Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - After recent road extensions from downtown to Interstate 20, Tall City officials are now working to bring more development, and in so doing jobs and money, to the south side of Midland.

"I can't count the number of cars that have passed through here just from my standing here,"  District 2 Midland City Council Member, Vicky Hailey, said.

The new N. Garfield extension to I-20 looks like a popular road traveled by Midlanders and beyond.

It was designed to allow emergency vehicles a more direct route to the hospital for victims of crashes on the Interstate and has the Midland County Horseshoe right there.

But on the other side is empty land, land that the Midland City Council, the Midland Development Corporation and TXDOT want to open up for business.

"Since we do have the Horseshoe here, it would kind of be a no-brainer not to want to develop this area," Hailey said. "As people are driving by, we can capture some of their revenue along I-20."

They want to construct infrastructure that would invite businesses and other developers to put up shop in the area, inviting more jobs and revenue for the Tall City.

Otherwise potential customers passing by see only an empty road.

"Millions of dollars ride down I-20 and if we don't give them a reason to want to take an exit and come into town, then it'll just ride on to the next town," Hailey said.

The Midland Development Corporation and TXDOT are investing the funds in the project.

Although he was unable to be interviewed, MDC President Mike Hatley told NewsWest 9 over the phone, that their absorption study of the area is complete.

That's around three weeks of studying what sites could be ripe for businesses by judging land, access and the surrounding area.

The next step will be developers approaching with their offer to build, and it goes from there.

Tall City officials are hoping that where it does go will lead to more business coming in, turning the open land into more opportunities for West Texans.

"I see it as shops and stores and restaurants," Hailey said. "The possibilities are endless but somebody's gotta make a difference."

As far as how many sites in that land can be developed and other specifics, NewsWest 9 wasn't able to get that information. NewsWest 9 requested a copy of the study but never received it.