited that we have the ordinances in place that we can make this good quality stuff,” Garcia said.

Commercial growth should continue in Market Heights as the shopping center continues to fill up, Carpenter said.  But residents will also see commercial growth on FM 2410, Veterans Memorial Boulevard may also see growth because o the cost of renting in the area he added.

“When you look at Veterans, it has changed quite a bit over the years,” Carpenter said.

by Mason w. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald