Creator of MakeHaltomCityThriveAgain.com and author of a book on urban renewal urges city to act on concept plan to fix the city’s aging corridors
HALTOM CITY, TX, January 25, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — Five decades ago, Ron Sturgeon was a homeless and dirt-poor teenager living in Haltom City. He had inherited a half-interest in a VW bug when his father died, and he taught himself to fix it. Soon after, he opened his first business, a VW garage, in Haltom City.
Now a successful serial entrepreneur, business alliance founder and author of a new book on reviving declining small cities, his tenth business book, Sturgeon believes passionately in the city that gave him his start and wants to see its corridors once again become centers for commerce.
“When small business come back to South and Central Haltom, they will bring job opportunities, more choices for local consumers in the market for goods and services and more money for the city in ad valorem taxes,” says Sturgeon
“I think it’s very odd that the current leaders of Haltom City don’t welcome new ideas on how to improve and revitalize their aging corridors,” Sturgeon said. “It’s a problem most older cities have, but most don’t have someone to champion such an effort, and, for Haltom City, I am that person.”
“I have only one motive, to make the city where I started my first business years ago better,” said Sturgeon “This will be my legacy, making Haltom City thrive again, making it the best city in Tarrant County to own a small business, and the easiest city in which to start such a business.”
To start on Sturgeon has five experiments he says that city leaders could run to start to lure small businesses back.
• Review the city’s table of uses to make sure that it is comparatively easier to start a wide variety of small businesses in Haltom City than in other adjoining cities. See how nearby cities most like Haltom City treat each category of business and try to make it easier to start here than in the nearby cities that Haltom City competes with for the finite number of new small businesses.
• Open a dialogue with StrongTowns.org to see what Haltom City can learn from other small cities that have begun to revitalize. Consider engaging Strong Towns to consult with Haltom City to help develop a workable program to bring small businesses back.
• Experiment with form-based (rather than use-based) zoning code for overlay districts that include the areas of South and Central Haltom City most in need of revitalization. Successful small cities like Mansfield, TX, has used form-based zoning to attract new private investment.
• Allow businesses that need to expand or need extra space but can’t build to use properly screened shipping containers in the city. Nearby cities allow these shipping containers and they are helpful, particularly to fast-growing small businesses.
• Try lowering or eliminating parking requirements for a two-year period in the districts most in need of revitalization. The effects can be observed and measured and if the policy is a mistake, it will be readily apparent almost right away. Parking requirements are a significant impediment to luring businesses back to South and Central Haltom City.
Sturgeon has put forth a detailed concept plan for attractive the tens of millions of dollars in private investment that will be required to return prosperity to South and Central Haltom City. He discusses aspects of the concept plan in a series of videos that are on the Make Haltom City Thrive Again website.
Sturgeon is the co-author of a book on revitalizing small cities, entitled Keeping the Lights On Downtown in America’s Small Cities. The book has garnered many five-star reviews on Amazon and been read by policymakers in cities across the United States.
The second edition with five new chapters, including expanded content on form-based codes, was released in November of 2022. Anyone who lives in Haltom City can request a free copy of the book from Ron Sturgeon by emailing him at [email protected].
About Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) is a group of business owners dedicated to representing existing business interests in Haltom City and promoting the growth of diverse businesses as well. Innovative strategies are needed to create a strong tax base and enhance quality of life for residents, city employees, and business owners. All Haltom City business owners are eligible to join HUBA. For more information, contact Joe Palmer at (682) 310-0591 or by email at [email protected] or visit the group’s Facebook page at Haltom United Business Alliance.
About Haltom City
Haltom City is a diverse, majority working-class city located between Dallas and Fort Worth in Tarrant County, TX. Haltom City is minutes from both the DFW Airport and Downtown Fort Worth with direct access to major highways including I-820 and SH-121. Due to an outdated and restrictive use matrix that discourages new business and deters growth, several areas of Haltom City have seen a decline in small businesses which provided goods and services and were a significant source of jobs, including the once-thriving automotive industry. However, Haltom City has the opportunity to reverse this trend and should prioritize development of inner-city land and vacant buildings, particularly in the major corridors close to the city’s center. The city is financially healthy with a capable manager and staff who would like to see diverse business development occur and need the support of the City Council to make it happen.
About Make Haltom City Thrive Again
The Make Haltom City Thrive Again website offers information and resources about its purpose and goals. For more on Sturgeon’s personal ideas and background, check out his book Keeping the Lights on Downtown in America’s Small Cities and watch the videos on his Facebook page. Ron is also the founder of the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) which represents existing business interests in Haltom City and promotes growth of diverse businesses as well. HUBA is not a political action committee and does not endorse candidates. If/when Ron endorses candidates, he will do so on his own with the Make Haltom City Thrive Again initiative.
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