Kamerlander praises Lockhart’s ‘secret sauce’


By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

Mike Kamerlander said the Greater San Marcos Partnership is not pitching Lockhart as home to 15,000 residents, rather there are about 2 million people available to its workforce within a short drive.

“That changes who we can try and recruit to come to this area,” Kamerlander said during the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce luncheon last week. “That’s why some of our targets are what they are. They can live here on the salary. That’s what we’re pitching to people, what’s possible here.”

Kamerlander spent the last four years as the Economic Development Director for Lockhart and is the current CEO of the Greater San Marcos Partnership.

He noted there were 285,000-plus in the Hays and Caldwell County area, and that Hays County is the fastest growing county with its population in the country.

“There are about 5 million people between the Austin and San Antonio corridor,” Kamerlander said, “about 2.5 million people within 45 miles, 220,000 people within 15 miles (of Lockhart). The really interesting one here is, between 2021-2026, the highest percentage growth is closest to us, within 15 miles. You’re probably going to see that continuation within the next decade.”

Kamerlander said progress was off the ground and running, thanking the City of Lockhart and Caldwell County, among others, for its leadership.

“We are working on our five-year strategy,” Kamerlander said. “We work for Caldwell County and for Lockhart. The counties and school districts are incredibly important to what we do, especially in places like Caldwell County where there is so much unincorporated land. We have a great superintendent (Mark Estrada) and a great school board here in Lockhart. They are really onboard with economic development.”

Notable additions to Lockhart have been the addition of the Ziegenfelder Company, a manufacturer of frozen treats, and RealCold, a refrigerated warehouse.

“People love coming here,” Kamerlander said. “We’ve had 16 percent growth in the last decade. Growth is picking up in San Marcos and Kyle as it moves our way.

“The unemployment rate in Caldwell County is 3.5 percent, less than Texas overall, slightly better than the United States. Cost of Living is 11.9 percent, lower than the U.S. Average wages in Caldwell County increased 11 percent over the last year.

“Keep doing what you’re doing because that is kind of the secret sauce to Lockhart. Caldwell County is killing it.”

Kamerlander said he was particularly “stoked” about McCoy’s Building Supply opening a Lockhart location, citing it will have a profound effect on the city and its building supply needs.

Finally, there is still a rare mega-site available off FM 2720 in the Jolly Road area.

“There are people looking at it, hopefully sooner than later,” Kamerlander said. “I think it is a ‘when’ and not ‘if’ scenario. A site of that size and that infrastructure is one of only two in the entire state of Texas that we’re aware of, and probably a top 10 site in America for something of that size. That size is rare.”


Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.