New Zone Allows for More Development on Kemp

Business and property owners along parts of Kemp St. have new opportunity to develop. The Wichita Falls City Council unanimously approved applying a new zoning district along Kemp Tuesday.

The Commercial Corridor Zone runs from Ave. C to Ave. M. It's a sort of middle ground between limited and general commercial zones.  The new zoning allows for more development along Kemp, while preserving the historical significance of some of the residential neighborhoods in the area.

Members of the business community see this as a welcome change. "Well, I've been looking forward to this for quite some time now," said Jim Potts, Kemp property owner and owner of a Farmer's Insurance Agency in Wichita Falls. Potts says many business and property owners have been waiting for the opportunity to develop some of the properties in this area.

"They were just waiting on this change to take place," Potts said, "many have been approached by several various commercial interests that want to move into that area."

Potts has a tenant at one of his commercial properties who has been planning on expanding for some time now. Amy Ezigbo owns Kids Avenue. She has such limited space in the building, she puts much of her merchandise outside. It's a time and money wasted and is a hassle in the rain. She said she wants to buy the property from Potts and build more space. Until now she couldn't.

Ezigbo said expansion will allow her business to grow and she will likely be able to hire more staff. Potts says this is a common story along Kemp. Many business prospects have been reluctant to buy property here because they couldn't really develop it.

Potts said he expects this move to bring change quickly. "I would think it would be almost immediate, within the first year," he said. "And certainly within the next three years, we'll see quite a bit of changes along that area of Kemp."