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Dayton is open for business

New lagoon development highlights upcoming projects 

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    A rendering of the swim-up bar at the new Angel Lagoon, which is set to open sometime next year or early 2025.
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    Construction is underway on the new Angel Lagoon, which is part of a 40-acre entertainment complex off Texas 146 and River Ranch Boulevard.
  • Article Image Alt Text
    The new Starbucks location is coming along and is expected to open this month.

DAYTON – There is no doubt that Liberty County's largest city is hustling and bustling with a bevy of new businesses and neighborhoods, bringing growth to the community. 

"We are open for business," said City Manager Kimberly Judge. 

Perhaps the most anticipated new business development is the Angel Lagoon, located on the south end of town adjacent to the new River Ranch subdivision. The development is part of a 40-acre mixed-used entertainment district. 

Work is already underway digging the lagoon. Once completed, it will add much-needed entertainment and activities for the entire community. 

"They have got a big old hole out there, but they are getting ready," said Judge.  

The lagoon will include several themed beaches, including a family beach, an adult beach, a VIP beach and an entertainment beach.  According to their website, the facility will consist of a palapa, performance lawn, stage, food truck plaza, synthetic turf celebration lawn, watersports facility, boat docks, beach volleyball courts, swim-up bar, hammock lawn, and VIP cabanas.  

In the last year or so, there have been several new businesses and eateries, and that trend continues to bring excitement, with a new Starbucks nearing its opening day, but there is plenty more to come.  

Now comes word that a new Smoothie King will open in the old Hartz Chicken location off US 90. Hartz, of course, opened a brand new location just down the road earlier this year. 

Now all of you fried chicken fans might be happy to hear that Popeyes is also coming to town and will be located adjacent to the Starbucks at US 90 and Texas 146. 

More work continues on the Gulf inland Development, where the city hopes to see industrial growth in hopes of shoring up the tax base for the future. 

"One of the great things is that we have a lot of inquiries about Gulf Inland," said Judge. 

Judge said talks continue with several companies, and there are currently three letters of intent from businesses. 

Several neighborhoods are working with the city, including a much-anticipated project from D.R. Horton on FM 1960. That project is working to get infrastructure in place. 

Another neighborhood in the same area hopes to capitalize off that expanded infrastructure and begin work soon. 

Several existing subdivisions on Brown Road and Colbert Street continue to see homes built. 

The Villages of Westpointe's first phases have also kicked into full gear, but Judge was ecstatic to note they would add a much-needed dog park to the community. That was a goal already by the city at one of the existing parks, but the developer believes it fits their vision and hopes to start working on that project soon. 

Council recently approved a new manufactured housing development offering affordable housing opportunities and amenities to that community off Texas 321 and Old Cleveland Highway. 

According to Judge, there are preliminary talks for what could be an exciting development in town. 

"We're working with a team to a multiuse complex in town with retail, a sports arena, and housing," said Judge. 

Judge described the sports arena as a multisport complex, comparable to a mini–NRG Stadium. Regarding specifics or location, that remains under wraps as many developers interested in the community tend to operate under code names during talks. 

"I wish I had more to tell you," said Judge. 

Recently city council approved a purchase by the Dayton Economic Development Corporation for storage buildings on the corners of Church and Cook Streets. That purchase is one the city hopes can become a game changer in developing the city. 

"We are trying to find the right business to come downtown where we purchased the storage buildings. Hopes are to find a developer that would create retail on the street level, with upper-level housing units. 

"We're going to sell that property only to the right person," said Judge. 

She also spoke of the city's hopes to sell the Adams Trucking facility on US 90 and the adjacent property owned by DEDC in the same area. 

"We are trying to work on a marketing strategy to get those sold. It was never the goal to hold on to them," she said. 

The sale of those properties would go a long way for a city looking to improve and expand infrastructure as growth continues to pour into town.  

The city recently approved certificates of obligation in the amount of $8 million. Most of those funds are earmarked for a new water well, the city's third. 

"We really have to find ways to make sure we have the right capacity for everything that is coming," said Judge. 

She also hopes to see the new Sleep Inn open soon, saying interior work was underway. There are also new retail spaces under construction on FM 1960 and a muffler shop and beauty salon opening on Texas 321. 

There is no doubt that Dayton is open for business and much more to come.