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The original item was published from 10/31/2018 3:40:00 PM to 11/1/2018 8:35:01 AM.

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Posted on: October 31, 2018

[ARCHIVED] The "Real Dirt" (a publication of the BEDC)

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The Real Dirt

a publication of the Benbrook Economic Development Corporation (4th ed.)


The City of Benbrook is committed to preparing for vibrant growth while maintaining our Small Town, Big Backyard appeal. As a Type B economic development corporation, the Benbrook Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) works to position Benbrook for quality commercial development that creates jobs, attracts desired retail development, and fosters stable economic growth.

The Real Dirt is intended to share timely and accurate information regarding commercial development in Benbrook. As citizens see construction dirt being moved on the ground, or hear rumors in the community, they want to know what to anticipate in terms of commercial/retail development. The BEDC is here to answer your questions, as much as we are able to publicly share information without jeopardizing possible developer deals.  Also, the Real Dirt can act as rumor patrol....offering the real dirt on development activities, our approach, policies, and practices.   


A GROWING COMMUNITY

Benbrook is experiencing unprecedented growth and opportunity. As our busiest commercial corridor nears completion along Benbrook Boulevard/U.S. 377, the City of Benbrook and BEDC are preparing for finishing touches that include monument signs sharing the same material and look as the new signs at Benbrook City Hall and the new Benbrook Animal Shelter; attractive native Texas landscaping; and hardscape elements that support pedestrian-friendly activity along the boulevard. Once the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) completes all construction phases of the roadway, the City can move forward on beautification plans; anticipated to begin in spring 2019.  


These mobility and aesthetic improvements, along with substantial new rooftops, a robust housing market, recreational amenities, exceptional public safety, recently adopted overlay district guidelines, and a low tax rate, help increase commercial interest in our market. 


STRATEGIC APPROACH

The BEDC’s activities are guided by an adopted strategic plan that outlines priorities to include recruiting quality retail development, increasing jobs, offering storefront grant and other assistance to area businesses, and very specific, tailored incentives intended to spur desired commercial growth. 


For the past several years, BEDC has engaged in strategic and thoughtful activities that lay the groundwork to prepare languishing properties; to better highlight our market advantages and brand; to build upon professional relationships within the development community; and to offer accurate demographic data and market analysis in support of our assertion that Benbrook is a vital, growing community offering exceptional opportunity for quality, desirable commercial development. 


The BEDC believes our citizens deserve better than hurried, piecemeal development. We believe our patience, perseverance, and investments over the years are paying off in the form of increased interest in the Benbrook market as properties are made more developable, infrastructure improvements occur, and new rooftops improve our retail trade area. BEDC’s goal is to Build a Better Benbrook by building momentum and by sharing a vision for commercial growth that meets consumer needs and takes advantage of our recreation brand, our high traffic counts, and our high median family incomes. 


RECENT PROJECTS

 Recent BEDC projects include the purchase and subsequent contract for sale of property located at 8909 Benbrook Boulevard; the old mini-storage site. In July 2018, BEDC board of directors and city council approved the sale of the one-acre lot to Retail Buildings, Inc. The buyer is currently under contract to purchase, and is engaged in an inspection period to determine if the property will adequately accommodate their plans to construct a new Braums Ice Cream and Dairy Store with Fresh Market and drive-through service. Retail Buildings hopes to begin construction by July 2019. BEDC and city staff are working diligently to assist the buyer. Braum’s was specifically sought after as BEDC understood that a great many citizens desired their return to Benbrook, and because the Fresh Market component supplements current grocery options in our community. 


Benbrook Gateway Center, 8501 Benbrook Boulevard, will be home to the newest Hoffbrau Steak and Grill House Restaurant to open its doors in the DFW metroplex. Hoffbrau, Inc. has signed a 15-year lease to operate the iconic steak house at the mixed retail development owned by developer Steve Hawkins. 

 Mr. Hawkins and BEDC partnered to build an appropriate space and recruit a desirable restaurant tenant offering on-premise alcohol sales to the location.  The Hoffbrau anticipates opening the Gateway Center location in spring 2019. Gateway Center, a development resulting from BEDC’s property sale negotiations with Hawkins, is now completely leased.


The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) program employed to clean the old gas station site at 9301 Westpark (at Benbrook Boulevard/U.S. 377) is nearing completion as BEDC-owned property on this corner is being prepared for development, and as strategies are being crafted to encourage desirable retail at this prominent corner of Benbrook Boulevard. 


To further spur opportunities, BEDC is partnering with the Benbrook Water Authority to bring sanitary sewer to NW Winscott Addition property adjacent to Cracker Barrel restaurant. Dirt is moving now, and this project will service not only BEDC-owned acreage there, but also commercially zoned land to the west. Construction of the utility should be complete by early 2019, and BEDC is currently in discussion with developers interested in a Master Plan for the I-20 frontage site. 


BEDC is working with new property owners of the Benbrook Plaza to encourage their plans for attractive redevelopment of the center, and in recruitment efforts to entice desirable tenants. 


An Audi car dealership is in the works, to be located at Hawkins Business Park along I-20 frontage. A luxury dealership brings daytime population to Benbrook, further increasing interest from other retailers, particularly restaurants. 

THE WORK CONTINUES…

Benbrook citizen’s desire restaurants offering mixed drink alcohol service, and voters approved the legal sale of mixed beverages in restaurants in Benbrook in 2002. The BEDC continues to be in conversation with many potential restauranteurs, with an eye toward encouraging full-service local and regional options that offer quality, family-friendly concepts.   


New businesses include a Raising Cane’s, and existing businesses working toward a fresh new look include Chicken Express and Arby’s. The BEDC’s Storefront Improvement Grant remains available to Benbrook businesses wishing to improve building exteriors. Qualifying projects include paint, lighting, awnings, signage, and parking lot improvements. The grant offers a 50% dollar for dollar match, up to $20,000. 


BEDC conducted an intensive grocery store analysis for Benbrook, providing market share and demographic data to potential grocers. Targeted efforts to attract grocers, restaurants, and destination retail are ongoing.


BEDC continues to build upon partnerships with property owners, developers, retailers, and site selectors to highlight exceptional commercial opportunities in Benbrook, as the City of Benbrook is committed to Building a Better Benbrook.


Benbrook Economic Development Corporation: 817-249-6990


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