The twin cities of Bryan/College Station have fallen headlong into very exciting times. The slow and gradual growth of the cities since the days of A&M College of Texas is about to be put into high gear, and the pioneer of most of the changes happening around Aggieland is, not surprisingly, Texas A&M University.
A number of factors are responsible for this higher-than-normal speed of growth and development. Primary among these is the university’s initiative towards beefing up a number of its programs. Take, for instance, the 25 by 25 initiative of the College of Engineering. As per this initiative, the enrollment to the various engineering programs at A&M would be gradually ramped up from the current 11,000-odd students to a grand total of around 25,000 across the undergraduate as well as graduate programs by the year 2025 in order to address the need for skilled engineers at the national level. This targeted increase in enrollment alone will translate to inviting at least 15,000 new students to reside in the BCS area over the next 10-12 years. The Kyle Field renovation being undertaken on a massive scale to increase seating at the venue during game days is set to draw thousands more visitors from out of town. Also, a recent announcement regarding the tie up with a world-renowned pharmaceutical company to establish a state-of-the-art manufacturing unit worth millions of dollars in the BCS area is also bound to bring in a lot of new jobs to the city, and as a consequence, give a boost to the local economy. The real estate market is also experiencing a boom, which opens up more jobs for realtors.
All these changes will bring in the crowds. And the people will come, no doubt about that. Time and again, various research findings have shown College Station to be among the best college towns, best retirement towns, best small cities for jobs as well as the best places for small business and careers, all in the span of the last 2-3 years. Add to that the fabulous performance of the A&M sports teams in their first year with the SEC, and you can now begin to appreciate the scale of the changes that can be anticipated.
This is bound to create a strain on existing facilities. Transportation, entertainment arenas, housing – everything is going to need an overhaul. Thankfully, it seems like the city government is aware of this rapid trend. A short drive down the Northgate district is sufficient to get a glimpse into the speed with which the changes are happening. College Station already boasts of a new high-rise along University Drive. The Rise and other new apartment complexes in the neighborhood are ready for the new student population which has been steadily increasing over the past years. More construction is planned in other areas that are in close proximity to the campus – this includes a retail center, gameday condos and a new hotel. The Aggieland Premiere Cinema down in Bryan is also working on installing an IMAX screen. Once installed, this would be the only IMAX screen in over a 70 mile radius.
The housing market is blooming. May saw the highest surge in real estate sales this community has seen in years! More students and more jobs means more buyers in the market, so if you’re considering selling, now is definitely the time. Century 21 has tons of great homes up for sale, as well as helpful agents if you’re looking at selling.
This flurry of activity around the university is hardly surprising – it is, after all, what gives the city of College Station its identity. Gone are the days when one would think of making a quick run to the neighboring cities of Austin or Houston for buying something that is not available in College Station. Plans are set to bring the cities of Austin and Houston to us, right here. And it feels great, like a new life is about to be unleashed, just like in Bob Dylan’s song.