Rising Dust: Amarillo’s Journey to New Heights
Yesterday I was in a meeting and my boss mentioned something that really got me thinking. He mentioned that Amarillo is an interesting city in the sense that if you're on the highway here, you're in the middle of the city with this pretty decent infrastructure around.
Then you drive two miles out of the city and you're in the middle of nowhere.
He's 100% correct on that. You're still within the city of Amarillo, but there's nothing around and you'd think you're driving in the middle of one of those no-name cities on a road trip. It's kind of a trip, isn't it?
With Texas being one of the fastest growing states in general, and people moving here from all over the country, it makes you wonder where they're all going. The obvious destinations are Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston of course.
The problem with those cities is they are simply out of room to grow. There is very little open space in any of those cities and expansion for more homes and businesses to accommodate the rising population simply doesn't exist.
This leads us to Amarillo. With ALL this open space, how long will it be before we're this thriving metropolis of a city? We've got land for days, and while I understand that some of that is farmland, a good portion of it is not.
Furthermore, it's true that everyone has their price. If a developer were to approach a farmer about purchasing their land, would a big number push them off of it and allow for more homes to be built?
One thing that holds Amarillo back a bit is its age. There aren't many new housing developments in the city, most of the homes within the city are older and have been around for 50+ years. That's the norm for Amarillo, and that's ok. There hasn't seemingly been a reason to make the city feel "newer" in a sense.
Over just the last year or so though, I've seen some growth. However, it seems to be growth in the business sector, but not so much in the housing sector. Sure, you need a strong host of businesses to draw people in because we love convenience and options. Without more housing though, we can't attract more people to the city.
So is Amarillo next up when it comes to a growth spurt? We certainly have the room, and I don't think growing the city would be a bad thing. I understand it would create a bit more traffic, but I think we've got the ability to handle that traffic and some more people. Bottom line is, the Amarillo economy could boom with a bit of a growth spurt.