State of the City Luncheon reveals new projects in Stephenville

By: Sierra Wells

Managing Editor

Announcing the many changes and developments coming to Stephenville, Texas, Mayor Doug Svien delivered an informative presentation at the State of the City Luncheon on Jan. 31.

In his speech, Svien acknowledged the positive financial impact Tarleton has had on Stephenville, while also revealing new projects at the university.

“If we didn’t have Tarleton State University, we’d probably have to double your property taxes. Our sales tax, we’d have to lay off firemen and police departments because the large impact they have financially on Stephenville,” Svien said.

Svien described the multi-story parking structure Tarleton is building, which will provide more than parking for the community.

“The top stories above the first floor will be parking, and the ones below will be a retail outlet. One of them for sure they have coming is Buffalo Wild Wings,” Svien said.

Tarleton is also planning to construct a high-class hotel on campus. Along with 150 rooms and a full-service kitchen, the hotel will feature a ballroom that fits 800 people.

“Stephenville will have a ballroom and an upper-class hotel that will be open to the public, and so I think that’s going to be a great thing,” Svien said. 

Mayor Doug Svien speaks at the State of the City Luncheon.
Photo by: Sierra Wells

Besides the hotel, there are plans to build a large convocation and event center.

“Well obviously it’s going to have a 7,000-seat arena,” Svien said. “I looked it up this morning on the website, and they did some rearranging of their building recently a couple years ago, seating that is, but Wisdom Gym holds 2,400 seats in Wisdom Gym. This place will have 7,000.”

In order to expand their educational opportunities, Tarleton has acquired $90 million that will be used to construct a health science building with several new programs.

“Their plans are with this new building and this new program is to open up three new areas of education and probably more, but three particularly,” Svien said. “One is an occupational therapist, that’s a doctorate level program, a physical therapy program, which is a doctoral level program and a physician’s assistant program.”

Svien also described the new businesses that will open at the Washington Commons, including Five Below, Ulta, Hobby Lobby, Old Navy, Buckle, Ross and TJ Maxx. 

Another development project, The Stable, will feature a Chick-fil-A, McAlister’s Deli and other restaurants that will offer a fine-dining experience.

“There will be an opportunity for people coming from Tarleton State University before and after football games to come and sit and go, ‘This is a really nice experience in Stephenville, Texas,’” Svien said. “Economic impact, it will cost about $25 million to construct this project.”

Besides listing out new city attractions, Svien recognized the past successes of Stephenville.

According to Svien, more than 7,000 people in Stephenville received the Covid vaccine from the local vaccination center.

Though Stephenville has water, street and sewer needs that will require a minimum cost of $210 million to repair, the city does not plan to raise taxes. Svien mentioned, the tax rate has decreased by about 10% since he joined the city council.

“Go back and look at the city website. I think every year but one since I’ve been on council, we have lowered the tax rate in Stephenville, Texas,” Svien said. 

Overall, the city’s economy has improved over the years according to Svien.

“In two years since I stood here and talked to you before, our economy has grown to a tune of about $8 million more sales per month than we did in January of 2020. Our economy’s doing pretty well in Stephenville, Texas,” Svien said.

Svien’s presentation highlighted the upward incline that Stephenville has been on over the past few years. The city does not seem to be slowing down in growth anytime soon.

“There’s so much to cover. There’s so much good going on in Stephenville, and it starts with you here and all the other citizens in Stephenville, Texas,” Svien said. “In closing, I would like to say one thing. The economy in Stephenville is good, and it’s about to get a lot better.”

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