With a new year right around the corner, many areas around Central Texas are growing rapidly, including Temple, where Baylor Scott and White is bringing people and new businesses to town.
Temple Mayor Danny Dunn said they are aiming to make Temple a 21st Century city. He also said it is a strong real estate market this year, for both homes and businesses.
Dunn said he heard people wanted more choices for restaurants and shopping and they are finally getting it.
"So if you go down S. 31st St. across Baylor Scott and White, you have two wonderful new retail developments, the District and Shops on the Hill--it's added restaurants and shopping and hotels," Dunn said.
Local business owners are welcoming the hustle.
"Lots more people coming through. We have days where the streets is totally full of cars at lunchtime, which is great," Sally Myers, owner of 2nd Street Emporium said.
Myers said the growth of small businesses these days are helping the local economy.
"On a Saturday, we'll have people coming in from Killeen, Fort Hood, Belton. We have people from Waco," Myers said.
And Myers encourages shoppers to explore places nearby like the Hub. Owner Holley Gosh is excited to see even more development next year downtown.
"Once more things come to downtown Temple, we'll have an increase in foot traffic as well," Gosh said.
But with growth comes challenges. Residents and anyone else driving through the city will notice all the construction cones. The Mayor said I-35 construction is much closer to completion, with about 18 months left in the project until Temple residents can breathe a sigh of relief.
"I-35 has been a project that we have known is coming and the expansion of I35 for probably 15 or 20 years, so right now even though it's a pain to be on I35, it just shows us we are progressing," Dunn said.
He said the city has been working the past five or six years to plan changes, and they want to keep it going in 2018.
"Just trying to keep all the plates spinning. That Temple has a lot of exciting things going on. And we have to keep the eyes on everything and make sure that everything continues," Dunn said.
Myers said she would like to see more festivals and events downtown, to bring even more customers into those Temple businesses.