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Palestine growing in economic development amid pandemic

“In spite of the challenges of the last year and a half," Anderson County has seen growth, according to one city official.

ANDERSON COUNTY, Texas — Since the pandemic hit, many communities have been victims of economic hardship, but one East Texas community is seeing quite a change when it comes to its economic growth.

“In spite of the challenges of the last year and a half, we've seen an increase in interest in our residential market as well as our commercial and business climate,” said Greg Laudadio, Interim Director of Economic Development for the City of Palestine. 

Palestine is seeing quite an economic boom, especially in its housing market.

Laudadio believes the rising costs and a shortage of home and rental inventory in bigger communities like Tyler and Longview is again for all the surrounding communities.

"We've also had an influx of residential interest from the west from California from Washington and Oregon where it seems like people are looking for a little bit more economic and social freedom from lockdowns in a more open climate ... East Texas certainly [has that],” said Laudadio. 

Palestine is also adding new perks to housing developments.

"Economic development in Palestine has helped with new housing, market-rate apartment homes. We've had willow creek apartment complex, a 132 unit market-rate apartment, come in with a dog park and resort-style pool, gated community, that type of thing,” said Laudadio. 

Laudadio has also seen new businesses pop up in the community.

 "A lot of people stepped up and open businesses they've been waiting to open for years. this was their opportunity to take that chance and to make their dreams come true, and they found a lot of hometown support,” said Laudadio.