HENRIETTA, TX (KAUZ) - Cement was laid down Friday morning for a construction boom in Henrietta 20 years in the making.
A new Travel Center is being built on a nine-acre lot off Highway 287. Several other businesses like a gift shop, Steak-N-Shake and Texas Best Smokehouse are also being built there.
"It is kind of strange that all kind of happened at once but they had been working on it for a long time, trying to get it going," Mike Roberson said.
Henrietta Economic Development Director, Rick Langford, said he helped lay the foundation for city development 20 years ago when he served as mayor.
"My primary focus during that time was to get infrastructure on both sides of 287 to allow this to happen," Langford said.
"I think it's a good deal," Roberson said. "It's about time they had something like this."
The construction project of Highway 287, Texas Construction Project, was made possible because of Texas Capital grants. The city received more than $1,000,000 in grants to help start the boom.
"We've taken advantage of it several times," Langford said.
More business means more help wanted signs going up in the city.
"We've had to increase housing here in Henrietta to increase our workforce because of those jobs," Langford said.
All of the work created a buzz in the community.
Roberson said the construction, to bring in more people and more shops, reminded him of what Henrietta was like when he first moved into the city, 40 years ago.
"We used to have grocery stores, had a furniture store, we had a lot of things downtown," Roberson said. "Maybe it will bring that back...hopefully."
The construction boom in the Texoma town also includes two new apartment complexes.
One is already leasing units. While the other one that will house residents 55 years or older got the green light to begin work yesterday.