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State of DFW

A Regional Economic Development Update
By D Partner Studio |
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Downtown from the Trinity River basin.

As Dallas continues to attract more businesses and people, surrounding cities are also benefitting from its growth. CEOs and their employees who crave a small-town feel, as well as businesses looking for tax advantages and other perks, are quickly claiming space in Dallas and its suburbs. Here, local economic development experts reveal why their cities are in demand for corporate and residential development.

Town of Addison

Town of Addison Economic Development & Tourism Department

EDC Contact: Orlando Campos | 972.450.7034
Population: 16,263
County: Dallas
Major Businesses: Mary Kay Cosmetics, Hitachi Consulting, Concentra, Bottle Rocket Studios, Wingstop, Cinepolis USA, Supreme Lending, Occidental Chemicals, Projekt202, ExponentHR, Systemware, Gehan Homes

How has Addison’s EDC sustained interest as an attractive option for companies seeking new alternatives and locations, given the challenges of the past few years on the economy and daily work life?  
In a post-pandemic environment, companies are searching for a location that can promote a live/work balanced environment. Addison is a community that focuses not only on promoting an environment that is business friendly, but also creating a community that has quality greenspaces and is filled with amenities, such as diverse quality restaurants and entertainment venues. Mixed-use developments, such as Addison Circle Park and Vitruvian Park, promote walkability with lush greenspaces and wide sidewalks and offer quality neighborhood services all within a 4.4-square-mile area. Our world-class special events, such as Taste Addison, Kaboom Town, and Oktoberfest, add to the cultural appeal of the community. It is often said that there is always something to do in Addison.

How does your city differentiate itself from others in the region? 
Addison is an urban oasis that has the look and feel of a large city but maintains a relatively small population. Within our 4.4-square-mile area exists more than 200 restaurants, 20 hotels, over 1,800 businesses, and one of the state’s busiest general aviation airports with more than 700 private planes based here. Our community offers businesses all the ancillary support services to be successful in an aesthetically pleasing environment that is strategically located in the growing North Texas region. Because of Addison’s location, businesses can tap into a higher-quality labor force.

What kind of new developments are in the pipeline?
Addison currently has more than $1.2 billion worth of new developments in the pipeline that have been approved and will soon break ground in the community. These projects include new residential, office, and corporate hangar developments. One such project is the Addison Circle Transit Oriented development, which is valued at close to half-billion dollars. This new development will include two luxury multi-family projects, two Class A office buildings, and an entertainment venue. Residents and businesses located at Addison Circle will be able to take advantage of the new DART Silver Line in 2024 which will connect Addison to DFW Airport, UT Dallas, and downtown Plano. This new development will also be located across the street from the 12-acre Addison Circle Park.

Anna

City of Anna Economic Development Corporation

EDC Contact: Joey Grisham | 214.831.5394
Population: 21,014
County: Collin
Major Businesses: Branco Manufacturing, Omnimax USA

What type of new-build activity are homebuilders experiencing, and what’s next for the sector in the coming months?
Anna’s pro-density approach is attracting a range of builders, who are mixing single-family homes with affordable multi-family, townhome, and build-for-rent offerings to ensure Anna’s labor force can live and work in the city. Megatel’s 2.3-acre crystal lagoon project, AnaCapri Laguna Azure, will bring 2,000 single-family homes and 600 multi-family units to Anna. Bloomfield Homes’ Crystal Park mixed-use development along U.S. Highway 75 will add single-family homes, a professional campus, multi-family, and commercial space. We estimate the development of over 14,000 new single-family households and more than 2,500 multi-family units in Anna’s trade area during the next five years.

How has the Dallas-Fort Worth region’s market growth impacted development and offerings in Anna over the past three years?
Our prime location in northern Collin County along U.S. Highway 75 offers a home where businesses can flourish, and neighbors can enjoy an exceptional quality of life. In the past three years, we added 70-plus new businesses and finalized agreements for commercial and residential projects representing investments of more than $3 billion. Much of this growth stems from projects landing in Collin County and Sherman, which provide new opportunities for Anna. Along with national retailers and restaurants, we have available industrial land with infrastructure on the Collin County Outer Loop, which includes a planned extension to connect Anna to the Dallas North Tollway, State Highway 5, and State Highway 121. The Anna 2050 Downtown Master Plan focuses on downtown revitalization and includes our new 37,000-square-foot municipal complex, home to our city hall, and police and fire stations.

How does Anna differentiate itself from others in the region?
When you visit Anna, you’ll find a community that starts with ‘yes,’ offering a strategic plan focused on economic development and a permitting process that averages two days. With 61 square miles of land and a premier location in northern Collin County, Anna provides its neighbors with a vibrant, thriving community and offers businesses an opportunity for expansion or a place to call home.

The Colony

Economic Development Corporation

EDC Contact: Keri Samford, AICP | Executive Director of Development | 972.624.3127
Population: 44,000
County: Denton
Major Businesses: Nebraska Furniture Mart, Rave Restaurant Group, Sanyo Energy U.S.A. Corp., Scheels All Sports, Quest Resource Management Group

How has The Colony sustained interest as an attractive option for companies seeking new alternatives and locations, given the challenges of the past few years on the economy and daily work life?  
When it comes to the factors companies evaluate for expansion or relocation, The Colony continues to rank high in all areas including low taxes, an educated workforce, diverse housing choices, a convenient and central location within Dallas-Fort Worth, excellent schools, and a unique quality of life that encompasses both exciting amenities for shopping, dining, and entertainment as well as the natural assets of Lewisville Lake and a parks and trails system that offers connectivity throughout the city and beyond.

How does The Colony differentiate itself from others in the region?
The Colony is a Texas Destination with unique, first-to-market concepts in the retail, restaurant, and entertainment sectors, including the 433-acre Grandscape development, recently named the “Most Innovative Development in the World” at the Global RLI Awards held in London. Grandscape topped four other properties, all located in Asia, to receive this global distinction! The opening of the Grandscape Lifestyle Center in 2020 and Grandscape Live in 2021 further confirms our distinction as a Texas Destination, not only for commercial development but new residents and visitors. Grandscape Live offers 345 luxury apartments surrounded by the Grandscape amenities. Other residential communities in The Colony, like Austin Ranch, ensure that a fabulous lifestyle is literally steps from your front door. And thanks to our technology infrastructure, residents don’t have to choose between living in a cool place or living near their workplace.

What product and/or development does The Colony have coming online that fills a need in the market today?
The Colony continues to work together as a community to offer diversity and strike the balance between an enviable lifestyle and an environment that fosters business success. We currently have the Live Oak Logistics Park underway, which will offer more than 1 million square feet of industrial space with incoming phases to meet the high demand in this market segment. We also continue to have strong interest for entertainment, retail/restaurant, and high-end flex office space. On the flip side, a great example includes a new trail that connects The Cascades development to Grandscape. The trail runs under State Highway 121 along the railroad Right of Way. This is a unique design not replicated in many other cities and is a part of a Trail Master Plan that connects the entire city and answers today’s desire for a community that is bikeable and pedestrian friendly. When a business fits our culture, and brings value to the community in terms of quality of life, employment opportunities, and a return on investment, we can be very creative and aggressive in terms of incentives
and assistance.

Dallas

Office of Economic Development

EDC Contact: Robin Bentley | 214.670.1685
Population: 1,288,457
County: Dallas
Major Businesses: AT&T, Energy Transfer, CBRE Group, Tenet Healthcare, Texas Instruments, Jacobs Engineering Group, HollyFrontier, Southwest Airlines, Builders FirstSource, EnLink Midstream, Primoris Services, Comerica, Brinker International, Atmos Energy, AMN Healthcare Services, Match Group, Hilltop Holdings, Copart, Trinity Industries, Arcosa, Valhi

How has Dallas sustained interest as an attractive option for companies seeking new alternatives and locations, given the challenges of the past few years on the economy and daily work life?  
Dallas has long been focused on sustainability and livability through smart city innovation, public transportation, increasing mixed-use development, and cultural and recreational opportunities, including our great parks system. As businesses have changed their work models, maintaining Dallas as a great place to live and work ensures we have the talent for existing and future companies. We have seen this approach pay off over the past year with three major corporate expansion projects, including CBRE, Goldman Sachs, and Revantage—all companies that want to be in Dallas for the urban experience.

How does Dallas differentiate itself from others in the region? 
Dallas is the only urban choice in North Texas—the place where density, diversity, and innovation intersect. Dallas has 340 square miles of new and historic neighborhoods; 150 million square feet of office space; 1.29 million residents; a comprehensive transportation network, including five interstates, three airports and DART; world-class arts, museums and parks, and a diverse economy. During the past fiscal year, the City of Dallas has committed almost $200 million for incentives, which leveraged commitments for $1.4 billion in new capital investment and will lead to the creation or retention of 8,184 jobs.

What financial, tax incentives, or other programs have been created to help Dallas attract businesses?  
Dallas has a variety of tools and incentive programs, including tax increment financing districts, Property Assessment Clean Energy financing, New Markets Tax Credits, Foreign Trade Zones, tax abatements, Chapter 380 grants and loans, general obligation bond program, freeport tax exemption, and Opportunity Zones. We are excited to be unveiling a new economic development incentive policy later this year to make our tools more applicable to more Dallas projects, which we anticipate will spur additional development in Southern Dallas and other areas that historically have experienced under-investment. Finally, the City of Dallas recently created a new Dallas Economic Development Corporation, which will also help us market and attract businesses to Dallas.

In a post-pandemic environment, how is Dallas reimagining where residents live, work, and play and evolving in an unpredictable climate?
The pandemic has showed us how vital it is to have usable, walkable outdoor spaces. Dallas has been focused on enhancing our downtown parks for more than 20 years, and we are thrilled that we have over 20 acres of beautiful green space, including Klyde Warren, Belo Gardens, Main Street Garden Park, and our most recent addition, Carpenter Park which opened earlier in 2022. Providing outdoor community meeting spaces, public access, and outdoor dining have really enhanced our downtown areas as people returned to in-person activities. Many of our local and neighborhood retail and hospitality businesses have increased their outdoor seating and updated technology with curbside and to-go becoming much more common. Maintaining these neighborhood businesses are vital to keeping our community strong and livable.

Farmers Branch

City of Farmers Branch

EDC Contact: Allison Cook, Director of Economic Development | 972.919.2507
Population: 48,000
County: Dallas
Major Businesses: Tenet Healthcare, Interstate Batteries, Trinity Industries, Freeman Companies, TD Industries, Scout & Cellar

What type of new-build activity are homebuilders experiencing, and what’s next for the sector in the coming months?
Considering most of Farmers Branch is completely built out with homes over 50 years old, the tear and rebuild activity remains strong in our central area. The Demo Rebuild Program provides a cash grant and property tax rebate for new construction.

What are the five most important needs of businesses when choosing a site location, especially now? 
First, the specific real estate always has to work for the business. Each business has varying needs, ranging from desire to lease, or own, proximity to certain highways, proximity to existing employees’ homes, local retail amenities, and low response time for police. Depending upon the business, they will each answer the question differently based on their needs. But, the available real estate space is the most important and the other needs follow.

How has the Dallas-Fort Worth region’s market growth impacted development and offerings in Farmers Branch over the past three years? 
The region’s market growth has increased the pattern of redevelopment in Farmers Branch. As a tier two city, we have the location and real estate needed in a growth market. As tier three cities continue to develop large neighborhoods, employers closer to downtown or the Dallas North Tollway corridor continue to look for favorable commute times, giving Farmers Branch an advantage.

What financial, tax incentives, or other programs have been created to help Farmers Branch attract businesses?  
We have a custom approach to incentive requests. Historically, we have approved tax rebates and cash grants for large employers that prove a return on investment for the tax payers. For companies that also have an inventory tax, we approved the Freeport Exemption years ago, allowing a large reduction on business personal property tax.

How is the health of the commercial real estate sector in Farmers Branch post COVID-19?
The Class A office sector has strong occupancy rates per Costar. Our tollway corridor has seen reinvestment in amenity space and almost full occupancy such as International Plaza I,II and III. The industrial sector maintains over 90% occupancy and projections show five-year occupancy rates stabilizing. For our flex spaces primarily on the east side of town, we have seen retrofit of older industrial buildings for new creative uses.

Fort Worth

Fort Worth Economic Development

Contact: Robert Sturns
Population: 958,692
County: Tarrant
Major Businesses: Alcon, American Airlines, Ben E. Keith, BNSF, Bell Flight, Eosera, Linear Labs, Lockheed Martin, SmartAction, TimelyMD

How does Fort Worth differentiate itself from others in the region?
Despite being one of the fastest-growing large cities in the country, Fort Worth still prides itself on being a community where relationships are a priority and collaboration is the key to success. Its strengths lie in its diversity—not only of people and neighborhoods, but of its overall economy. Its key industries work together to support each other, driving further growth, success, and innovation.

Which industries are demonstrating the most interest in your area today?
Fort Worth continues to see a lot of interest from businesses in the city’s established industries, including aerospace/defense and advanced manufacturing. Companies, like MP Materials and Linear Labs, are leading the charge in technology-driven “Energy 2.0” applications. There are also exciting opportunities developing in several of Fort Worth’s newer emerging industries, like mobility innovation, biotech, and life sciences.

What type of opportunities exist for businesses looking to relocate or expand into Fort Worth?
Fort Worth’s Mobility Innovation Zone (MIZ) in the AllianceTexas corridor has been the staging ground for innovations in last-mile delivery through TuSimple’s autonomous trucking and Wing’s drone delivery service. The city’s growing Medical District offers opportunities for collaboration and will serve as the site of TCU’s new Burnett School of Medicine. Downtown Fort Worth is also evolving to incorporate Texas A&M Law School’s expanding footprint and other development opportunities coming online in the Panther Island area.

What financial, tax incentives, or other programs have been created to help Fort Worth attract businesses?
Fort Worth has several tools to attract businesses, including Chapter 380 grants and tax abatements, opportunity zones, foreign trade zones, property assessment clean energy financing, neighborhood empowerment zones, and enterprise zones. Fort Worth also utilizes tax increment finance districts and public improvement districts, and offers local tax credits for ongoing research and development projects that take place within the city. Fort Worth has also established an economic development fund to close the competitive gap with nearby 4A and 4B communities. In fact, Fort Worth’s economic development incentives have leveraged a total of $5.5 billion in private investment, resulting in almost 22,000 jobs.

Garland

Valoris Healthpark Garland

ECD Contact: Ayako Schuster | 972.205.3800
Population: 242,035
County: Dallas

Located in the heart of Garland, Texas, Valoris Healthpark Garland is a state-of-the-art Medical District on the way to becoming a premier medical destination in North Texas. Located next to the Garland VA Medical Center, Valoris Healthpark offers completely renovated medical spaces for all types of medical practitioners.

What does Valoris mean?
Based on community input, the City of Garland and its development partners at Prevarian Companies and Harrison Street named Garland’s TIF No. 3 Valoris HealthPark Garland. The name Valoris—adapted from the word “valor”—pays homage to the courageous individuals who bravely served our country in the armed forces. Likewise, it nods to our cultural diversity by translating to ‘courage, bravery, and value’ in Spanish.

What kind of opportunities exist for medical providers looking to expand or relocate to Garland?
Valoris Healthpark Garland comprises more than 140,000 square feet of leasable space and boasts one of, if not the, most competitive tenant incentive programs in Dallas-Fort Worth. While each project and every tenant has unique needs, the City of Garland and Valoris Healthpark Garland leasing partner JLL are positioned to collaboratively help medical providers attain their goals. More than that, relocating ensures a provider has continued support and resources after a deal is made.

What type of investment is the City of Garland making into the medical district?
The City of Garland has engaged urban design firm Studio Outside to reimage the public streetscapes, wayfinding, and walkability in and around Valoris Healthpark. Working in closely with the VA, DART, Garland Power & Light, and the surrounding neighborhoods, city staff is making a considerable infrastructure investment to improve the quality of life for citizens of Garland and to make the HealthPark a favorable business environment.

Who will Valoris Healthpark Garland serve?
As the sixth-largest city in Dallas-Fort Worth, one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, Garland is home to more than 240,000 residents, and Dallas-Fort Worth is home to over 7.5 million people. Currently, within just five miles of Valoris Healthpark, there is an urban population of nearly 375,000. Likewise, the VA is projected to serve more than 184,000–nearly half–of the veterans living in North Texas.

Mansfield

Mansfield Economic Development Corporation

ECD Contact: Jason Moore | 817.728.3651
Population: 75,000
Counties: Tarrant, Johnson, and Ellis
Major Businesses: Mouser Electronics, Hoffman Cabinets, Sellmark

Has the Dallas-Fort Worth region’s market growth impacted development and offerings in Mansfield over the past three years? 
We have such a strong healthcare industry in Dallas-Fort Worth, and Mansfield benefits greatly from this. Our largest growth sector for commercial development has been in the healthcare industry, thanks to our hospital systems—Methodist Mansfield, Texas Health Mansfield, and Baylor Emergency Hospital. We are attracting specialists throughout Dallas-Fort Worth and beyond to be near this growth. It is impressive to see the velocity and pipeline of future development coming to Mansfield.

What does your EDC evaluate when looking to attract a new business? 
Our EDC is looking to attract businesses that will enhance our economic vitality. We want to attract companies that seek innovation and unique opportunities to differentiate themselves and who are looking to partner with community leaders.

What are some predictions for Dallas-Fort Worth’s economic outlook that may change during the next three years? 
We believe housing starts will slow steadily but to normal levels, which will feel worse than it is because the last several years have been so far above average. Job creation and unemployment levels will continue their respective positive trends. We believe our region will experience more business expansions than company relocations from out of state. We all need to do our part to retain these businesses that have moved here and to help them grow. Because of these concerted regional efforts, Texas will remain No. 1 in economic development in the country and, more specifically, Dallas-Fort Worth will lead the state’s major metros in business expansion, job creation, and housing starts.

Grapevine

choosegrapevinetx.com

EDC Contact: Larry Holt | 817.410.3105
Population: 50,872
County: Tarrant
Major Businesses: Paycom, Kubota, GameStop, Southland Holdings, DFW International Airport

How does Grapevine differentiate itself from others in the region?
Grapevine is all about access. A convergence of highways, rail service to Dallas and Fort Worth, and one of the nation’s busiest airports put this city at the center of everything from entertainment to the global supply chain.

Which industries are demonstrating the most interest in your area today?
Destination attractions, consumer brands, and corporate relocations choose Grapevine for its business-friendly culture and center-stage location.

What financial, tax incentives, or other programs have been created to help Grapevine attract businesses?
Grapevine Economic Development offers 4B grant funding, impact/inspection fee exemptions, tax-increment financing, tax deferrals, and local sales tax refunds in order to attract thriving businesses and startups for our mutual success.

What are some of your predictions for how the Dallas-Fort Worth region’s economic outlook may change over the next three years?
Dallas-Fort Worth continues to expand its world-class workforce and employer base, making infrastructure critically important in the years ahead. Ongoing improvements to our roads and expansions of public transportation, such as the DART Silver Line, will keep talented Texans close to prolific companies, so that communities like ours can offer 1.7 million people a commute time of 23 minutes or less by 2026.

Sachse

Sachse Economic Development Corporation

EDC Contact: Jerod Potts | 469.429.4764
Population: 29,030
Counties: Collin and Dallas

How does Sachse differentiate itself from others in the region?
The City of Sachse is as unique as our name. Our proximity to major thoroughfares gives us dynamic access to airports, post-secondary educational centers, and key economic clusters. With a primary trade area of more than 330,000 people and unmet demand for office, commercial, and light-industrial, the time is now to sak [see] yourself here.

What financial, tax incentives, or other programs have been created to help Sachse attract businesses?
Sachse boasts a streamlined entitlement and permitting process. The Sachse development team is agile—going to exceptional lengths to ensure developers, site selectors, residents, and contractors have the answers they need.

City Council established the vision years ago by adopting a robust, market-based comprehensive plan. This desired direction for the built and natural environment provides adjacency predictability. There are numerous tools in our economic development toolbelt, such as property and sales tax abatements, grants, fee waivers, and more.

What does Sachse evaluate when looking to attract a new business?
Sachse thinks futuristically about the ever-changing economic development landscape, striving to ensure local economy resilience.

Saginaw

SaginawTx.org
SaginawEcoDev.org

EDC Contact: Keith C. Rinehart | 817.230.0331
Population: 24,150
Major Businesses: Wholly Guacamole, Trinity Rail, CTI Foods, Miller Milling, Troxell Trailer Mfg., Gavilon Grain, Ardent Mills, Ventura Foods, Bana Box

How does Saginaw differentiate itself from others in the region?
Saginaw, Texas is a thriving, diverse, and emerging community of just under 25,000 residents located in northwestern Tarrant County, one of the fastest-growing locations in the United States. Saginaw’s strategic location, low tax rate of $.508042, excellent school system, and quality of life continue to garner national recognition and highlight the community as a premier business destination.

How has Saginaw sustained interest as an attractive option for companies seeking new alternatives and locations, given recent economic challenges?
The City of Saginaw ranks high in lower taxes, an educated workforce, affordable and diverse housing choices, a convenient location within Dallas-Fort Worth, an outstanding school system, and a unique quality of life that encompasses both exciting amenities for shopping, dining, and entertainment.

What financial tax incentives or other programs have been created to help Saginaw attract businesses?
Saginaw has a variety of incentive programs, including Tax Increment Financing Districts (TIF), property tax abatements, Public Improvement Districts (PIDs), fee waivers, Chapter 380 Economic Development Agreements, Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones (TIRZ), and sales tax rebate/sharing.

Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale Economic Development Corporation

EDC Contact: Burton K. Barr | 972.203.4154
Population: 8,062
County: Dallas
Major Businesses: Daniel Steel Industries, Associated Truss & Lumber, Dal-Tile, Vince Hagan Company

How has Sunnyvale’s EDC sustained interest as an attractive option for companies seeking new alternatives and locations, given the challenges of the economy and daily work life?
Sunnyvale’s proximity to downtown Dallas and U.S. 80 makes it a desirable choice for entertainment, hospitality, corporate headquarters, destination retail, grocery stores, and industrial development.

How does Sunnyvale differentiate itself from others in the region?
The Town of Sunnyvale is a quiet and family-oriented community a short 15-minute drive from downtown Dallas. Sunnyvale ISD is consistently rated as one of the top school districts in Texas. Sunnyvale residents enjoy the benefits of small-town living combined with access to the thriving business, cultural, and social districts of Dallas-Fort Worth.

Which industries are demonstrating the most interest in your area today?
Retail, entertainment, sports tourism, and industrial.

What does your EDC evaluate when looking to attract a new business?
Capital investment, sales tax generation, job creation, and targeted industry alignment with Sunnyvale’s strategic plan.

How has Dallas-Fort Worth’s market growth impacted commercial development?
We are seeing tremendous growth as developers look to move east of downtown Dallas.

Wilmer

City of Wilmer/Dallas County Inland Port

EDC Contact: Rona Stringfellow | 972.441.6373
Population: 6,690
County: Dallas
Major Businesses: Ace, Makita, Proctor and Gamble, Whirlpool, Unilever, Yokohama, Smuckers, Amazon, Sprouts, CarMaxx, TriColor, Stream Data Center

How has Wilmer sustained interest as an attractive option for companies seeking new alternatives and locations, given the challenges of the past few years on the economy and daily work life?
The City of Wilmer is one of the last cities in southern Dallas County with available land area. Wilmer is currently 11.5 square miles with the ability to grow up to 22 square miles. Wilmer is affordable, with a staff that understands the speed of business. Although there is a large amount of development, the staff is still able to get reviews done in a timely fashion.

How does Wilmer differentiate itself from others in the region?
Location to the major interstates with proximity to an Intermodal facility. Available talent and labor with multiple transportation networks. It is still relatively rural but within 15 minutes of downtown Dallas.

What are businesses looking for in a site location today that they weren’t looking for a
few years ago?

Connectivity of fiber as well as redundancy; ability to work with a knowledgeable staff; electric reliability; water and sewer availability; rural proximity as well as proximity to the arts and culture of Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington; a willingness to explore creative financing opportunities, and the ability to adjust to changes in the development climate.

Author

D Partner Studio

D Partner Studio

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