For Temple, the vitality of its communities it serves takes precedence above any other economic development activity.
Since 1988, Temple Economic Development Corporation (Temple EDC) has been committed to ensuring the city remains attractive for businesses through cultural, residential, and retail improvements.
Over the past few years, Temple has been a catalyst for profound business growth and redevelopment. So much, in fact, that it would be beneficial to recap the highlights before jumping into the more recent developments.
The Santa Fe Project
In 2019, the City of Temple and Temple EDC sprang into action with a major redevelopment initiative for the downtown area called the Santa Fe Project. Through Tax Increment Funding (TIF) the newly developed Santa Fe Plaza was brought to life — a $9 million, 34,000-square-foot one-stop-shop business center with next-door access to Temple EDC, the Temple Chamber of Commerce and Workforce Solutions of Central Texas. The project brought 300 jobs to the area, leading to the city being awarded the Workforce Excellence Award by the Texas Economic Development Council. In September 2020 the plaza also received the Texas Downtown Association (TDA) President’s Award for “Best Downtown Public Improvement.”
Phase 2 of the plan kicked off later the same year with a $1.5 million investment in the Santa Fe Market and Trail, an area encompassing 3.28 acres. The Santa Fe trail provides a connection from the Santa Fe Business Center to the Santa Fe Market, creating a more vibrant community for Temple’s talented workforce.
A Never-Ending Story of Redevelopment
Near the Santa Fe Plaza is another redevelopment project on South 1st Street. Two properties in the historic business district were approved by Temple City Council for Strategic Investment Zone (SIZ) grant funding, allowing a full renovation of the ground floor to include a community food floor with eight vendors. Downtown Temple is designated as its own SIZ area, allowing property owners to apply for matching grant funds for the rehabilitation of buildings, landscaping, and interior improvements for safety.
Following a boost in population in southeastern Temple, Temple Independent School District (ISD) board of trustees approved the purchase of 47 acres of land to build two new elementary schools and a middle school over the next eight years. Overall population has been increasing in Temple (seven percent between 2014 and 2019), and a demographics study projected that more than 950 additional students will be enrolling in Temple ISD over the next decade.
“As we look to bring in new jobs, new families into the community, a place where they can attend state-of-the-art facilities in Temple ISD is very important to our prosperity moving forward,” said Adrian Cannady, President of Temple EDC.
Temple is ready for new developers and businesses, too. In September 2020, City Council approved Temple EDC’s plan to purchase 147 acres inside Temple’s Industrial Park — a location ideal for logistics, distribution advanced manufacturing because of its access to roads, water, sewer, and railroad line. Such purchases have allowed existing companies in Temple to expand, garnering growth in workforce and distribution opportunities.
Taking It to the Next Level
As of November 2020, the City of Temple has $100 million of capital allocated for redevelopment projects currently underway from FY 20. This will include customizable event center lights, improved signage, and streets and increased safety measures for the downtown area.
Temple is committed to making the city an attractive place for business that will entice generations to come. Interested in getting in on the front end of the Central Texas redevelopment? Get in touch or visit our Key Industry pages for logistics, distribution, and life sciences to learn more.