If 2020 follows the recent trend, we can expect many new people will begin to call Georgetown home in the next year. Our town has been one of the top-10 fastest-growing cities in the country for the past five years in a row. Since 2010, our population has increased more than 56 percent.
Why are so many people moving here? There are many reasons—our safe neighborhoods, top-notch parks, award-winning library, and having the Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas. All of this contributes to an authentic sense-of-place that makes Georgetown unique.
Despite its challenges, it is fair to say that the phenomenal growth we are experiencing also is our biggest opportunity. Georgetown is currently seeing a significant increase in retail and commercial development. These projects add jobs to our local economy and attract investment that strengthens the tax base for our schools and local government services.
Given the key role that commercial development plays in our local economy, the City of Georgetown remains focused on expanding employment opportunities, while preparing for the growth that we know will come. Our community wants the city to grow in a strategic way, while retaining its character and “small town charm.”
Several significant commercial projects that fit into our overall economic development strategy are currently under construction or have recently opened. These include office, mixed-use, industrial, and retail developments.
Office and professional services
A key economic development strategy is to encourage more professional service businesses in Georgetown. Sedro Crossing, a 170,000-square-foot professional medical and office development, broke ground earlier this year on Williams Drive. This represents the largest office project in Georgetown to-date.
Mixed-use developments including Riverplace and Heritage Court are also on schedule to open in 2020, bringing new residential, office, and retail space to downtown. Riverplace will be the new home to WBW Development, a company relocating from Killeen in a strategic move to attract talent.
Industrial and commercial
Texas Speed and Performance, one of the largest high-performance auto engine parts retailers in the country, announced their expansion plans this year. The Georgetown-based company plans to construct 200,000 square feet of industrial space on Aviation Drive near the Airport. Half of the space will be speculative for industrial tenants.
The Westinghouse Business Center, a 98,000-square-foot business park on Westinghouse Road, will provide speculative space for a variety of commercial uses, such as medical, technology and professional services, as well as retail space.
Holt Caterpillar’s new regional 85,000 square-foot facility on Airport Road for the sale and service of construction equipment is set to open in the next month. The dealership will have a net benefit to the City of more than $13 million over 10 years.
Retail and downtown
In addition to the Academy Sports and Outdoors on SH 29, the first stores at Wolf Crossing are beginning to open. When complete, the 200 million dollar, 250,000-square-foot retail center will feature restaurants, medical facilities, a hotel, and a grocery store – all identified as targets in the City’s 2016 economic development retail analysis.
Even with all this growth, we haven’t forgotten what makes Georgetown unique – our historic downtown. The most beautiful town square in Texas has experienced incredible reinvestment. In fact, in 2019 alone, we’ve had over 11 million dollars in private commercial development in downtown.
New shops, restaurants, bars, offices, apartments, and a bookstore have all opened this year – with more retail slated for 2020. The increase in unique consumer experiences has truly created a live-work-play atmosphere for every age.
The City Council’s vision for Georgetown—a caring community honoring our past and innovating for the future—is apparent in many ways across the city. From major infrastructure investments in projects like the Southwest Bypass, to the public art in downtown, we are a city committed to retaining our character while paving the way for opportunity.