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Retailers, hoteliers eyeing Victoria


May 31, 2011 at 12:31 a.m.
Updated June 1, 2011 at 1:01 a.m.

Matt Ferguson, of Kelchner Excavating, works in April to prepare to start breaking ground on the new Caterpillar plant.

New business endeavors could soon call the Crossroads home if the number of inquiries is any indicator.

The Victoria Chamber of Commerce has seen an influx in retailers and hoteliers taking an interest in Victoria, chamber President Randy Vivian said Tuesday.

Vivian said he's probably taken two calls in the past couple of weeks, a big jump from the last six months of 2010, which resulted in zero inquiries.

"From 2008 to the start of this year, we didn't really get many people looking," he said. "Now, I'm working with a couple of site selectors and ... had worked with a couple of companies that are already coming in."

Vivian said he attributed much of the change to Caterpillar's incoming plant.

"There's a lot of interest in Victoria right now," he said. "Caterpillar is going to spur some growth."

Among the new businesses that have already announced plans to locate in Victoria are Pier 1 Imports and Burger Nation, which will both set up shop on Navarro Street.

The chamber isn't alone in its efforts, however. Vivian said he works closely with the Victoria Economic Development Corp.

Development corporation President Dale Fowler could not give specific information regarding the companies interested in Victoria, but said he, too, had seen more inquiries lately. Many of those request information on logistics and the local labor force, he said.

"It's pretty exciting," he said. "I think it's exciting times for Victoria and for this area of Texas."



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