• July 30, 2014

Heights’ retail sales greater than area cities

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Posted: Friday, January 3, 2014 4:30 am

A five-year average growth rate in retail sales and median household income in Harker Heights is greater than the metropolitan area and the state, which could attract more businesses and residents to the area.

Harker Heights had a five-year average median household income of $59,491 from 2007 to 2012, according to a report the city uses for marketing. It also experienced a 9.3 percent growth rate in retail sales during the same period, which is a five-year average.

Compiling numbers for the area’s larger cities — Killeen, Temple, Copperas Cove, Harker Heights and Belton — the median household income was $49,734 and the retail growth rate was 3.36 percent for the period.

The average household income in Texas was $49,646 with a 2.7 percent retail sales growth rate.

“The whole area has been growing in terms of population and sales,” said former City Manager Steve Carpenter, who retired from his position Tuesday. “What is important is if you look at the median income, basically the highest median income is right here in Harker Heights ... and we are right in the middle of the growth.”

Harker Heights couples the two statistics with population density of various drive times to attract retailers, Carpenter said. It is the same information most developers use to market their facilities.

“When I am looking at something, I am not just looking at Harker Heights,” Carpenter said. “I am looking at the area because that is what businesses do.”

Just 10 minutes from Farm-to-Market 2410 and U.S. Highway 190 lives a population of about 100,000 people, Carpenter said, with 350,000 people living 30 minutes away.

“It is probably a little higher than that now,” Carpenter said, noting the report released to the Herald in December used 2012 data. The 2013 figures should be released in April.

Area growth has been phenomenal during the last five years, Carpenter said. The greater Killeen area not only survived the national economic downturn, it thrived.

“(Future) growth will be based on two things,” he said. “How many people are living here, and how much income you have in the population.”

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