On The Horizon 2019 - Page 14

STORY & PHOTOS BY HOJUN CHOI A NEW FUTURE TAKES SHAPE IN FATE FAST-GROWING CITY EAGER TO OUTGROW ‘BEDROOM COMMUNITY’ LABEL T Fate Assistant City Manager Justin Weiss says major grocery chains and other retailers now have Fate “on their radar,” and new shopping options are inevitable. 14 On the Horizon SPRING 2019 he City of Fate, in a period of less than ten years, has grown from a small town along Interstate 30 into one of the fastest growing communities in the area. To meet that growth, Fate city officials have been planning major changes to town, such as its down- town revitalization project, which would increase walkability to the Fate Main Street area through walking trails incorporated through the city’s parks and neighborhoods. And though retail growth has been steady, the city has turned into a fast-growing bedroom community. Fate Assistant City Manager Justin Weiss said the residential growth in the area has certainly been a welcome change, but added that the city is listening to the wishes of its residents to attract more busi- nesses to the city. One of those wishes, for many years, has been a retail grocery store. Residents were teased with the possibility of Brookshire’s coming to the city in 2015, when the Tyler-based company announced that it had acquired land at the southwest portion of the intersection of FM 551 and Interstate 30 from a company with connections to the affluent Dal- las-based Hunt family. That project, however, has been stuck in limbo, with no new store in sight despite infrastructure being put in the area. Because the city has no say in the land deal between the original landowners and Brookshire’s, it has little power to push to project forward. Weiss said this has not stopped the city from doggedly pursuing other potential grocery chains to the city. He and other city staff have been attending trade shows and conferences to speak to representatives from Kroger’s, H.E.B., and other major names in the industry. Weiss noted that the residential growth in the city, along with the efforts to reach out to the various grocery store chains has city officials more hopeful than ever of bringing residents what they want. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE