An $18 million project is in the works for Temple.
Developers have announced a plan to build a large retail shopping center on the north side of town.
Construction crews are already getting started on the 40-acre lot across from Buc-ee’s gas station. Multiple retailers, big box stores and two hotels will soon be built.
“With I-35 the way it is, more traffic over there is not going to help Temple become a hot spot in a way,” says Temple resident Christopher Willoughby.
Willoughby, who lives near the site, has mixed views about the plan.
“I mean, economically it’s going to be good for Temple because it’s going to bring in more jobs. And the construction will help out a lot, but noise pollution is not going to make a lot of people happy around here,” Willoughby said.
Nonetheless, developers say it will be a win-win for the city, including Charles Ayres with Temple’s Economic Development Corporation.
“It gives more opportunity for not only travelers to stop, but people in the region to have places to eat. Certainly if you’re passing through Temple, places to stay,” Ayres said.
As far as traffic goes, while construction still continues on I-35, Loop 363 has already been widened.
“We have a lot of plans and design work being done to accommodate the traffic. In Texas, we love our vehicles. So we’ve got to be able to drive where we want to drive,” Ayres said.
Developers are hoping to get the area up and running as quickly as possible. The construction is expected to be completed within two years.
Developers are still deciding what stores will be built in the new shopping center.