FOX San Antonio - FOLLOW UP STORIES
Oil that's sparked an economic boom south of San Antonio, but a new study by researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio reveals a need for more housing.
It's lunch hour at this hardware store in Cotulla, but no one's on break, they are busy. "The good lord didn't send us rain he sent us oil, that's been a blessing because the oil paid a lot better than the rain," said Chris Meyer, who owns the ACE Hardware store in Cotulla.
The oil and gas boom is bringing more people to South Texas towns like Cotulla, but housing and infrastructure are still far behind. "They're building 50 houses out here and starting a subdivision, that's supposedly going to be 50 houses, but the economics of the area has never justified it," said Meyer.
U.T.S.A. presented results from a study on housing to help developers learn more about the area. "If you want to build a hotel and get financing for 30 years, how long are you going to rent those rooms out?" said Robert McKinley, U.T.S.A.
The study looked at population in a six counties, Dimmit, Frio, La Salle, Maverick, Webb and Zavala. Right now, there's around 356,000 people. By 2025, they expect that number to rise by almost 100,000 people. Researchers say they will need more housing options to support the growth and the key word is affordable.
"I think it's going to continue growing, but I don't think your gonna see the big 400-500 house subdivision in these areas, just because it's very difficult," said Butch Alanis, a developer. U.T.S.A. researchers recommend more single-family homes and apartments be built in larger communities near drilling sites in cities like Cotulla, Laredo, Dilley, and Pearsall researchers say affordable temporary housing like mobile homes are also needed.
For Meyer, he hopes the challenge of developing a rural area won't keep investors away. "I hope more stability, more long term housing, more recreation, more individuals just being here permanently."
Researchers say more than three-quarters of the hotels studied south of San Antonio were 90 percent booked by people planning to stay for 30 or more days.
Posted by: Grace White
Follow Grace on Twitter @Grace__White and on Facebook
High-water rescues reported in San Antonio area
May 25, 2013 16:58 GMT
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- San Antonio firefighters have pulled people from submerged cars and rescued passengers whose bus was swept away in flood waters from torrential rains.
Officials say numerous roads have been closed because of flash flooding.
VIA Metropolitan Transit's spokeswoman Priscilla Ingle says firefighters on a boat were able to rescue the three bus passengers and driver early Saturday. She says nobody was injured.
As of Saturday morning, the San Antonio Airport had recorded nearly 10 inches of rain in the past eight hours or so.
The National Weather Service says rain continues falling at a rate of 2 inches per hour in several counties.
Emergency crews have responded to dozens of water rescues and are taking boats to a reportedly flooded neighborhood in a San Antonio suburb.
FOLLOW UP STORIES LIST
US durable goods orders rise 3.3 percent in April
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rebounded in April, buoyed by more demand for military and civilian aircraft and an increase in business investment.
BC-US--Dow Record-Three Personal Stories, 1st Ld-Writethru,1173
Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes
AP Photo FX102, FX103
Eds: With BC-US--Dow Record. Adds photos.
By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...
IN THE NEWS: RESTAURANT FLAP LEADS TO INTERNET MELTDOWN
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- It isn't exactly to curry favor with your restaurant customers -- even if your specialty isn't curry.