By Betsy Dolan
Sitting in the middle of prime rail and interstate routes and with the majority of its 108 square miles of land undeveloped, Rosenberg Mayor Vincent Morales knows the city’s brightest days are ahead.
“Our location is attractive to commercial and residential development,” Morales told the crowd at Safari Texas during Rosenberg’s State of the City Address September 30. “Between here and Houston, we have the most undeveloped land along the I-69 corridor”.
Citing “phenomenal growth in the last 10 years”, Morales said the city of 31,000 saw 435 new homes and 676 new platted plots for 2013. In addition, the city added 1300 new jobs and boasts a 6.6% unemployment rate which is lower than the state and national rates. City sales tax revenues increased 16% between 2009 – 2012 largely because of the success of Brazos Town Center.
The city recently inked a deal with discount grocer, ALDI, who plans to build a 650,000 square foot distribution facility and divisional headquarters on Highway 90, west of Highway 36 in addition to a new store on Reading Road. A new business park on FM 2218 and a new professional business park on Reading Road are important components of offering shovel ready sites in order to attract new businesses, Morales said.
“What has happened to us in the last 10 years is just the beginning of what is to come,” Morales said. “The challenge for us, as a city, is to figure out how to manage the growth and continue providing services.”
One of those challenges is the continued revitalization of the historic downtown area which recently received a cultural arts designation from the Texas Commission on the Arts. The area still needs additional off street parking and renovations to the Cole Theater and old City Hall building. Morales told the crowd that infrastructure improvements such as sidewalks and lighting could be part of a future bond election.
Part One crimes decreased 49% between 1999 and 2012 prompting applause from the audience. The Rosenberg Police Department became just the 82nd Texas law enforcement agency out of 2,600 to be designated a “Recognized Law Enforcement Agency” by the Texas Police Chiefs Association.
Rosenberg is building a new fire station, about to open a new animal control facility and is working with the City of Richmond on finding an alternate water source to meet groundwater reduction requirements.
“We are committed to making Rosenberg a great place to live, work, do business, play, raise a family and making us, once again, the hub of the Gulf Coast,” Morales said.