Northloop Plaza

Jaggers, a new fast-casual restaurant concept from Texas Roadhouse, is expected to open in the Northloop Plaza in Longview by the end of this year.

Longview’s Planning and Zoning Commission has given initial approval to a zoning change allowing a new restaurant with a drive-thru to locate in Northloop Plaza, at Judson Road and West Loop 281.

Jaggers, a new fast-casual restaurant concept from Texas Roadhouse, announced it would locate in Longview earlier this year. Information presented to the commission showed the restaurant would be located in what is now part of the shopping center’s parking lot, south of Taco Bell and a strip center next to it off Judson Road.

“This area was annexed into the city in 1970 and later designated as a planned development zoning for general retail uses,” said information presented to the commission. “As the tract develops with additional buildings, the developer must come back to the planning and zoning commission and city council for final site plan approval.”

The zoning change, to planned development for a restaurant with a drive-thru for less than an acre at 2541 Judson Road, must now be considered by the Longview City Council.

Mallard Cove proceeding

Work is moving to the next phase of development for Mallard Cove, about 1½ miles east of Loop 281 on Country Club Road.

Mallard Cove is Taj Gala’s first move into development. He works full-time in the oil and gas industry and is also a Realtor.

The housing subdivision consists of 55 total lots, with work on the first phase with 22 lots beginning in fall of 2020.

“We were going to start at the beginning of the year in of 2020,” Gala said, but put everything on hold when COVID-19 hit. Later, he said that when he saw how the economy was doing, he decided to go ahead and start.

“It didn’t seem to affect East Texas as much as it did everywhere else, at least with real estate,” Gala said.

All the lots in Phase I have been sold, Gala said, with construction on one house complete and about 10 others under construction. Lots are sold to individuals who bring in their own builder or to builders.

“We’re actually in the middle of developing phase II,” Gala said.

Mallard Cove includes a pond at the back of the property that will one day be part of a 21/2 acre common area for the subdivision. Homes must be at least 2,200 square feet heated-and-cooled space with other building requirements as well. The gated community also has a homeowners association.

Unemployment steady

The national, state and East Texas unemployment rates remained about a point lower in October compared with a year ago, but showed little change month to month.

“We’ve reached record employment highs for 12 consecutive months here in Texas, creating more opportunities across the state,” said Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Bryan Daniel in a prepared statement.

The workforce commission reported that Texas added 49,500 nonfarm jobs in October and 694,200 positions since October 2021, and the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 4 percent in October. Nationally, the unemployment rate was 3.4%.

In the Longview area, the October non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.2%, compared with 4.3% in September and 5.4% in October 2021. In the Tyler area, the October non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.5%, the same as September, and 4.4% a year ago.

New appliance store

Roberto Hernandes and a business partner have opened Tyler Appliance Source at 901 Pine Tree Road, where another appliance store previously was located.

Hernandes said the store sells new, factory return appliances by LG and Samsung, including refrigerators and electric and gas stoves.

Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.

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— Business Beat appears Wednesday. If you have items for the column, email to; mail to Business Section, Longview News-Journal, P.O. box 1792, Longview, TX 75606; or call (903) 237-7744.

Jo Lee Ferguson wishes she kept her maiden name - Hammer - because it was perfect for a reporter. She’s a local girl who loves writing about her hometown. She and LNJ Managing Editor Randy Ferguson have two children and a crazy husky.