Housing restoration, preservation, in-fill residential housing construction, newly-platted housing developments and commercial and retail development is surging in Terrell. The city’s Municipal Development Department is seeing valuation increases that demonstrate clear evidence of sustained development. For example, the department has seen an increase in permitting activity related to renovations in existing housing stock and structural repairs. The department also is working closely with developers of the Creekside Addition, bound by Poetry Road, Terrell High School, Long Elementary School and Arlie White Park. City Council approved a Residential Partnership Development Agreement on November, 8, 2107; and city staff is currently reviewing the first phase. Additionally, Calvary Oaks housing development, which has been dormant for the last several years, now has record construction near West End Street in the Southwest area of town. Camden Homes, a developer in Town North Estates, is nearing completion of their build out of three and four-bedroom brick homes within walking distance of Terrell High School.
“I am seeing the value of the City Council Comprehensive City Planning Efforts all coming together to strengthen core city neighborhoods and grow the local Terrell economy,” said Terrell Mayor D. J. Ory. “City planning efforts are driving the local economic growth.”
Core Housing Preservation and Renovation
The Building and Standards Commission has experienced an increase demand to determine substandard structures in Terrell. One of Terrell’s biggest success stories is the transformation of eight residential homes that were deemed substandard which have been successfully renovated and preserved; i.e. saved from demolition. Terrell has become an attractive market for the preservation of deteriorating housing stock due to the natural aging process of a 144-year old city.
City Manager Torry L. Edwards states, “As a pinnacle to my 15-year tenure with the City of Terrell, I am witnessing record levels of property preservation and restoration. I am proud to see this type of investment activity in the city’s core. Simply, Terrell is growing from the inside to the outside fringe of the city. I applaud the wisdom and the policy direction of the Mayor and the City Council in making the preservation of the core of the city a top priority.”
Streamlining the Development Process
The City of Terrell has established a Development Review Committee. The committee’s goal is to advise new developers of the city’s policies and procedures relating to all development-related processes. This is a deliberate effort to streamline the process, creating a fundamental, comprehensive approach to development within the city. The committee consists of representatives from multiple city departments, working in a coordinated fashion, to guide each developer through the city’s process. Through this proactive approach, the city’s front-end planning has successfully delivered complex Public/Private Partnership agreements to deliver new transportation capacity along I-20 and the FM 148 Commercial Power Center Development Area, creating a family destination for restaurants, entertainment and shopping. Simply, the City of Terrell Infrastructure planning is leveraging private developer capital investment to deliver infrastructure projects, i.e. roadway construction, to ensure smooth mobility in advance of vertical construction of regional commercial areas.
“City staff, with the cooperation, wisdom and direction of city boards, have created a development-friendly culture.” Mayor Ory said. “The City of Terrell prides itself with deliberate proactive city planning efforts to manage growth.”
Statistics provide documented evidence of Terrell’s growth
- New single-family permits doubled in 2017, processing over 800 residential permits, approximately 200 more than in 2016.
- Over 100 permits granted in 2017 were associated with remodeling or renovation.
- 2017 added an additional valuation of commercial permits totaling $56 million over the previous year of 2016.
Increased Home Pricing
- The median sales price of houses rose to just under $140,000 in 2017, up from $102,000 in 2016.
- In 2017, the average days a house was on the market was 25.
- The average square foot price of a home on the market was approximately $92 per square foot in 2017, an approximate 5 percent increase from 2016.
Innovative Health and Science Education
The City of Terrell is currently meeting with property owners along Highway 34 South to develop the landscape adjacent to the former Renaissance Hospital, being repurposed as Trinity Valley Community College’s innovative Trinity Valley Health Science Center. City officials, working in conjunction with the Council and developers, are envisioning a mixed use, retail and multi-family addition which will create an innovative southern gateway from I-20 to the City of Terrell.
“We are living in an exciting era, with unprecedented growth in retail, commercial and residential projects. I am anxiously anticipating watching as the next phase of Terrell’s development continues to surge,” Edwards said.