Austin/ Retail & Industry
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Published on May 23, 2024
Rockdale, Texas Poised for Growth with New Homes and Industrial Hub Sparked by Nearby Samsung ExpansionSource: Facebook / City of Rockdale

Rockdale, Texas is experiencing a surge in development activity, marking its first significant growth period since the golden days of the Alcoa Corp. aluminum plant. According to the KXAN, this small city of 5,588 residents is set for an influx of new homes, jobs, and retail opportunities.

Notably, Dallas developer Xebec Holdings LLC aims to repurpose the old Alcoa site into an industrial hub, including a natural gas power plant. Feeling the ripple effects 30 miles away, the city benefits from the massive Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. facility in Taylor. A new report from the Austin Business Journal details how homebuilders are flocking to Rockdale, pushing ahead with the first home construction the city has seen since the 1980s.

Ranch Road Development LLC from Bastrop, which several years back purchased Rockdale's former industrial park, is now developing a 166-acre community named Cornerstone. It will feature 670 homes, green spaces, trails, and a new school site. D.R. Horton Inc., based in Arlington and the project's designated builder, has acquired the first lots and initiated construction. "The project has been well-received from the local community and buyer traffic has been robust. Buyers are impressed with both the community and style of homes being offered," Scott Miller, the principal owner of Ranch Road, told the Austin Business Journal.

Amid increased residential interest, retail and industrial sectors also show strong promise in Rockdale. High interest rates, however, are putting a damper on development fervor, stalling some prospective projects. Nonetheless, the local leaders remain hopeful and proactive. "Rockdale is a true city with ongoing economic development, good schools, and a quality of life we believe will be attractive to homebuyers," Miller added, noting a second phase of home sites is coming soon. Jim Gibson, Rockdale's economic development director, believes these spikes in developments signify a "slow burn" towards growth, according to the details shared by the Austin Business Journal. He hopes that, with manageable growth, Rockdale can serve as an affordable option for workers at Samsung's expanding chipmaking facilities within commutable distance.

Enthusiasm for Rockdale's prospects is palpable among residents and developers alike. The city is laying the groundwork for expansion with an upcoming comprehensive plan, while incentives like tax increment reinvestment zones and public improvement districts are on the table to encourage investment. All eyes are on this emerging market as interest rates ebb, setting the stage for what could be a new era of prosperity for this once-sleepy Texas town.