Attracting New Businesses and Giving Taxpayers Some Relief are Top Priorities
KENNEDALE, TX, February 03, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ — The voters in the City of Kennedale, Texas are going to have a choice to make in the next election, a choice between two competing visions for their city, according to Kennedale Alliance of Business Owners Executive Director Joe Palmer.
“The current leadership of the City of Kennedale has chosen a path that seeks to shape Kennedale into something it is not — using taxpayer subsidies to try to attract retail to a failed city center and heavy handed zoning to try to kill off the viable industrial businesses in the south part of the City of Kennedale so that they can be replaced with businesses that the city likes better,” said Palmer.
“The net result of the first part of the city’s policy is a nearly empty city center that cannot attract tenants even with lower than market rate rents subsidized by the taxpayers of our city,” said Palmer.
“The net result of the second part is that some of the Kennedale’s top industrial employers have left, namely LQK, and others may be left unable to expand if staff’s push to rezone are adopted, including Speed Fab Crete, because the city would rather have other kinds of businesses that aren’t really viable in those parts of Kennedale,” said Palmer.
The Kennedale Alliance of Business Owners opposes this vision and instead favors letting market forces dictate the sort of businesses that come to Kennedale and changing zoning policies to be more welcoming to those businesses that might want to make Kennedale home.
“No one builds a major retail development without anchor tenants in place,” said KABO member and commercial real estate developer Ron Sturgeon. “The city should not be using economic development money on speculative ventures to try to make Kennedale more like Southlake,” said Sturgeon.
In a recent State of the City Q and A session, Kennedale Mayor Brian Johnson accused KABO of wanting to keep the salvage yards in Kennedale. In response, Palmer said, “KABO has no salvage yard operators in our membership. We’re in favor of allowing industrial businesses to operate in parts of Kennedale that have historically been home to such businesses. We don’t think the city should try to change the character of Kennedale and don’t think forcing good tax paying businesses out makes any sense, particularly when the city has such a dire need for revenue.”
“I would like to build an industrial park on the land formerly occupied by LKQ,” said KABO member Ron Sturgeon. “In the present climate, where the city staff has made it clear they want the zoning changed to commercial, eliminating my proposed new use, I can’t develop the parcel, a $10 million dollar project that will attract new businesses that will contribute to Kennedale with jobs and revenue for the city.”
Other development in Kennedale has been stifled by heavy handed requirements from the Planning Department. “I think Kennedale’s Planning Department is a lot less business friendly, after recent staff changes,” said KABO Executive Director Joe Palmer.
“We are hopeful that honest, business-friendly candidates will run for Kennedale City Council and for Mayor so that the people of Kennedale have a choice in the next election,” said Palmer. Persons interested in running in the upcoming May 2020 election can download a candidate packet from the City of Kennedale website. The deadline to file to run is February 14.
About Kennedale Alliance of Business Owners
KABO’s mission is to give members of Kennedale’s business community and people who live and work in Kennedale an advocate in dealing with the city and to keep businesses informed about issues that affect them. Anyone who owns or works for a business in Kennedale is eligible to join. Dues are $20 annually and membership is confidential. The group will hold its first meeting in the coming weeks. To inquire about membership or KABO’s mission, contact Executive Director Joe Palmer at (682) 774-5167 or by email at [email protected]. Visit the group’s Facebook at Kennedale Alliance of Business Owners at https://www.facebook.com/Kennedale-Alliance-of-Business-Owners-110704046932655/.
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