It’s being compared to Silicon Valley. Some have dubbed it Silicon Alley—or more aptly, Silicon Prairie. And if you haven’t already bought land for development along the 30-mile stretch of U.S. 75 north of McKinney to Sherman, you’re facing skyrocketed land prices.
In a tale that’s similar to what happened with the suburbs of Plano, Frisco, and Richardson some 20 to 30 years ago, the once sleepy towns of Anna, Melissa, Sherman, and Van Alstyne are becoming the new hotbed for the region’s growth, with the promise of an estimated 4,500 jobs coming to the area within the next five years.
Last November, Texas Instruments announced that it would build a $30 billion, 4.7-million-square-foot semiconductor fabrication plant in Sherman—the largest electronic production facility in the state and among the biggest manufacturing facilities in the country. Fending off a bid to bring the plant to Singapore, the town with a population of 44,873 located about 60 miles north of Dallas landed its big fish, bringing with it a projected 3,000 jobs that will pay an average of $55,000 per year. TI broke ground on the first two phases of the project in May and is expected to begin delivering products from its Sherman plants by 2025.
Just about a month later, in June, global semiconductor manufacturer GlobiTech awarded its $5 billion, 1,500-job project to Sherman, too. To lure GlobiTech’s semiconductor plant, the Sherman Economic Development Corp. offered $20 million in cash payments and the sale of nearly 150 acres of land worth more than an estimated $14.4 million. The Texas Enterprise Fund added an additional $15 million grant to the incentive package. Meanwhile, the city of Sherman, Grayson County, and Grayson College offered tax incentives and discounted utilities. The global semiconductor manufacturer was also considering sites in Ohio and South Korea before choosing to make North Texas its permanent home.
“These are once-in-a-lifetime projects for our region,” says Kent Sharp, president of the Sherman Economic Development Corp. “You work your entire career in economic development with the hopes of being part of a deal that has a ‘B’ in front of it—and we’ve landed two in the past year.”
Rooftops and Residents
Homebuilders have taken notice of the flurry of semiconductor projects coming soon to Sherman—and it is having a ripple effect for towns along the Highway 75 corridor. “Anna is one of the fastest-growing towns in North Texas, and we’re proud to be a part of the positive growth story there,” said Mehrdad Moayedi, president and CEO of Farmers Branch-based Centurion American, when he broke ground on the Villages of Hurricane Creek development earlier this year. Phase one of the project is underway and, in total, will include 1,794 single-family lots, 400 multifamily units, and 60,000 square feet of new commercial development.
Anacapri by Megatel is another housing project that broke ground earlier this year. Announced in October 2021, the $800 million development includes 1,239 single-family homes, 600 multifamily units, and a 2.3-acre crystal lagoon. Megatel has sold every phase one lot in the forthcoming development.
National homebuilders are getting in on the action, too. Construction is set to commence later this year on Bloomfield Homes’ Crystal Park in Anna, which includes 981 single-family lots and 82 acres of mixed-use. D.R. Horton plans 942 single-family lots and 600 multifamily units at its new The Woods at Lindsey Place development in Anna. And Meritage Homes will add 456 homes at Wolf Creek Farms, The Quarry at Stoneridge, and Bryant Farms in Melissa.
It all adds up to more residents making the Highway 75 corridor home. According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau population estimates, Melissa has seen 21.8 percent population growth since 2020, growing from 13,941 to an estimated 16,983. For Anna, its population is up 19.5 percent from 16,935 to 20,243. Sherman has added more than 6,000 residents in the last two years, seeing its population balloon from 38,521 at the 2010 census to its current population estimate of 44,873.
Though its neighbors to the south, McKinney and Frisco, have seen double-digit drops in homebuilding permits in the first half of 2022, Anna’s residential permits are up 15 percent for 635 permits this year. Meanwhile, Melissa saw a 2 percent gain at mid-year over a year ago, with 522 total permits. Sherman’s housing permits have more than doubled, from 154 in June of 2021 to 316 permits at the halfway point of 2022.
And there are few signs of slowing, says Anna’s economic development director Joey Grisham. As Texas Instruments and GlobiTech complete their initial phases in the coming years, he expects to see spinoff companies, suppliers, and customers from these two giants move to the area, similar to what happened with TI in Dallas and Richardson in decades prior.
“My phone has been ringing off the hook with interest,” Grisham says. “It’s definitely an exciting time for the Dallas-Fort Worth region as a whole—and there’s no better time than now to do business in north Collin County.”