Burbs Get Bullish on Business

Two local economic development organizations bring in dough and win awards.

Recently, both Richardson and Frisco were recognized for efforts leading to outstanding economic improvement. From profitable initiatives to tax base expansion, these communities have extended open arms to businesses and won more than mere trophies. Herewith, a closer look:

 

Richardson Economic
Development Partnership

Frisco Economic
Development Corporation

HISTORY

 The city of Richardson and its chamber of commerce established the partnership in 1984. The suburb’s strongpoint is the Telecom Corridor, an 11-square-mile area that about 600 high-tech firms call home.  The Frisco City Council established Frisco’s business development agency in 1991.

ACCOLADES

The International Economic Development Council gave the Richardson Partnership the Technology-led Economic Development Award (September 19). The Texas Economic Development Corporation awarded the Frisco Corporation the Community of the Year Award for economic development (September 28).

A FEW REASONS
WHY THEY WON

The Richardson chamber of commercce founded the Metroplex Technology Business Council, the largest technology trade organization in Texas, which lobbied for the creation of the Emerging Technology Fund, a $200 million state fund which provides seed capital to start-ups and fosters university/private business partnerships to drive tech research and development. The Richardson Partnership also helped create StarTech Early Ventures, a seed capital firm, in 1997. The Texas Economic Development Corporation recognized four major projects in Frisco: T-Mobile USA Technololgy Campus, DebtXS, Technisource Inc., and the National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc. These four projects add 1,630 jobs and occupy more than 300,000 square feet of newly created office space. The Texas Enterprise Fund granted $2.15 million for the T-Mobile project alone, after Frisco beat out three states for it.

OFFICE SPACE 

The Bad News: 85 percent of land in Richardson is already built up. The Good News: There are still 1,500 acres of land available along the George Bush Turnpike, and developers are itching to add more office space. The Bad News: Demand is greater than supply at the moment. The Good News: Only 46.2 percent of Frisco’s land is built up. City officials expect the rapid growth to continue for another 10-15 years before any slowing begins. 

UP AND COMING 

 A recent $30 million nanoelectronics research initiative, funded by the Emerging Tech Fund as well as private donations and the UT System, aims to drive research excellence and attract top research talent to UT Dallas. Frisco recently purchased more than 300 acres and announced plans to create Grand Park, bigger than New York’s Central Park, offering several recreational amenities and sure to aid city growth. 

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