College Station best places in Texas to live on a fixed income

GoBankingRates.com has rated College Station as the best city in Texas to live in on a fixed income:

College Station’s relatively low housing costs could be beneficial to someone on a fixed income. Home values crept up by about 2 percent year over year, while rents got cheaper.

Best Places in Every State to Live on a Fixed Income

Podcast: How the At Home deal was sealed

Home decor superstore At Home has announced it will occupy the property that was formerly Gander Mountain on Earl Rudder Freeway in College Station. That’s great news for consumers, but also for those in the economic development business since empty box stores along a major highway is not the image you prefer.

 

On this edition of Is This A Thing?, College Station’s Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz and Oldham Goodwin Group EVP Clint Oldham talk about how the At Home deal came about, how fragile this deal – and all eco-devo deals, to be honest – really was, and how retail attitudes are no longer cowering from The Amazon Effect.

 

 

At Home superstore moving into old Gander Mountain building

A new business is moving into the old Gander Mountain building on Highway 6 in College Station.

At Home is a big box retail chain specializing in home decor products based in Plano.

Formerly known as Garden Ridge, the specialty stores carry more than 50,000 unique items across broad product categories including furniture, garden, home textiles, housewares, patio, rugs, seasonal decor, tabletop decor, and wall decor.

Read the full KBTX Story

College Station named one of America’s top places for small business

Small businesses thrive across America, but some towns are just perfect for a growing business. Topmanagementdegrees.com looked at all the cities in America with between 100,000 and 250,000 residents and ranked them on just how small business friendly they can be. College Station checked in at No. 15 on this list.

The 50 best towns for small business in America

Local unemployment rate falls to 2.7 percent in April

May 18, 2018

AUSTIN ⎯ The Texas economy added 39,600 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in April, which marked 22 consecutive months of employment growth. Over the year, Texas added 332,300 jobs for an annual employment growth rate of 2.7 percent in April. Private sector employers added 37,900 positions over the month. Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in April, up slightly from 4.0 percent in March.

Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) recorded the month’s lowest unemployment rate among Texas MSAs with a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 2.1 percent, followed by the Amarillo MSA, which had the second lowest with a rate of 2.6 percent. The College Station-Bryan MSA recorded the third lowest rate of 2.7 percent for April.

“Texas employers continue to boost the impressive Texas economy by adding 39,600 jobs in April and 332,300 jobs over the year,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. “Our state’s ongoing trajectory of success is linked to the innovation and competitiveness of employers in a range of industries providing workers more opportunities to demonstrate their world-class skills.”

The Manufacturing Industry recorded the largest private-industry employment gain over the month with 8,600 jobs added. Professional and Business Services employment grew by 7,500 jobs in April, followed by Education and Health Services with 6,200 jobs.

“Texas employers added 327,500 jobs over the past year, making our state’s annual private-sector employment growth 3.2 percent for April, up from 2.9 percent in March,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. “It’s no surprise that CEOs ranked the Lone Star State as the Best State for Business for the 14th consecutive year in a row. These numbers are a testament to the perseverance and resilience of our Texas employers and the diversity of our Texas economy.”

“The Texas labor force is now approaching 14 million and has continued to provide employers with the skills and expertise needed to keep the Texas economy growing,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “TWC and the 28 local workforce development boards are committed to connecting Texas workers with available jobs.”

Audio downloads with comments from Commissioner Hughs on the latest labor market data are available on the TWC website press release page. Employment estimates released by TWC are produced in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. All estimates are subject to revision. To access this and more employment data, visit tracer2.com.

 

Top biopharmaceutical executives visit the Brazos Valley

COLLEGE STATION (KBTX) – Each year, dozens of top executives from biopharmaceutical companies around the world come together for BioPhorum. The annual conference allows them to discuss their best practices in producing vaccines, gene therapies, allergenics and more.

Read more on KBTX.com: Top biopharmaceutical executives visit the Brazos Valley 

Moody’s upgrades to Aa1 City of College Station’s, TX GOLT

NEW YORK, May 8, 2018 — Moody’s Investors Service upgrades to Aa1 from Aa2 the City of College Station’s
issuer rating and the rating on $308.7 million in previously issued general obligation limited tax debt. At the
same time, Moody’s assigns an Aa1 rating to the city’s $36.9 million Certificates of Obligation, Series 2018.

RATING RATIONALE
The upgrade to the Aa1 rating reflects the city’s sizeable and growing tax base anchored by Texas A&M
University System’s (Aaa stable) flagship campus, as well as steady and favorable operating performance that
continues to support healthy reserves. Although the city may draw on fund balance in the current year, the
spending is nonrecurring and will leave reserves at a still solid level consistent with Aa1 peers. Finally, the
rating further considers manageable debt and pension burdens and regular support from the city’s strong utility
funds.

The Aa1 limited tax rating is the same as the Moody’s issuer rating. Although the GOLT bonds are not a full
faith and credit pledge, the city has substantial margin under statutory tax rate limitations.

RATING OUTLOOK
Moody’s does not generally assign outlooks to local governments with this amount of debt.

FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO AN UPGRADE
– Continued strong economic growth that moderates debt and pension burdens with tax base and revenue
expansion
– Increased reserve position

FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO A DOWNGRADE
– Reduction in reserves to a level inconsistent with rating peers
– Economic contraction resulting in tax base loss
– Material growth in the city’s debt or pension burdens

LEGAL SECURITY
The certificates are secured by a direct and continuing annual ad valorem tax, levied on all taxable property
within the limits prescribed by law, and a subordinate lien and pledge of $1,000 of net surplus revenues of the
city’s utility system.

USE OF PROCEEDS
Proceeds from the sale will finance various citywide projects including street and transportation improvements,
public parks improvements, utility system improvements, land for a new fire station, and design of a new city
hall.

PROFILE
The City of College Station is located in Brazos County, in the middle of a triangle bounded by Dallas (A1
stable)/Fort Worth (Aa3 negative), Houston (Aa3 stable) and San Antonio (Aaa stable)/Austin (Aaa stable). The
current estimated population is 117,841.

METHODOLOGY
The principal methodology used in these ratings was US Local Government General Obligation Debt published
in December 2016. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on moodys.com for a copy of this
methodology.

CSU cited as reliable public power provider

College Station Utilities has earned a Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) Diamond designation from the American Public Power Association for providing reliable and safe electric service. The designations were presented Monday in Raleigh, N.C.

In the program’s 13-year history, CSU and Denton Municipal Electric have received five RP3 designations, the most among Texas utilities. The designation lasts for three years and recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in reliability, safety, workforce development, and system improvement. Criteria include sound business practices and a utility-wide commitment to the safe and reliable delivery of electricity.

The APPA reserves the Diamond designation for utilities that meet at least 98 percent of the program’s criteria. Other levels are Platinum (90-97 percent) and Gold (80-89 percent). College Station Utilities joins more than 92 public power utilities nationwide that have the RP3 Diamond designation, including only four in Texas. The others are Austin Energy, Brownsville Public Utilities Board, and Bryan Texas Utilities.

“This is a great honor,” CSU Electric Director Timothy Crabb said. “We take a lot of pride in the work we do to power our community. We’re very happy to get this recognition for our initiative and hard work.”

The APPA represents more than 2,000 not-for-profit, community- and state-owned electric utilities.

 

Why doesn’t College Station have a Waffle House?

By , Economic Development Manager

On Monday, I received an email asking a simple question: Why has the City of College Station not reached out to Waffle House or made plans to build one in our community?

Since Waffle House is the mecca of waffle aficionados across much of America, the question is reasonable — and it’s one we hear a lot.

So why don’t we have a Waffle House?

Restaurants such as Waffle House are planned and built by private businesses. We proactively recruit many companies, including restaurants, and we’ve pursued Waffle House for several years. Unfortunately, its management has repeatedly said it has no plans to expand to College Station anytime soon.

The role of the city’s Economic Development department is to identify commercially zoned property with good visibility and access that companies such as Waffle House would find attractive. We then help that business navigate our development and permitting processes.

I’m a big fan of waffles and would love to see a Waffle House in College Station. If you have an influential contact who could change the company’s decision and bring a location here, you’d be a local hero.

Get to work!

Photo Copyright: dehooks/123RF Stock Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Podcast: Chef Wade Barkman dishes on The Republic and Primrose Path

After 10 years of owning and operating The Republic Steakhouse in College Station, executive chef Wade Barkman is finally building his own restaurants – an updated Republic, plus a brand-new concept that shares a common slab – from the ground up.

In this podcast with Public Communications Director Jay Socol, Wade talks about life leading up to this point, and what people can expect with these new properties.

Total run time: 32:03

  • 00:00 – Show open.
  • 01:00 – PART ONE: Wade starts from the beginning, including how he found Texas A&M, moved on to culinary school, then California, Vegas (thank you, Aggie Network) and finally back to CS in 2006.
  • 08:20 – Wade finds his restaurant location — home to three or four previous ones. (Can you name them?)
  • 11:42 – The highs and lows of Chimney Hill: Why did Wade stay?
  • 14:30 – How he found a concept — The Republic — that the town needed, even if he wasn’t a steakhouse guy.
  • 17:48 – Why dozens of restaurants have come and gone in 10 years, but The Republic has survived. “I would not wish this business on anyone.”
  • 19:47 – PART TWO: The Republic is being recreated + Primrose Path, a “gastro-pub wine bar.”
  • 21:13 – The differences between the old Republic and the new one.
  • 24:14 – What is Primrose Path going to be?
  • 26:58 – Will you miss the old building, or take anything with you to the new place?
  • 28:07 – How was your development experience with the city of College Station?
  • 30:11 – Sometime in fall 2018: Republic will open, with Primrose Path doing so about a month later.
  • 30:49 – What’s your guilty pleasure in terms of food?
  • 31:49 – Show close.