Growth in Victoria has several options in land, real estate

It's easy to see Victoria is growing by leaps and bounds.

There are new apartments going up, new housing is in the works, and new businesses are blossoming on almost every block.

"We're seeing a lot of our real estate locations filling up," said Jared Mayfield, the city's director of development services. "It's an exciting time."

He said he was glad to hear the plaza with Gold's Gym Express and Ashley Furniture HomeStore is at full capacity. It's a sign of growth in the area.

There is also land available in front of Academy Sports and Outdoors, in front of Home Depot and throughout the city, he said. Some of the bigger names that are looking to move to Victoria, he said, will be looking to build from the ground up rather than fill existing commercial spaces.

The retail study by The Retail Coach might be part of the reason for recent growth, but he said it's all about timing.

"It's helping to bring a little more business," Mayfield said. "Some of it was in the works before" the study was conducted.

The Eagle Ford Shale activity has done a lot to bring in these new businesses, said Russell Cain, a real estate agent based in Port Lavaca.

One of the properties he manages has been listed for about three years and was recently purchased for a new business. What used to be known as the Tejas Cafe, 2902 Navarro St., will soon be one of Victoria's newest businesses, Cueros Sports Cantina.

According to the city's building report released weekly, the business was issued a building permit for alterations and repairs at the end of April.

"Businesses are looking for buildings that have the square footage that fit their needs and often remodel to make them work," he said.

If a business does not have a deadline to open and has the capital to invest a new construction, then purchasing land is another option.

"It takes longer," Cain said. "It can be about six months to a year. Builders in the area are very busy right now."

Some of the current projects commercial construction projects include the new Cavender's Boot City on North Navarro Street, First National Bank at the corner of Mockingbird Lane and Main Street and the Dollar Tree shopping plaza on Houston Highway near Sam Houston Drive.

Mayfield speculated that the plaza should be nearing completion this summer. It has several commercial spaces available, including a few already planned for an Aaron's Rent To Own, a Cash Store and a Dollar Tree, he said.

Cain said he's had a combination of investors look at possible land and building real estate.

"People demand more, or they leave the area," he said. "People like to have convenience."

It can only mean good things for Victoria when more businesses move in, he said. If more people move into the area, it pays taxes and helps tourism, he said.

Greg Spears, a real estate agent and member of the city's planning commission, believes more of the businesses will start moving toward John Stockbauer Drive and Rio Grande Street.

"It seems to be the natural growth pattern," he said. "There is so much going on there now than there was years ago."

The addition of the new Wal-Mart has helped spur some of that growth, he said, including the new Popeye's on Rio Grande Street.

"I think there are a lot of good things coming," Spears said.