Number of homes, retailers growing

Slowly but surely, Portales is on its way to having more family housing, according to the December report for building permits.

“We’re actually up in every category this year except roofing,” City Planning Director Sammy Standefer said. “This year, we’re up on single family dwellings slightly.”

Standefer said prior to 2008, 25 permits annually for new single family dwelling permits was considered high, but since the numbers peaked in 2010 to 57, the 30s are average for annually permit numbers.

He said the city is halfway through its fiscal year and is already at 23 new single family dwelling permits for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

“I’d say since 2008, we’ve been doubling output,” Standefer said. “I believe we have many developers who are continuously building to meet those (housing) needs.”

Jody Bailey, general manager of Homespot in Portales, said his company chose to focus on housing in Portales rather than other surrounding communities, because they saw the need for it and they liked what they saw in the community.

“We felt like it was important to have a competitive housing area that could compare to Clovis,” Bailey said.

Bailey said his company is trying to create affordable housing for Portales and military families by allowing monthly mortgage payments comparable to monthly prices for rentals.

“That was our answer to people who wanted affordable housing in Portales,” he said. “We’re hoping people will see the value in it.”

Although Portales is working its way to more housing, according to the 2011 business license numbers, the city is not much closer to bringing in more entertainment venues.

“We see the biggest influx of retail and construction,” Standefer said of annual business licenses.

According to Community Development Secretary Donna Rutherford and Standefer, there is one entertainment business coming to Portales soon.

A video game store called Game Zombie will open on Second Street on Feb. 15, according to owner Samantha Anderson, who helped sell video games at her mother-in-law’s store, Echo Chamber, which will be closing the end of January.

Echo Chamber was a variety store, which offered used video games.

“My mother-in-law opened the Echo Chamber and we realized from there that people really want games that aren’t in Portales,” Anderson said. “We started with about 200 games and in the process of trading, we ended up with 1,000 games.”

Anderson said she and her husband decided to focus strictly on gaming after realizing a gaming store was in such high demand.

Hibbett Sports will also be joining the Portales business ranks in the spring.