Open for Business
Sep 13, 2011 02:27PM
● By Mike
City Minutes with Mayor John Terrell
Take a look around Southlake… have you noticed the changes that are slowly taking place? No, not the Southlake Boulevard median project or the soon to be unveiled changes at Bicentennial Park, I’m talking about the storefronts which are filling up, one by one.
When the recession hit, many businesses had to make some hard choices and we watched as restaurants, retail shops, small and large businesses closed their doors leaving empty spaces not only here in Southlake but nationwide. Those spaces were a constant reminder of how things had changed, and how much of a challenge we faced getting back to where we needed to be.
The empty spaces in many of Southlake’s retail centers were of great concern, not just to me but many of you. You shared with me and with Council your observations about what was needed and how important it was to make sure that any economic development or redevelopment came with a strategy to ensure success. I think we are well on our way.
Even during the depth of the recession discussions were going on regarding future occupancy of vacant lease spaces, many of whom were excited about a Southlake location, but unwilling to open until the economy showed signs of recovery. The City Council, the City Manager’s Office, Economic Development and Planning, continue to work closely with commercial developers, property managers, and brokers to attract the right kinds of businesses to the City.
The economy is slowly recovering as evidenced by the recent leasing or planned leasing of empty spaces. Cook Children’s Urgent Care and Pediatric Specialties opened their 31,000 square foot facility in the Shoe Pavilion location in April. The 35,000 square foot location of Circuit City is being renovated to accommodate Toys R Us / Babies R Us, planned to open in late summer. Casual Living Patio & Fireside now occupies the 17,000 square foot location of American Backyard and Tyler’s plans to open their new 15,700 square foot store in the former Crate & Barrel location. ValueScope, Inc. at 5,500 square feet and Mass Mutual Financial at 4,700 square feet both opened in June in the Cedar Ridge development vacated by Fidelity Investments. Sephora also opened their 3,500 square foot retail store at the former Bebe location in Town Square in June. Another recent announcement is the planned re-occupancy of the 59,000 square foot Albertsons location by Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market. They are just now submitting permits to remodel the location.
There have also been some great new businesses coming to the City. Children’s Medical Center opened their 34,000 square foot Specialty Care Center in June in the Carillon development along S.H. 114 between Carroll Avenue and White Chapel. This is their first location in Tarrant County. Also new to the City in a previously unoccupied space is Stir Crazy Fresh Asian Grill which opened their 6,000 square foot restaurant in the Shops of Southlake development near Central Market.
Some would argue that Southlake is lucky, that this influx of new and re-development is just the way things have worked out. But I believe that strategy has more to do with Southlake's success than luck. Since the late 1960s Southlake has had a plan for how it would grow as a City. Currently we are following the Southlake 2025 master plan as a blueprint for development. The time will soon come to replace the current plan with the Southlake 2030 plan. From green spaces to economic development, and roadways to sidewalks, the Southlake 2030 plan is really a plan for our future and provides us the guidelines and benchmarks which will keep Southlake as one of the nation’s best cities. If you’ve ever wondered if smart planning really works, take a look around Southlake, I think you’ll agree we’ve got a good thing going. Want more information? Look to www.Southlake2030.com
If you want to stay informed on what businesses are new or “coming soon,” the Department of Economic Development & Tourism (EDT) sends out a monthly “New Biz List” which includes new business openings in the City as well as those that are publicly known to be coming soon. Call (817) 748-8039 or email email@example.com to receive the list. EDT also maintains www.SouthlakeBusinesses.com as a resource to find all businesses in Southlake.
As Mayor, I am excited about the economic future of our great City. There are many opportunities for businesses to evaluate so their decision to locate in Southlake should not be taken lightly. As you visit local businesses, thank them for locating in our City and help spread the word about new businesses.
See you in Southlake