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City of Temple begins to finalize plans for future growth

The City of Temple will provide a sneak peek at the revitalization projects that have been in progress for years downtown.

TEMPLE, Texas — Imagine the City of Temple with no construction. That picture could be reality as city leaders set their sights on completing a few projects they've had in the works for years.

From the Hawn Hotel to a spot right off Adams Ave, businesses are flocking to Temple, and with it comes excitement, but also worry from some residents.

"It worries me that the cost of living will continue to rise with the explosion of the jobs," Diana Lewis, a resident of Temple for six years said.

New businesses are going to inhabit the Hawn Plaza buildings, which include the Hawn Tower, Hawn West and Arcadia Theater.

A Seven-Eleven is opening right off of Adams Ave. There will be spots open for new businesses in that area as well.

"That draw of demand could cause housing to become more expensive," Dr. Robert Tennant, an economics professor at Texas A&M University Central Texas, said.

This problem could be solved through the introduction of the Hawn West, which will introduce dozens of new apartments.

The first floor will have a new Union Crossing Food floor where there will be nine food stalls. The city said this gives small restaurant businesses the opportunity to start somewhere. 

The plaza will also feature retail, dining and office spaces as well as a privately-owned and operated performance and events hall. 

The renovated Arcadia will host music and comedy performances. 

"There's opportunity there, there's selection," Rod Henry, with the Temple Chamber of Commerce, said. "When you have that, your community becomes more of a destination point."

Temple could still be a destination point for a Meta data center

The city has not heard of any start date for construction on the site, but they said there is movement. It is up to Meta if they want to continue building in Temple.

If Meta were to continue building a data center, Tennant said it could bring in a new demographic to the area.

"That demographic change does have an impact on the cost of living in the community," he said.

For Lewis, she has already seen her taxes go up over the past four years, so she fears they will continue to go up.

The city does not have an answer as to whether costs or taxes will go up. That won't be seen for another few years.

Right now, the cost of living in Temple is almost 15% less than the national standard, according to salary.com.

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