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Business Boom on Amarillo's Southwest Side

Amarillo's Southwest side sees major growth. We talk to city planners and businesses about why people are choosing this side of town.

575 Pizzeria is cooking up new business on the southwest side of town.

"I am enjoying this side of town. It's a whole lot of new faces," Brian Kelleher, owner of 575 Pizzeria said. 

The second location for this locally owned shop opened its doors on Hillside in January of 2014.

"Growth was always been on our schedule. As we started looking to grow, I would say my two options that I was focusing on most were downtown and the west side of town," Kelleher said.

So why the southwest?

"This area is slated to grow. And will for easily the next five to twenty years," Kelleher said, "Right now all of our sales projections are higher than we expected anyway, so we're satisfied."

But pizza is just one slice of the pie when it comes to growth on Amarillo's southwest side.

The Williams Group is working on a large property, Town Square Village, a mix of residential and commercial space.

A new United store opened on Soncy this year, and a second Sam's Club is set to appear on this side of town as well, just a glimpse of the restaurants and shops investing in space here.

"Obviously, probably the highest growth area is the southwest. That's kind of where the growth trend has been. Once the rooftops get built, usually retail follows," Kelley Shaw, Planning Director for the City of Amarillo said.

Retail has followed on a large scale, but Shaw says infrastructure is struggling to keep up, everything from roads to water and sewer lines.

Another thing to note, population growth has remained the same, about one to two percent a year.

"It's just sort of interesting when you see all this construction going on, a lot of people tend to think, wow, we really must be growing quickly as a city, population wise. And we're really growing about the same population wise. We're just starting to develop new areas," Shaw said.   

Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Gary Molberg says the big benefit from this growth can be seen in sales tax.

"What that does is pull traffic off the interstate, it pulls people from outside Amarillo to come here and shop, plus it gets the local people to shop," Molberg said.

Over on Hillside, those at 575 say the southwest not only offers an area of growth, it offers a new neighborhood to call home.

"We just look forward to being a part of the communities around here for, you know, a long time. Seeing some of these young kids go off to college and stuff like that," Kelleher said. 

And as rooftops and retail continue to go up, it seems many others feel the same about this new, and growing neighborhood.

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