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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

CS primed for bright 2018 – but don’t take our word for it

No one is surprised these days when College Station gets ranked among the nation’s top college towns, as a great place for business, or as one of the best places to live.

The criteria publications and financial websites use to compile those rankings are usually based on data from the past year. The lists are usually divided into population categories, too.

A website called CardRates.com is different. This week it was bold enough to make predictions about what’s ahead by publishing a list of “10 cities Primed for Economic Growth and Opportunity in 2018.” It included cities as small as 5,178 people (Evansville, Wisc.) to as large as 947,897 (Austin).

By now, you’ve probably guessed that College Station made the list. Why else would we be blogging about it? But you may be surprised that we are ranked No. 1.

That’s right. CardRates says College Station’s economy could be as good as it gets in the entire country in 2018. In developing the list, CardRates took factors such as pay, cost of living and unemployment rates into consideration.

Here’s what they had to say about us:

College Station is located roughly equidistant from Houston and Austin. Although the city has seen a population increase of about 25 percent over the last 10 years, College Station, with fewer than 120,000 residents, is large enough to offer city amenities, while still being small enough to maintain that hometown feel.

College Station’s unemployment rate is well below the national average at 2.7 percent, the lowest among the cities on our list, and the median household income has grown more than 80 percent since 2000. The city’s largest employer is Texas A&M University, which has its main campus in College Station, and is nationally recognized as a Land-, Sea-, and Space-Grant Institution.

Here’s the full list:

We already knew we were doing pretty well, but it’s nice – and a bit exciting – to know others feel the same way.

 

College Station-Bryan among nation’s best for job growth

College Station-Bryan hits the list at no. 5.

The full story from Governing.com is at this link, but a key excerpt is:

Many of the hardest-hit regions over the decade, such as Rockford and Binghamton, are either manufacturing centers or home to a single industry. By contrast, regions with the top employment gains were college towns or those supported by tech or energy firms. 

Largest Metro Job Losses Top Job Growth Rates
Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ -10.7% Austin-Round Rock, TX 31.9%
Binghamton, NY -8.6% Provo-Orem, UT 30.8%
Shreveport-Bossier City, LA -8.0% Greeley, CO 25.5%
Lafayette, LA -7.2% Lake Charles, LA 24.2%
Rockford, IL -6.8% College Station-Bryan, TX 23.3%
Peoria, IL -6.8% Nashville-Davidson, TN 23.2%
Fort Smith, AR-OK -6.6% Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO 23.1%
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC -6.3% Fort Collins, CO 22.8%
Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH -6.0% San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 22.7%
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA -6.0% Fargo, ND-MN 20.3%

Podcast: “I had probably the most-pleasant development experience of my career (in College Station)”

Whenever we hear about new businesses, it’s typically an initial announcement about what’s coming, where it’ll be and when it’ll open. Maybe you’ll eventually hear about the ribbon cutting, but that’s about it.

In this podcast episode, we talk with Ted Ent — president and COO of Mac Haik Hospitality — about the new Embassy Suites that’s scheduled to open Oct. 2 near the Texas A&M campus. Ted describes how he was able to secure a location that no one thought was available, what successes and challenges were part of the development process, and whether or not College Station has too many hotels.

00:00 – Introduction

01:45 — Ted talks about his background in the industry

03:00 — How did College Station get on your radar?

04:40 — “Folklore in the hotel industry”: How he secured such a prime location.

09:28 — College Station provided the most-pleasant development experience of his career.

13:08 — Ted’s role throughout the development process.

14:53 — The use of a local artist; other Ted touches.

16:30 — The Sabre

17:24 — Challenges along the way (traffic, utilities).

21:12 — Don’t we have too many hotels in College Station?

25:34 — What amenities are needed in the area that don’t currently exist?

29:40 — Show close

Uptown University Drive: The Unofficial Entrance to Aggieland

Article excerpt:

…University Drive is now one of the busiest streets in College Station. Chains like Ulta, Home Depot, and Michael’s join locally owned businesses such as Veritas Wine & Bistro, Blue Baker, and Charli women’s clothing store. Both residents and guests have plenty of opportunities to shop and dine along the three-mile stretch. Aggie entrepreneurs are well-represented along the three-mile stretch: Aggieland Outfitters, the Republic Steakhouse, David Gardner’s Jewelers, and Paolo’s Italian Kitchen all the way down to the iconic Dixie Chicken at Northgate.

Student and young professional housing options now line University Drive. Northpoint Crossing occupies the prime corner of Texas Avenue and University Drive. Formerly the location of the Ramada Inn, the student apartments provide housing to hundreds of students as well as retail and restaurant space on the ground level.

Further down the corridor, Century Square is the newest development directly across from the Texas A&M campus. This urban center is located where Texas A&M’s former married student housing once stood. Cavalry Court, a Corps-inspired boutique hotel, opened in November 2016. Across the complex, The George hotel is set to open in August offering an “upscale whiskey and leather” ambiance. The George’s design is a nod to the early beginnings of College Station as part of the railroad routes, says Century Square General Manager John Taylor.

Restaurants and retail will surround the Midway and Valencia-owned hotels. Food locations include Hopdoddy, Zoë’s Kitchen, Blaze Pizza, Tiff’s Treats, Berryhill Baja Grill, Piada Italian Street Food, Mo’s Irish Pub, Sub Zero, and Sweet Paris Crêperie. Retail stores will include Merge, Hey Sugar, and Runway 7. A movie theatre, Star Cinema Grill, will also open around the holidays. Other additions to the urban center include the Breakaway Ministries administrative office, Galleria Day Spa, Neighbors Emergency Center, and Orangetheory Fitness.

Two office buildings will open on either side of The George. A 21-and-older living community, 100 Park is located across the street from one of the office buildings, and offers studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom floor plans…

Full article at Insite Brazos Valley Magazine

 

Texas A&M in College Station ranked no. 39 on Safest Colleges in America list

Alarms.org has released its 2017 rankings of Safest Colleges in America. Texas A&M University’s College Station campus is listed as the nation’s 39th-safest campus.

Aggie war exhibit to find local homes starting in late 2016

KBTX-TV – An exhibition showcasing the service of Texas A&M graduates in World War II that has been in Belgium will make its way into local venues starting at the end of this year.

New shopping centers and hotels coming to College Station

KBTX-TV – College Station Mayor Nancy Berry talks about new developments coming to the city of College Station.

Rapid growth brings new businesses to south College Station

KBTX-TV – As more people are moving to South College Station, businesses are following right behind them. The Tower Point shopping center has a large number of projects in the works with PetSmart, Gold’s Gym, Bahama Buck’s, Jimmy Changas, and Freddy’s coming to the area.