Crestview named among University of Florida’s top 100 growing cities

Published: Friday, December 14, 2012 at 10:41 AM.

CRESTVIEW — An influx of neighbors arriving with military reassignments from North Carolina, Texas and Alaska has boosted the local population and propelled the city into the University of Florida’s top 100 growing cities in the state.

Though Crestview barely made it to the top 100 in 2010, when it ranked 100th, UF’s newly issued December report covering 2012 found the city had nudged its way up to 97th place. The city was ranked 109th in 2000.

The university’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research, using U.S. government census reports, determined that Crestview has 22,742 residents — up from 2010’s 20,978 and a 42 percent leap from 2000’s 14,766 residents.

Mayor David Cadle primarily attributed the recent growth spurt to the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) cantonment south of Crestview, which brought nearly 6,000 soldiers, support staff and their families to the area.

As the city diversifies its businesses, particularly at Bob Sikes Airport and through the city’s Enterprise Zone, more growth can be expected, Cadle said. This will translate into more and better job opportunities for residents, and an increased tax base for the community, he said.

“I’m very excited about the continued growth of Crestview and I think we’re going to see more of that to come as we expand our industrial base,” Cadle said.

The city’s growth far outpaced that of neighboring communities on the UF list. The nearest was Pensacola, which at 51 on the list saw a 7.7 percent population decline since 2000 and a .2 percent growth since 2010 to 52,022 residents.

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