Business booms in Temple thanks to hospital growth

Channel 6 news reporter Kurtis Quillin reports.

TEMPLE - If you blink, you'll likely miss another business opening in Temple across from the Scott & White Medical Center.

If you rewind 9-12 months, many of the businesses located near 31st and Scott in Temple weren't built yet.  In fact, the area as a whole has developed in large part thanks to the Scott & White Medical Center.

"I've watched this area grow from nothing to what it is right now," Lily's Cakes owner Lilian Halabi said.  "I've been in Central Texas in 21 years."

According to Baylor Scott & White, the Temple campus employs about 6,500 people.  The provider has seen a 3 percent increase in the number of employees across Bell County in the past three years.

"That is the economic engine," Rod Henry, President and CEO of the Temple Chamber of Commerce, said.  "That location, that's what's driving a lot of this growth."

When Lilian Halabi opened her second Lily's Cakes store in Temple, she chose The District shopping center right across from the hospital. 

When she first opened the second store in July, she said about 15 percent of her customers in Temple were coming from the hospital.

That number is now 25 percent and likely to rise.

"Between the doctors, the residents, the nurses and also the people coming to the hospital," Halabi said.  "We figured, 'OK, this is a good spot.'"

One customer Channel 6 News spoke to appreciates the growth.

"Having that variety of things to eat and do around the city is definitely huge for Temple and it's huge for me, too," Dannon Newman said.

But the growth the area has seen actually has a negative impact, at times.

Two more restaurants are set to open in the same complex as Halabi's business with room for a third.  That construction is something she says causes headaches for employees and customers.

And every time another business opens, Halabi said they can feel it.

"New businesses are opening, too," Halabi said.  "Back to school, that affected us a little bit."

But, according to the Temple Chamber of Commerce, the growth is likely to continue alongside its catalyst.

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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