BUDA, Texas -- New hotels, restaurants and retailers are all making the move to Buda in 2015, adding up to more sales tax for the city.
A new 11-acre retail site is planned for the intersection of FM 967 and FM 1626. Two new hotels are also in the works, as well as two (yet to be announced) national and regional chain restaurants.
Ann Miller, Buda Economic Development Corporation Executive Director, says the retail site will be anchored by a CVS pharmacy and it's an important milestone for the city.
"That's really going to grow retail on the west side, which is a lot of where residential growth has been occurring," Miller said.
While the city budgets conservatively, only counting a sales tax revenue growth of five percent, Miller says in recent months it's been closer to 25 to 30 percent. That's some of the largest gains in Hays County.
"2015 is definitely going to be one of the years for Buda. I hate to say 'the year,' because I think it's going to get better and better," Miller said.
Miller says retailers are realizing there's money to make in Buda.
"The average household income broke a $100,000 this year, so people have money to spend here," Miller said.
Greg Henry is one entrepreneur who saw local opportunity.
He helped open Willie's Joint Bar and Barbecue in July, saying they wanted the twinkling lights and old oak trees to make it feel like an even better version of your own backyard, but one that "you didn't necessarily have to go clean up yourself."
Henry, who lives in Buda, said he's witnessed the booming growth.
"You see the growth and the rooftops going up, and the need and the demand," Henry said.
All that expansion means Willie's will soon get new neighbors.
Voters in November approved five bond proposals, enabling the city to select a site for a new city hall, police station and library.The city identified the site next to their bar as the spot for those projects.
Miller said Buda is currently in a position to be picky about what retailers they want to bring to town. For example, she said residents want sit down restaurants, but aren't keen on more fast food. And Henry agrees, growth brings opportunity but wants to protect their 'small town' feel.
"We don't really want to change too much," Henry said. "We want to keep our rustic theme and our small town vibe, like Buda is doing as well."