Things continue to look up in Cleburne, Economic Development Manager Grady Easdon said during Tuesday’s Cleburne City Council meeting.
“You know, it’s just a great time to be in Cleburne right now,” Easdon said.
Easdon delivered his quarterly economic update during the meeting focusing on downtown redevelopment, new businesses and housing construction.
“It’s truly exciting times for downtown Cleburne,” Easdon said.
Decades of moribund stagnation and dilapidation have given way to rejuvenation of late thanks to city grant programs and initiative from several downtown property owners, city officials said. Much remains problematic but progress is evident.
“Cleburne’s Downtown Commercial Historic District continues to undergo a very exciting transformation,” Easdon said. “With the addition of several new businesses downtown, the district has become a great destination for shopping, dining, watching live theater and live music or just generally enjoying a variety of new nightlife entertainment options.”
New businesses added since the last quarterly report include:
• Breck & Co., a floral boutique and mercantile.
• Cleburne Floral, a new flower shop in the building formerly occupied by Cleburne Patrick’s Floral.
• Shabby Shack, a business that recently relocated downtown from Nolan River Mall.
• Black Sheep Baa & Grill, which offers food and nightlife.
• Scott’s Photography and Graphics.
More is on the way including:
• Mug On the Square, a gourmet coffee shop.
• Wonderland Dance Academy.
• Central Station Toys.
• Miss Minnie’s Mercantile.
“We continue to draw a lot of interest from new investors considering historic downtown buildings for mixed use such as retail, lofts and office space,” Easdon said.
Commercial and industrial development remains robust as well.
Cleburne has issued 10 new commercial building permits through July representing about $6.9 million in value.
“That’s compared with three permits for a value of $528,500 during the same period in 2018,” Easdon said.
Two industrial permits have been issued as of July totalling $229,974 versus zero permits through the same time frame last year.
“We continue to field numerous request for information on available land parcels for the development of retail, commercial and multi-family projects,” Easdon said.
New residential permits issued through July total 128 compared to 66 for the same period in 2018.
More encouraging is that the new home building continues to occur all over the city, Easdon said.
“Through the month of July, we have already surpassed the 2018 total for single-family new homes permits issued for 2019,” Easdon said.
Easdon referenced several development projects ongoing ranging from 16 to 51 new homes and noted that many of those homes have already sold.
More is on the horizon in that respect as well. The Villages at Mayfield, a planned development near Santa Fe Elementary in the city’s east side calls for 220 homes. Planned north of West Henderson Street is GSF Gossett Farms, a 246-lot subdivision.
Silo Mills, which occupies part of Cleburne and Burleson’s extra territorial jurisdictions calls for 2,000 new homes, about 900 of which will be in Cleburne’s ETJ.
“It’s exciting to see the plans for quality growth come to fruition,” Mayor Scott Cain said. “The plan from the beginning was to expand the tax base so that over time we could catch up on long deferred maintenance and begin lowering the tax rate.
“My hope is that as we grow, we will be able to maintain the character that makes Cleburne special.”