By MARK MCGEE
Everyone is coming to Shelbyville and Bedford County.
At least is appears to be that way.
Bedford County’s growth rate is 1.1%. That may not sound like much, but the State of Tennessee’s growth rate is 0.8%. The region, which includes Nashville, is growing at a two-percent rate.
Shane Hooper, president-CEO of the Shelbyville-Bedford Partnership, credits local developers for much of the growth.
“We need to celebrate our local developers,” Hooper said. “There are men and women that are from this community and they know, love, like and respect it and want to see this community do great things.
“I think it is important to recognize those folks for their contributions to the community. At times we overlook our local developers, but local developers make a lot of great things happen.”
Firehouse Subs has opened in a new development on North Main Street (Highway 231) owned by Greg Curl and Jody Lambert. A Dos Bros Tacos will open in a few weeks as well as a UPS Store which is 60 to 90 days away. There is one vacancy.
“It is a great location,” Hooper said. “One thing developers look for is traffic counts. They want to be where the traffic counts are the greatest.”
Curl has also been active in developing apartment complexes around the city. His most recent is located at East Cedar and Sevier Street and is designed more for those waiting to become homeowners. In the first week, 11 of the 18 units were rented.
The Shelbyville-Bedford Partnership works to provide more choices for dining as well as retail, hotel and grocery experiences.
“Retail is where we are getting the most leakage,” Hooper said. “People are going to Murfreesboro or Tullahoma for certain events and opportunities because we don’t have them here.
“People will go to a destination. And when they go to a destination, they are subject to buying gas and other things.”
Local developers Hooper is appreciative of in addition to Curl and Lambert are Fawn and Keith Weaver, Jon English, Chavigny Beasley, Beth and Mike Davis, and Patrick Curtis.
“These local developers are very important to area,” Hooper said. “And don’t forget when we have places opening they are creating jobs.
“All of that tax revenue comes back directly to the city and the county. It takes the pressure off property tax revenue. The overall focus of the Partnership is to help both the city and county with revenue generation.”
The Shelbyville-Bedford Partnership is also active in attracting developers from outside the city, but Hooper especially likes dealing with local people.
“The conversations are easier than it is to go find and recruit somebody who is not from our area and ask them to come here and invest in this community,” Hooper said. “We work with both. But people who are already here, our local developers, know what we need and they have the pulse of the community. They have an insight into what the community needs.
We want to be able to support what is developed here,” Hooper said. “It is about giving people an opportunity. We want to make sure we are giving the community what they want and are looking for.”