West Side Tyler Develops

Walmart is crossing the street, and getting bigger in the process. The nation's largest retailer is building a new Supercenter in Tyler.

It will be at the corner of West Loop 323 and Highway 64. The Supercenter will replace the existing Walmart which is diagonal across the loop. Walmart says it hopes to have the store ready by next summer.

Other than the new Supercenter, the West Loop is seeing a boom in construction and development.  Tyler has historically expanded down South Broadway. But, several new projects have the city heading in a new direction. West.

Austin Bank is coming soon to a vacant lot in West Tyler in front of the Hollywood Theaters. Just down Loop 323, more signs. A collection of steel and concrete will soon be a new Sonic.

Tom Mullens, with the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce says busineses once only found on South Broadway are creating a new home further west. "You can get property on the West Loop with frontage on the Loop with thousands of cars everyday going by that frontage for about 3 to 4 dollars per square foot. If you go on South Broadway, the cost is going to be between 10 and 14 dollars per square foot."

The development isn't just limited to commercial properties. The west side's Briarwood Golf Course fairways are getting an upgrade. Briarwood has added new holes to take advantage of the club's proximity to Bellwood Lake. At the same time, the club has taken on a new name, the Cascades. But, the changes are also about a development. Just up the hill, they're cutting new roads, creating access to 400 plots for residential housing and a 13 story high rise, with 160 units. In all, more than 700 families could be living in a new neighborhood just a 1/2 mile away from the West Loop.

Mullens says the West Loop's growth is likely to continue, and could culminate in the city's next big attraction. "The next generation 10,000 seat arena, and convention center, hotel and conference center. And the number one site is on the West Loop."

So now, the west side story may soon out shine the lights on Broadway.

Stephen Parr, reporting.