BONHAM, TX. -- If you are wondering when significant growth will hit Bonham, it's here.
That was the takeaway from the regular meeting of Bonham City Council held Monday, July 12, 2022.
Bonham Mayor H. Compton presided over the meeting with a full compliment of councilmembers present. The meeting opened with an invocation by Mark Posey, pastor of Congregational Methodist Church, but then the spotlight was on Bonham City Manager Sean Pate as he provided a snapshot of how current activity in Bonham compares with years past.
In 2015, Bonham was averaging three new housing units a year; at the halfway mark in 2022, the city is closing in on 100 new housing units this year.
The recent acceleration of growth is even more astounding. In 2021, Bonham experienced $2.3 million of new construction. In 2022, that number is expected to jump more than 10-fold to an estimated $27 million.
There are several new developments taking shape, including a 250-home development near Gates Hill Cemetery south of Bonham, a 150-home subdivision off Silo Road, a 400-acre mixed-use development off Silo Road, a 77-acre mixed-use development just west of the new Fix and Feed site on Hwy. 121 North, and a 50-home development off White Street.
But consider the impact of what Mr. Pate has dubbed "Project 617" - a 617-acre mixed use, master-planned community with approximately 1,500 single-family homes at full build-out, a multi-family component for condos and townhomes, and a large retail component along U.S. 82 frontage. Although full build-out may take years, this one development is a game-changer for a city with 8,800 residents. In the not-so-distant future, 4,000 people may call Project 617 home, although by that time the upscale development will have a catchy name and all the amenities that traditionally go along with a Public Improvement District.
Other noteworthy residential developments include the old golf course where Asher Oaks Development is waiting on sewer model information, an apartment complex on Hwy 121 North nearing completion, and townhouse development off of Hwy. 121 is being negotiated.
Pate said he expects one or two more voluntary annexations by year's end as developers look to secure city services.
In the commercial realm, the Fix and Feed project on Hwy. 121 North is almost ready for concrete work, and directly across the street on the east side of Hwy. 121, a developer has a new engineer under contract.
In addition, a joint project of Bonham Economic Development Corporation (BEDCo) and the City of Bonham just north of Braum's on the east side of Hwy. 121 North has resulted in signed agreements and is in design.
When Pate isn't on the phone with a developer, he is planning the other side of the equation -- how to mirror the city's departmental expansion to match unprecedented growth, how to develop and improve infrastructure, and, most importantly, how to make sure developers help pay for all the changes they are bringing down the pike.
"The city is in good hands," Pate remarked. "We have a good team assembled. It's an exciting time to be in Bonham -- stressful but exciting."
Allen Rich | NTX ENews
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