HOBBY AREA MANAGEMENT DISTRICT - "This part of town has no real identity," said George M. Yeiter, who holds Position No. 3 on the district's board of directors.

New management district aims to forge 'real identity' for Hobby area By DOUGLAS BRITT

If the newly created Hobby Area Management District joins forces with civic organizations like the Rotary Club of Gulfway-Hobby Airport and the Greater Hobby Area Chamber of Commerce, the area stands to gain not only capital improvements, but a sense of community, a district board member said at the Wednesday, Oct. 3, chamber luncheon.

"This part of town has no real identity," said George M. Yeiter, who holds Position No. 3 on the district's board of directors.

"We have nobody, really, that has the ability to speak to City Hall, representing us as a group. We don't have a sense of community here."

Yeiter, a former president of the Galleria Chamber of Commerce, said the Uptown Houston District's success at working with the Galleria chamber and Rotary Club to transform the Uptown area could be a model for Hobby counterparts to follow.

"Look at what they've done," he said, pointing to a slide of an immaculate Galleria-area streetscape.

"Don't you go to the Galleria and say, 'Wow, this is a nice place; I like it; I want to live here; I want to work here; I want to do business here?'"

The Hobby district wants to beautify thoroughfares such as Broadway and Telephone Road to similar effect, he said.

Once the Hobby district completes its petition process, holds public hearings and is able to begin assessing commercial properties, it is expected to bring in $1,092,0071 in annual revenue that can be used for public safety, business development, transportation planning, visual improvement and cultural promotion in the area.

But the impact of that money can be multiplied by "leveraging that million dollars," said Yeiter, noting that the Uptown Houston District collects about $13 million in annual assessments but attracts more than triple that amount in grants from city, county state and federal governments.

"Now, we're dumb if we don't do this, if you ask me," he said. "We're just dumb."

Yeiter asked chamber members to approach commercial property owners with copies of the district's petition for services and improvements.

Twenty-five owners must sign the petition, "or we're out of business,"

he said.

Yeiter said the district and civic groups can also bolster the area's identity by creating an annual community event with a small-town to bring residents and businesses together.

He cited Alvin's Annual Frontier Days Celebration and the North Shore Rotary Club's Annual Catfish Fry and Crawfish Boil as examples of events that foster a sense of community while raising thousands of dollars for charitable causes or infrastructural improvements.

What's next?

The Greater Hobby Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its next luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 7 at the Hilton Houston Hobby Airport, 8181 Airport Blvd.

To RSVP: Contact chamber board member Sue DeHaven at 713-970-6205

To learn more about the chamber, visit

www.hobbyareachamber.com .