TAYLOR, Texas - The holiday spirit on Main Street in Taylor can clearly be seen, but along the storefronts, the big news Tuesday was Samsung not Santa is coming to town.
At the old barbershop, clippers were not the only things buzzing and at popular barbecue joints some wondered if Taylor bit off a little too much to chew on.
"A lot people that woke up this morning are probably like wow this is really happening," said real estate broker Brad Robbins.
Robbins has known for some time that farmland on the southwest part of town is where the new Samsung plant will be built. It's a project, Robbins says, many of the farm families who sold out knew was coming and dreaded.
"There’s definitely a sense of loss you can feel it, you can see it, the emotions are real," said Robbins.
Taylor was already in the middle of a economic rebound when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Despite that slowdown, the town is quickly approaching a population of 20,000. Alice Kasper is excited about the transformation underway.
"We are getting new little shops almost every week so it’s picking up a whole lot," Kasper.
Historically Taylor has embraced the simple front porch lifestyle, resisting the urge to go from farm town to Boomtown. Long time residents still remember how decades ago city leaders prevented I-35 from being built through here.
"In the community they said, no we don’t want that road over here, put it over on the west of Williamson County, where there is nothing but goats and cactus over there, and don’t mess up our downtown, and that was the biggest mistake," said Harlan Hayes .
Hates sold his pharmacy 15 years ago. The building recently underwent a big renovation and he believes the same will happen to Taylor.
"The people tried their best to keep this town isolated, as can be, from the civilized world out here, but it was just a matter of time," said Hays.
Managing the coming growth is the big fear. Some neighborhoods still flood during rain storms and infrastructure improvements are far from complete. Sheryl Wilkins, who grew up in Taylor, knows the growing pains will be tough.
"Just the preparation the planning I know they have worked on this for a long time it’s going to come really fast and I just worry we’re not prepared for utilities, homes; there’s not a lot that’s already here now," said Wilkins.
Growth delayed decades ago is now just down the road.