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It's unfortunate that CVS has chosen to take this path, but it does indicate the issues facing Haltom City and real estate investors.
HALTOM CITY, TX, March 30, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ -- As real estate values fall in Haltom City's declining corridors, sellers are reluctant to hold properties hoping that the prices will increase, especially since there is no indication that Haltom City is going to take any action soon to improve the declining corners of Denton Highway, Belknap, Carson or N.E. 28th St. Also, as buildings sit vacant, they get vandalized, electrics stolen, graffiti, fire and freeze risks increase dramatically, and in most cases, insurers won't insure vacant buildings for full value, so if they are destroyed, it can create a lot of uninsured loss.
The city has instituted a TIRZ, but Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) contends it will not help all of the boarded up and decrepit properties in these declining corridors because funds from a TIRZ can only be spent on public improvements, such as sidewalks and sewer systems. In any case, the TIRZ is unlikely to have funding for several years.
HUBA has made several recommendations to Haltom City that would bring more small businesses back to these corridors, including a set of proposed changes to Haltom City's use matrix, taking HUBA up on its offer to provide mentoring to those businesses who must complete the conditional use permitting process to open in Haltom City, repealing the disastrous amendment to the use table that made hundreds of auto-related businesses legal non-conforming and restricted new auto businesses to the industrial and heavy industrial zones with public hearings.
The same use table restricts many other types of businesses from starting easily also. Ron Sturgeon, a founding member of the business alliance, said, "I spoke with two business owners in March who wanted to open a salon and a day care center on Belknap, both were frustrated by rules or outright denial of their applications. One of them told me, flat out, that they left several voice mails for the city manager and mayor, asking for help, and never got call backs from either." If Haltom City could snag just two businesses per week, in a year, there would be 100 new businesses in the city, stated Joe Palmer, Communications Director for HUBA.
"Private investment is desperately needed to bring small businesses back to South and Central Haltom City," said HUBA Communications Director Joe Palmer. "TIRZ or no TIRZ, there will never be enough public money to revitalize these corridors. It's important that private money be brought in," added Palmer. The recommendations that HUBA has made to the city would cost the city nothing and boost the prospects for new businesses and expanding businesses, and many could be done immediately, but certainly almost all could be done in just a few months.
In DFW, the real estate market is hot. Most properties sell almost immediately, and there's no incentive to auction a property at below market rate, except the sad realization that it is likely to go down with time, not up. It's unfortunate that CVS has chosen to take this path, but it does indicate the issues facing Haltom City and real estate investors.
The opening bid for the auction is approximately 30% or 1/3 of what the property should be worth, according to local brokers. It is unclear whether CVS will choose to sell it if the auction doesn't bring enough as they have placed a reserve on the auction.
The property is zoned C1, according to CVS sales records, which is the lightest retail category in the Haltom City zoning table. C1 zoning will restrict many new uses at this location without public hearings for a conditional use permit, which also deters buyers and tenants This, along with change of use rules, reduces the value of the property, according to Sturgeon, a sophisticated real estate investor.
About Haltom City
Haltom City is a medium-sized city between Dallas and Fort Worth in Tarrant County, TX. The city is diverse and majority working class, with a growing population that is approximately 10% Asian-American and 45% Hispanic. Haltom City benefits from being only minutes from both DFW Airport and Downtown Fort Worth, with direct access to major highways including I-820 and SH-121. Small businesses that have historically provided products, services, and jobs to residents included a once thriving automotive industry. The city has seen a decline in small businesses, especially automotive businesses. The city is healthy financially, with median household income growing around 8% in the past year. Haltom City has an opportunity for continued growth through undeveloped land and many vacant buildings, especially in major corridors close to the city's center. The city has good staff and a city manager who is interested in seeing more businesses come to Haltom City, but they can only do as directed by City Council.
About Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) wants to give members of Haltom City's business community an advocate and to keep those businesses informed about issues that affect them. They want to make sure Haltom City is business friendly and nurtures small business growth, including automotive businesses, and bring more restaurants including breweries and a major grocery store to the city. New businesses and growth in existing businesses will create a stronger tax base which will allow the city to pay its first responders wages that are competitive with surrounding cities while improving Haltom City's facilities and infrastructure. HUBA believes that the southern and central parts of the city need a revitalization plan, to prevent further degradation in those areas, and wants that to happen before the inner-city experiences increased crime and more blight. As retail and office uses are in decline, its more critical than ever to attract new businesses. They believe that such a plan requires a strong relationship and support of the business community. Anyone who owns a business in Haltom City is eligible to join HUBA. Dues are $20 annually or $50 for a lifetime membership, and membership is 100% confidential. To join, contact Joe Palmer at (682) 310-0591 or by email at [email protected]. Visit the group's Facebook at Haltom United Business Alliance.
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