Why doesn’t North Richland Hills have a Costco or an IKEA? Our Economic Development department often receives questions like this, asking why the city hasn’t reached out to specific businesses or made plans to build one in North Richland Hills. While we love hearing resident feedback because it helps us plan for the future, it’s important to keep in mind that most of these specific business decisions are actually not made by the city.
So why don’t we have a Costco, IKEA, or more sit-down restaurants, or fewer fast food restaurants? This really comes down to private businesses, their needs, and private property owners. Businesses are looking for area demographics that match their target, as well as customer demand and competition. They also analyze traffic counts, accessibility, and visibility of a specific location. And of course, financial feasibility comes in to play. Once a location is identified, a business will determine if they can afford to rent, purchase, or build.
Most importantly, when looking to open a new location, companies research the success of complementary businesses in the area. If sit-down restaurants in NRH are constantly busy, that’s a good sign another sit-down restaurant would perform well here. “The best thing we can do to attract more businesses of a certain type is to be loyal to the ones that are already here, causing other similar businesses to realize the demand and take notice,” said Craig Hulse, Director of Economic Development.
Our Economic Development Department works hard to connect private sector enterprise with the desires of our residents by proactively recruiting businesses, and we’ve been fortunate to see many successes in recent years. The role of the Economic Development Department is to promote commercially zoned property with good access and visibility that desired companies would find attractive. But when it’s all said and done, the city doesn’t choose a location, the business does. Staff then helps the business navigate our development and permitting process.
All that being said, we’re big fans of Costco, IKEA, and sit-down restaurants, and many of the other ideas we’ve heard over the years. In fact, a good portion of our staff lives right here in NRH and we’d love to see these additions too. When you think of something you’d love to have in the city, know that the development decisions really come down to the private businesses. We’ll keep recruiting, you keep supporting our existing businesses, and if NRH is the right fit, the businesses we all desire will make their way to North Richland Hills.
For more information on the site selection process and why Economic Development exists, please go to www.nrhed.com/siteselection.