Two years ago, the Census Bureau found that Georgetown was the fastest growing city in the U.S. with a population above 50,000. Last year, we were the fifth-fastest growing city. Knowing that this trend will continue, many more folks will begin to call Georgetown home in 2018.
Thoughtfully managing growth is always a challenge. We are preparing for the growth that we know will come. We’ve tallied it up and with all the road, park, and utility projects currently underway, we have more than $214 million in new projects under construction. Three new water towers are visual markers indicating how we are expanding key infrastructure to match our population growth.
What’s happening in Georgetown in 2018? Here’s a look ahead at some of the big stories to follow this year.
We started off the year with the opening of the new Randalls store on Williams Drive, providing a new option for groceries here in Georgetown. Wolf Crossing, a 250,000 square foot retail development across I-35 from Wolf Ranch is slated to break ground this spring. Just north of Wolf Ranch, Wolf Lakes recently announced their vision for a mixed-use village concept with office, medical, retail, and residential components across their 164 acres.
Another large employer breaking ground is January is Holt Cat. They will build a sales and service center for Caterpillar equipment on Airport Road. We look forward to this $20 million facility in our city that will result in 129 new jobs.
This year we will open the Southwest Bypass, the largest road project in city history. When completed, the bypass will provide an important new loop on the south and west sides of the city. The City will also begin work on the Rivery Blvd extension and Northwest Blvd bridge overpass.
Solar Power Starts
This summer, Georgetown will begin receiving power from a 150-megawatt solar facility in West Texas. When that happens, Georgetown will become one of the few cities in the U.S. with 100 percent wind and solar power sources.
Garey Park and San Gabriel Park
Later this year we look forward to the opening of the 525-acre Garey Park. When it opens, Garey Park will feature picnic areas, hiking and horse-riding trails, an equestrian center, and the Garey House event center. In addition, we will be completing the first phase of renovations to San Gabriel Park and starting on the second phase of work, which will include a new trail segment from the park to the Katy Crossing neighborhood.
Work will begin soon on Fire Station 6, located on Williams Drive at FM 3405. The new station will help with fire and medical response times on the northwest side of the city. Work also is beginning this year for Fire Station 7, which will be on the east side of the city on University Avenue at Inner Loop.
New City Hall and Municipal Court
After breaking ground in November, renovations are now underway for the new City Hall and the Council Chambers and Municipal Court building. These projects will consolidate key city offices into one downtown campus. The project should be complete by the end of 2018.
Last year, the Georgetown City Council confirmed a new vision statement for the city. “Georgetown: A caring community honoring our past and innovating for the future.”
This period of incredible growth and vitality is laying the foundation for the future that our children and grandchildren will inherit. Great things are in store for Georgetown. If we keep honoring our past and innovating for the future, I think Georgetown residents will look back fifty years from now and thank us for a job well done.