For the second time this year, the Hinesville area was listed as an area of economic growth.
Recently, The Fiscal Times — a digital news, opinion and media service that reports on economic issues, according to its website — placed Hinesville on its list of “The Top 10 Cities People are Moving to in 2012.”
According to the list, which cited the cities that grew the fastest in a 15-month period from April 2010 to July 2011, Hinesville’s population grew 3.4 percent. Hinesville ranked third on the list, only surpassed by Kennewick-Pasco-Richland in Washington and Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos in Texas.
That news came not long after data showing a strong regional job market. In February, the Hinesville-Fort Stewart metropolitan area ranked fourth of 372 U.S. metro area in employment-growth rates since November 2007, according to a release from the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce.
Two additions to the Hinesville Square Shopping Center reflect that growth.
Led by The Hinesville Group — a local development organization whose members are Clay Sikes, Billy Jones and Noel Osteen operating as Osteen Holdings LLC — the shopping center has undergone a revitalization with the addition of the recently completed Medical Evaluation Center, a facility that utilizes 14,000 square feet to create, according to Sikes, “a clinic that will provide much-needed services to the veterans of our community who have given so much to the defense of our country.” Sikes added that the center will employ 75-100 civilian and military personnel.
Next on the slate for the Hinesville Square Shopping Center is a 7,000-square-foot space to be operated by Petsense Pet Center, a national specialty pet-supply retailer. The facility is expected to open Nov. 1, according to The Hinesville Group. It is unknown how many jobs Petsense will create.
“We are extremely pleased that our efforts have yielded new jobs in the community, especially during tough economic times,” Sikes said.