Tyler is set to begin the most ambitious commercial development in city history. The city council gave the go ahead this week for a regional retail complex. Right now, outer loop 49 is just a sign on south Broadway, and the property around it is nothing more than woods and open fields. But, that will soon change. The project approved by the tyler city council is layed out over a 388-acre plot of land on the north-east corner of south Broadway and the future loop 49. To put the size of this project into perspective, imagine an area eight times the size of Broadway Square Mall and it's parking lot. This unprecedented project is not without it's naysayers, but one the city is excited to see move forward.
"I think it's good that there are develepors," said Tyler Mayor Joey Seeber. "There are people who are willing to spend millions of dollars to develop retail and other commercial development in the city of Tyler. When you consider the alternative, that is, no one would want to come to your city to develop, I think that's great news for the city and I think it's going to be good for Tyler and for all of East Texas."
"There's a lot of good reasons why you do this," added developer Bob Garrett. "But it's just a departure from what we've traditionally done in Tyler and I think that's why we've raised some questions about it."
Right now, there aren't many answers. What we do know is, some form of retail complex will sit within a 334.5 acre circle, from which the rest of the development will sprout around.
"There's a trend nationally away from indoor malls in some scenarios," said Garrett. "I'm not sure how this is going to turn out. We'll do what we feel like the market will best absorb."