Report finds almost 29% vacancy rate in main corridor of Denton Highway
HALTOM CITY, TX, April 21, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — For 18 months, Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) has been asking the city to count the businesses in Haltom City’s main corridors so that those interested in the economic health of the city’s business community could benchmark to see whether the city is gaining or losing businesses in its older corridors.
In recent memory, the city has lost Kroger, CVS, Fire Cup Coffee and Dollar Store, all on US 377. Despite these losses, the city was not interested in measuring the number and type of businesses in South and Central Haltom City.
“We got tired of waiting and hired a third-party, Liser Consulting of Houston, to visit each business in the four main corridors and get us some accurate data,” said Joe Palmer, HUBA Communications Director. “It’s clear that the city officials are still in denial about the declining small businesses in the central and south parts of the city,” he added.
Consultant Tyler Liser visited the corridors in December of 2022 and HUBA plans to repeat the study in December of this year to measure any changes. With an associate, he drove and or walked the 4 main corridors, visiting every building and suite. He also gathered the names of the business if the building was occupied. The corridors covered were:
• US 377 (Denton Highway), from Belknap to Loop 820
• Belknap from Beach to Carson
• NE 28th from Belknap to Beach
• Carson from Belknap to 121
Palmer notes that this doesn’t come close to covering all the neglected areas, but it is a good place to start benchmarking. He also notes that these are the most likely corridors new businesses and potential residents drive through as they considering coming to Haltom City.
“Perhaps the most shocking finding was that Denton Highway has a 28.3% vacancy rate, higher than the average vacancy rate for the four corridors overall. As part of the study, the consultant surveyed 364 businesses and found 61 vacant. The results also include a breakdown of the businesses by type, divided into retail, commercial, or industrial, etc.
The study found that 25% (75 entries) on the city’s list of certificates of occupancy (obtained from the city under the open records act) for the corridors were wrong because either the business had moved out and the building was vacant, or another tenant had moved in. This list was used as the starting point for the work. The accuracy of this list is important, as it guides the leadership as it makes new ordinances.
HUBA has been pressing the city’s leadership to enact reforms to help attract more small businesses to the city’s aging core. The results of the business census will be presented to Haltom City Council after the May citywide elections.
Palmer contends that “Too many cities are using their ordinances as weapons to allow only certain types of businesses, especially those that pay sales tax. A number of businesses, in the recent months, have been told when checking about leasing that the city wants retail in that spot. It’s just wrong and silly for the city officials to think they can control the economics of commerce with these attitudes. Businesses that are a use allowed by law should be allowed; it’s that simple” he maintains.
Mayoral candidate and lifelong Haltom City resident Cindy Sturgeon said, “The only way that Haltom City residents are going to get the grocery store they want and deserve is by first rebuilding the small business community, one small business at a time,” adding, “it’s time for a change.”
She noted, “I’ve lived here long enough to remember when Denton Highway was bustling and having nearly a third of the properties vacant in the corridor is unacceptable. The current mayor has not made any proposals to revitalize the older parts of Haltom City, but I will.”
“The vacancies are magnets for crime and drugs, and we need a common-sense program to bring the small businesses back so that people here can shop and eat close to home,” she said.
About Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA)
HUBA represents business interests in Haltom City and advocates for much-needed change, including revision of the outdated and restrictive use matrix that discourages new business and deters growth. HUBA believes that Haltom City should prioritize development of inner-city land and vacant buildings, particularly in the major corridors close to the city’s center, in order to create a stronger tax base and enhance quality of life. All Haltom City business owners are eligible to join HUBA. Dues are $20 annually or $50 for a lifetime membership, and membership is 100% confidential. For more information, contact Joe Palmer by phone at (682) 310-0591 or email at [email protected], or visit the group’s Facebook page.
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