Kyle on track to become largest city in Hays County

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by SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE NEWS and photojournalist Dennis Thomas

Bio | Email | Follow: @ShannonM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on August 2, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 5 at 9:23 AM

KYLE, Texas -- City leaders say Kyle is on its way to becoming the largest city in Hays County, surpassing San Marcos. In fact, the population has multiplied 6 times over in the past decade.

Kyle sits 15 miles south of Austin and about 60 miles north of San Antonio, in the middle of the booming IH-35 corridor. People who live there say five years ago they didn't even have a grocery store but things are quickly changing.

In the heart of Kyle sits Texas Pie Company, in the same spot it's been for 14 years.

"It was us and a pizza place on the downtown strip at that time," explained owner and chef Julie Albertson.

Albertson says they saw big potential in this town when they moved in, and now she says business is better than ever.

"New customers on a daily basis, we get a lot of people coming through Kyle that are on their way to look at property in this area," she said. "Kyle was just at the right spot between Austin and San Antonio and San Marcos and Wimberley. It's kind of the gateway to all of those different places."

In 2000 Kyle had just more than 5,000 people. Now the city boasts a population close to 30,000. The city projects by 2020 that number will be more than 60,000 strong.

"Every day is something new around here," said city spokesperson Jerry Hendrix.

Hendrix said even after just seven years working for the city, he's seen big changes.

"Seven years ago the big news story was opening the Dollar General. Now we're doing open-heart surgery down the street," Hendrix said.

Hendrix says in the past two years they've added 1,600 jobs in the medical field, spurring the economy and bringing new restaurants, retail and families.

"As opposed to being part of the Austin or San Antonio community, we have a Kyle community because we have it all here," said Albertson.

The city has a five-year improvement plan in place to make sure they're keeping up with the growth still to come. This year's budget proposal for $45.1 million includes street maintenance, new roads and police vehicles.

"It's good for the customers; it's good for the businesses in town," said Albertson. "There's a little bit of everything for everyone right now. It's awesome."

As owner of one of the original Kyle landmarks, Albertson says change is a good thing.

"They couldn't just live on pie alone," she laughed.

To keep up, the Kyle Police Department has added about 15 officers over the past few years. They also created a motorcycle unit to help with traffic and speeding on the highway.

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