Haltom United Business Alliance continues to express concern about declining south & central areas of city

HALTOM CITY, TX, June 09, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — The Cafe, a well-known Denton Highway eatery that opened in the 70’s, has reportedly been sold. Dickey’s BBQ Pit is rumored to be taking over the restaurant location, though the date is uncertain. The Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) is saddened to learn that that the restaurant owner has sold and retired, but also glad that Dickey’s is reportedly coming to continue a much needed eatery in this beleaguered corridor.

The rumored change doesn’t appear to have affected the vacancy rate of the corridor, which currently sits at 29%. Of serious concern to local business owners and residents alike is that the corridor has lost far too many of its largest businesses over the last several years, starting with Kroger and continuing with CVS, Big Lots, and a new eatery called Fire Cup Coffee which closed after a short run.

According to Joe Palmer, Communications Director for HUBA, “It takes a brave business to open on a declining corridor like this one. The city needs to recognize this and take swift action to reduce the barriers of entry in order to attract more occupants and rebuild the corridor one business at a time.” HUBA has repeatedly offered the city ideas on how to change certain building and zoning codes in the declining central and southern areas in order to spur revitalization, but the city has made no plans to advance any such initiatives to date.

One forward-thinking idea that many cities have used to revitalize declining older areas is to reduce or eliminate parking minimums which is a relatively easy change and essentially costs the city nothing. A quick Google search of “parking minimums in America” provides a long list of change-based success stories throughout the country on this one idea alone. To see a growing list of cities that have already made this change, visit a recent Strong Towns article on parking minimums.

As to the closing of The Cafe and the opening of Dickey’s BBQ, local resident J. Pool wrote the following in a Facebook post: “The fact is, the city as far as I can tell is doing nothing to address the potholes, the crime, the abandoned buildings etc. These things are bringing property values down and folks are moving out which means there will be less of a tax base to use to fix said issues. I like Haltom City. I think it has a ton of potential, I just think people need to ask questions about why nothing is improving and get answers instead of pacifying ourselves by talking about the few glimmers of hope we do have. It’s not to knock the restaurant, it’s to make the changes that ensure that these places can stay in business. If everything around it is abandoned and people don’t feel safe it will affect their business and it’s hard enough to keep a restaurant open even when things are going well.”

HUBA has repeatedly noted that the ongoing decline in these corridors, along with the increased crime proven to relate to empty buildings, will only cause further criminality in the area — and this is just one of many reasons that taking a proactive stance is so critical. Although the city did enact a Tax Incremental Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) for the main corridors, it’s a 30-year plan that isn’t likely to have any material funds to disperse for at least 3 to 5 years. Additionally, said funds can only be spent on public improvements, which almost certainly won’t help get the older businesses occupied. And no one thinks that 30 years is an allowable time frame for the improvements needed. Alternatively, aggressive implementation of just some of the proposals submitted by the business community would cost the city no money and could bring immediate results following implementation.

To educate and mobilize citizens about the need for change, one local business owner started the “Make Haltom City Thrive Again” movement last year. According to founder Ron Sturgeon, anyone who lives or works in Haltom City and is hoping for a brighter future for themselves, their children, and their community should consider getting involved. “Let’s work together to make the city thrive again by bringing back prosperity, products, services and jobs. Let’s find leadership that’s pro-business to bring back all the businesses that have left! Please contact me at rons@rdsinvestments.com and let’s get to work.”

About Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) is a group of business owners dedicated to representing existing business interests in Haltom City and promoting the growth of diverse businesses as well. Innovative strategies are needed to create a strong tax base and enhance quality of life for residents, city employees, and business owners. All Haltom City business owners are eligible to join HUBA. For more information, contact Joe Palmer at (682) 310-0591 or by email at HUBAgrp@gmail.com or visit the group’s Facebook page at Haltom United Business Alliance.

About Make Haltom City Thrive Again
The Make Haltom City Thrive Again website offers information and resources about its purpose and goals. For more on Sturgeon’s personal ideas and background, check out his book Keeping the Lights on Downtown in America’s Small Cities and watch the videos on his Facebook page. Ron is also the founder of the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) which represents existing business interests in Haltom City and promotes growth of diverse businesses as well. HUBA is not a political action committee and does not endorse candidates. If/when Ron endorses candidates, he will do so on his own or with the Make Haltom City Thrive Again organization.

About Haltom City
Haltom City is a diverse, majority working-class city located between Dallas and Fort Worth in Tarrant County, TX. Haltom City is minutes from both the DFW Airport and Downtown Fort Worth with direct access to major highways including I-820 and SH-121. Due to an outdated and restrictive use matrix that discourages new business and deters growth, several areas of Haltom City have seen a decline in small businesses which provided goods and services and were a significant source of jobs, including the once-thriving automotive industry. However, Haltom City has the opportunity to reverse this trend and should prioritize development of inner-city land and vacant buildings, particularly in the major corridors close to the city’s center. The city is financially healthy with a capable manager and staff who would like to see diverse business development occur and need the support of the City Council to make it happen.

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