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Business  Killeen Daily Herald | Sunday, February 23, BUy this photo at Jaime Villanueva | Herald Construction continues on U.S. Highway 190 as part of the Rosewood Overpass project Feb. 5 in Killeen. When complete, the project will help alleviate traffic created by the area’s growing population. Killeen experiences sustained growth By Natalie Stewart Killeen Daily Herald Killeen’s population surpassed 130,000 in 2012 — nearly double what it was a decade ago — solidifying its status as one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation. According to the latest census figures, the city’s population was estimated to be ap- proximately 134,654 in 2012 — an increase of 7,000 residents from 2010. The city’s growth and economy relies heavily on the main cantonment of Fort Hood, which is adjacent to Killeen. “We continue to experience sustained growth in Killeen,” City Manager Glenn Morrison said. “This growth can be direct- ly attributed to our proximity and relation- ship with Fort Hood and the opportunities it affords this region.” Fort Hood is the largest single-site em- ployer in the state with a capacity of 50,000 troops and approximately 9,000 civilian employees. Its troop capacity also makes it one of the largest military installations in the world. According to the Killeen comprehensive plan, the city’s primary planning guide, growth trends show the population reach- ing 150,000 by 2020 and 180,000 by 2032. With populations expected to flirt with the 200,000 mark following the next two de- cades, planning is essential. In order for the city to stay ahead of its projected growth, millions of dollars must be invested in in- frastructure and water treatment options. “Our biggest challenge is supporting the growth of our community Morrison said. ,” “It is also our biggest opportunity Infra- . structure is essential in keeping pace with development, but we also have to focus on quality of life amenities because they are what make people choose to call Killeen home.” Highway construction was abundant throughout Killeen over the past year with several projects wrapping up and others continuing to move forward. The city completed the installation of an overpass at the intersection of State High- way 201 and 195 this past summer. The U.S. 190 widening project to add one lane in each direction to U.S. 190 between Fort Hood’s main gate and W Young .S. Drive, which began in February 2013, continues to move along with its expected completion date of fall 2015 holding steady . The city also solidified plans to invest in a water treatment plant on Stillhouse Hol- low Reservoir to address the city’s growing water needs, which will likely continue to grow as the population increases. “We are confident in our ability to deliver the services our citizens deserve and desire,” Morrison said. “Our mission of dedicated service every day for everyone , guides our efforts and keeps our employees focused on maintaining and improving the quality of the services we provide.” | 254-501-7555 BUy this photo at Marianne Gish | Herald Twin Peaks Restaurant on Central Texas Expressway will open this year between Harker Heights and Killeen. Restaurants find opportunity in Central Texas By Mason W. Canales Killeen Daily Herald A multitude of new restau- rants opened during 2013 in Central Texas and more eater- ies are on the way . In late 2013, the state’s first Carolina Ale House opened at 3124 E. Central Texas Express- way in Killeen. The North Carolina-based company LM Restaurants, has , confidence the Killeen location will do well in the market since its Carolina Ale House restau- rants experienced success in other military towns. Carolina Ale House features 60 beers on tap and a 90-bottle selection. Sixty TVs, featuring all sports, are viewable from 34 outside and 62 inside table tops throughout the 10,000-square- foot space. Wings, flatbread pizza, burgers, sandwiches, soups, salads and steaks are all on the menu. “The biggest thing that will set us apart (from the others), is that we are a family friendly sports bar that makes every- thing from scratch,” said Lea Cooper, a marketing coordina- tor for Sullivan Management, a licensee of LM Restaurants. Sure Fire Taco Bar and Tor- tilla Grill opened in a former Whataburger building on Fort More to come Several more restaurants are yet to come. In Harker Heights, Twin Peaks is under construction at a site along U.S. Highway 190’s frontage road. The restaurant, which features a “hearty” American fare and boasts 32 draft beers poured at 29 degrees from a full-service bar, should open this spring. Killeen anticipates adding an BUy this photo at Mrianne Gish | Herald In-N-Out Burger and a Panera Carolina Ale House opened last year on Central Texas Expressway in Killeen. Bread. In-N-Out, a California-based Hood Street in Killeen. The eat- hole-in-the-wall diner serves up burger chain, projects opening ery features a menu of special- a variety of space-themed burg- before the end of the year as it ity tacos and nachos. ers and breakfast. demolishes then rebuilds on a Purefit Foods — a ready-to- A Greek restaurant, Acropo- site between Wendy’s and the go, just heat, health restaurant lis, opened in Harker Heights in Sprint store on Central Texas — opened on Veterans Memo- the Shops of Modoc shopping Expressway . rial Boulevard in Killeen along center. The eatery opened in According to the Greater with several other eateries. The February after taking over the Killeen Chamber of Commerce, business also expanded some former Cheeburger Cheeburger Panera Bread will be at 1723 operations to Heritage Park Fit- location. South W Young Drive in the .S. ness Center on Mountain Lion With the opening of Five Hills south corner of the Courtyard Circle in Harker Heights. shopping center in early 2013, by Marriott property . A second health-conscious Copperas Cove saw the expan- In Copperas Cove, several in- restaurant, So Natural Organic sion of several area franchises. dependently owned restaurants Restaurant & Market, opened Whataburger was the first to plan to enter the business or on Edwards Drive in Harker open a site in the new shop- expand. Among them are Five Heights. It features organically ping center. It was followed by Brothers BBQ, looking to open grown and prepared ingredi- a Wingstop, Panda Express and in March in the Frontier Plaza. ents on its menu. Chick-fil-A. C & H Hawaiian Grill is Galaxy B&B opened in a Freddy’s and McDonald’s also expanding its operations to small corner of a strip center expanded their locations with the city; and Yaghi’s New York on Veterans Memorial Boule- more stores opening in Killeen Style Pizzeria will open in the vard in Harker Heights. The and Harker Heights. Five Hills shopping center.