Communities along I-35 north of San Antonio experiencing booming growth

By Tiffany Huertas - Video Journalist

SCHERTZ/CIBOLO/UNIVERSAL CITY, Texas - Communities along Interstate 35 just north of San Antonio are booming and KSAT 12 News took a look at the growth in Selma, Schertz and Cibolo.

SCHERTZ

Randolph Air Force Base was one of the many reasons people came to Schertz. Today there are Fortune 100 companies driving the economy.

Major employers Amazon and Caterpillar have made the city of Schertz their home.

Ruby Biegert moved to Schertz with her husband and raised three kids at their home.

“We moved up here in 1962 and it was just gravel road here and a field,” Biegert said.

They created many memories that will last forever.

“When my husband passed, people would ask me if I was going to sell and move ... somewhere else, I said no, this is my home,” Biegert said.

Biegert said if there was one thing she could change, it would be the traffic -- a byproduct of the steadily increasing population. According to city officials, more than 40,000 people are living in Schertz today.

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

34,908

35,852 36,884 37,923 39,453

40,092

Abel Gomez has owned Abel’s Dining in Schertz for 28 years.

"When we were here, we had nothing but cattle," Gomez said. "There was nothing around."

Gomez said there was always a vision for the city.

"The people (who) used to run the city of Schertz back in the '90s, they saw a vision,” Gomez said.

With more businesses and people, Gomez said he also now deals with a lot more traffic.

"The headaches that we have right now is (Interstate) 35 is so busy that it just makes traffic very hard for us to move, and it’s not Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, it’s basically every day now,” Gomez said.

City officials are working with the Texas Department of Transportation to get FM 1103 and FM 1518 widened to improve traffic flow.

But traffic is an issue that won’t be going away, as the industrial sector continues to grow.

"The majority of our growth has been in the industrial park since Sysco and Caterpillar came into town," Kyle Kinateder, City of Schertz Economic Development Corporation executive director said. "We have seen (the addition of) over 5 million square feet of industrial space."

Another sign of growth: Evo Entertainment Group is creating a family entertainment center in Schertz with a 15,000-seat amphitheater.

RELATED: This massive amphitheater being planned in Schertz will seat 15,000 people

Schertz Sales Tax Revenue Growth

  • FY 2014-15 = $10,315,125.34
  • FY 2015-16 = $10,921,489.39
  • FY 2016-17 = $10,844,503.12

Schertz Property Tax Revenue Growth

  • FY 2014-15 = $14,788,324.88
  • FY 2015-16 = $16,211,095.16
  • FY 2016-17 = $17,278,214.03

CIBOLO

Economic development officials in Ciboloo said they are prepared for the increase of people and new projects.

In the year 2000, there were 3,000 people living in Cibolo. Today there are 30,000, according to city officials.

2000 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

3,035

25,280 27,465 28,637 29,861

30,100

*Population (all dates are as of Oct. 1 of the respective year except 2018, which is as of May 1)

Chefs Gwyn and Justin Hammerson are remodeling a century-old house in Cibolo. In a few months it will be transformed into Kindling Texas Kitchen, a new restaurant in Cibolo -- one of dozens of new business in the city.

Dave Petersen, president of the Cibolo Economic Development Corporation, said the city has had a steady increase in business year to year.

"The Walmart came just a couple of years ago, and that was really kind of the first 'big box' entity that came to town. And now we have just a lot of other retail that’s come along,” Petersen said.

There are another 14 businesses currently under construction.

The amount of money the city has received from sales tax has consistently increased over the past few years:

Sales Tax Growth

  • FY 2014 - $1,279,848
  • FY 2015 - $1,448,944 (+13.2%)
  • FY 2016 - $1,908,511 (+31.7%)
  • FY 2017 - $2,299,259 (+20.5%)
  • Estimated FY 2018 - $2,900,000 (+26.1%)

On top of that, property tax revenue has also gone up:

Property Tax Growth

  • FY 2014 - $6,737,621
  • FY 2015 - $7,387,236
  • FY 2016 - $7,835,488
  • FY 2017 - $8,455,482
  • Estimated FY 2018 - $8,860,000

Petersen said they’ve added 375 houses on average per year.

"Five years from now, we’ll be over 35,000 people, probably pushing at 40,000. We will have much more retail involved. We will have significant growth along the FM 1103 corridor," Petersen said.

Residents have different opinions about the growth.

"When I first moved here it was really small and like homey, and it’s growing and that’s really, really cool,” Brooklyn Moore, a Cibolo resident, said.

Ivory Freeman has lived in Cibolo for about five years.

"We have made Cibolo our home after living overseas for nine years,” Freeman said.

Freeman said there are mixed opinions about the growth.

"The big box stores have come in. Initially, it was met with a lot of hesitation because, you know, people like their small convenient community, but we also like to have access," Feeman said.

Freeman said collaboration is key.

"The combination with the city and TxDOT is something that needs to happen because on any given day, now to have access to Interstate 10, to have access to (Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph), to have access to (Interstate) 35, you don’t want it to be an inconvenience,” Freeman said.

Santikos Entertainment is bringing a family entertainment center that includes bowling lanes, laser tag, a full-service bar and a restaurant. The 87,000-square-foot megaplex is being constructed at the corner of Wiederstein Road and I-35 in the new Cibolo Crossing Shopping Center

PHOTOS: Santikos breaks ground on new theater complete with laser tag, bowling lanes

SELMA

Another city that continues to grow is Selma. According to city officials, Selma’s population grew over 600 percent from 2000 to 2010.

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

5,689

7,148 7,602

8,483

9,108

10,088

Sales Tax Revenue Growth

  • FY 2014-15 = $ 7,357,409 (Increase $692,609 or 10.3%)
  • FY 2015-16 = $ 7,377,400 (Increase $19,991 or 0.27%)
  • FY 2016-17 = $ 7,556,982 (Increase $179,582 or 2.4%)

Property Tax Revenue Growth

  • FY 2014-15 = $ 1,724,654 (Increase $126,202 or 7.9%)
  • FY 2015-16 = $ 1,848,494 (Increase $123,840 or 7.2%)
  • FY 2016-17 = $ 2,017,559 (Increase $169,065 or 9.15%

The owners of Virc Snacks, originally from Mexico, wanted to bring their unique candies to the United States and are now making them in the city of Selma.

"We do all kinds of gummies. We are introducing new flavors, (including) Chamoy,” Nubia Duran,” administrative assistant, said. "We basically do all the processing of the gummies. We pack here and then we have some distributors."

Duran said it was a smooth process to be in Selma, plus the location played a huge part in their relocation.

"There is easy access to (Interstate) 35. To get their products north or south,” Duran said.

Johnny Casias, Selma city administrator, said major employers like O’Reilly Auto Parts and Costco Wholesale have been essential to their growth. Casias said other companies are already interested in making Selma home.

"Ben E. Keith Foods -- they are building what they are calling the South Texas Regional Headquarters and it’s a facility that’s going to be 725,000 square feet. And they are adding about 700 employees," Casias said.

Casias said the amount of commercial and industrial properties that have been added since 2010 has totaled 1.5 million square feet and thousands of jobs.

In order to bring more businesses, Casias said building relationships is crucial.

"They look for relationships. (It's) a smooth process. I think that’s one of the elements, getting all the players involved and formulating a game plan to get them from conceptual stages of getting a permit to getting a certification,” Casias said.

Automobile dealerships are also expanding, and the city has a chunk of the Forum shopping center that has also been widely successful.

Officials said they are exploring the creation of a town center, but no location has been set up yet.

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