Regional Highlight: Selma
The City of Selma was established in 1849 as a stagecoach stop to transport passengers and freight between South, Central, and East Texas. Today, it is one of America’s Fastest Growing Small Towns, and supports their diverse population with a high quality of life and immense opportunities for continued economic and population growth.
We sat down with the City of Selma’s City Administrator, Johnny Casias, to learn more about this community.
Tell us a little about the City of Selma.
Selma has grown from 748 residents in 2000 to almost 12,000 in 2020 which resulted in triple digit population percentage growth over these two decades. Couple this with its ever-growing business community, it is no wonder that Selma was listed at #29 on 24/7 Wall Street’s list of “America’s Fastest Growing Small Towns.” Over this time, Selma has seen major business investments such as Fisher Nut Company, Retama Park, The Forum Shopping Center, Costco Wholesale, the relocation and expansion of the Ben E. Keith Foods South Texas Regional Headquarters, O’Reilly Automotive Distribution Center, and the future home to a University Health System Regional Hospital.
What makes Selma unique within the San Antonio region?
For a city that’s geographically only 5.5 square miles, Selma is one of the more diverse cities in Texas. There are options for residents and visitors for shopping, dining, top-notch employers, great parks and trails, and entertainment options with Retama Park and outdoor concerts at the Real Life Amphitheater and the legendary Bluebonnet Palace Dance Hall. And with more and more concerts coming to the Real Life Amphitheater due to a partnership with The Tobin Center and given Selma’s rich musical history, Selma was recently declared a Music Friendly Community, a designation bestowed by the Office of the Governor. Most notably, the annual Skylight Balloon Fest draws thousands of locals and visitors to Selma, hosted The Chamber serving the Cities of Schertz, Cibolo and Selma.
Tell us about one of the most impactful economic development projects in Selma.
The relocation and expansion of the Ben E. Keith Foods South Texas Regional Headquarters has had a major impact on this community. Not only is this company a big high quality job creator, but they have proven over the years to be a great community partner with the city. With their imminent arrival, City of Selma leaders recognized the need to increase our road and utility infrastructure by the passing of a $9 million general obligation bond in 2015 to construct this needed infrastructure. This investment has proven to pay off over time and industrial growth and expansion continues as result.
What makes your community a great place for people and jobs?
I keep coming back to the word diversity when thinking of Selma. We have a variety of housing options for just about any socioeconomic status. When it comes to jobs, we pride ourselves on working with the business community to promote small and large businesses alike. We are fortunate to have incredible schools and friendly neighborhoods, beautiful parks, walking paths, biking trails, restaurants, and shopping for every taste. We work tirelessly to offer unmatched quality of life through maintaining and enhancing critical infrastructure, thoughtful planning, exemplary public safety, and a vibrant, business-friendly community.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Kind of funny, but did you know that the original Selma City Hall used to be located on IH-35 and is now occupied and operated as a Hooters Restaurant! As a local government economic developer, this has to be one of the more unique reuses of a previously government-owned building. Learn more at https://ci.selma.tx.us
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