As part of their governing duties, McKinney City Council members set priorities for the future vision of the city. High on the list is residents’ quality of life, but the highest priorities are tied to McKinney’s continued economic vitality. By outlining what the city is and what it wants to be, leaders are creating a map for smart economic growth.
“We recognize that in order to invest in and maintain the quality of life we enjoy in McKinney, we need to seek economic development that will provide a revenue stream to fund infrastructure and meet an increasing demand for services,” McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller says.
Even during the downturn, McKinney has managed to cultivate positive economic development by successfully attracting a wide variety of businesses. McKinney prides itself on a diverse economic base. By combining global connections with a focus on smart growth, the city is creating a competitive economic environment that supports entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes.
Dirt is once again flying at the prominent development site known as Gateway. Located at McKinney’s southern entrance, the 90-acre parcel sits at the highly visible northeast corner of The recently constructed Sam Rayburn Tollway/U.S. 75 interchange.
The Gateway project is owned by the city and planned for development. While the economy and the retail and hotel market all presented setbacks to this project since its start in 2008, the City Council has designated the development of this site as a priority. Hard work has paid off in the form of several recent, positive steps at Gateway.
Emerson Process Management’s Regulator Technologies business broke ground in July, and crews have since started construction of its $25 million global headquarters. As a corporate anchor tenant in the Gateway development, the new global Regulator Technologies headquarters will house a world-class research facility and “flow lab” that will enable the company to test its regulator products in real-world plant conditions.
The three-story, 128,000-square-foot building will also include offices, a customer training center, and a fitness center for approximately 130 highly skilled, professional employees in engineering, research and development, marketing, sales, finance and procurement.
Emerson Process Management delivers automation and process control technologies and services to the oil and gas, power, chemical and refining industries, among others. Its Regulator Technologies business offers more pressure regulator and relief valve solutions than any other manufacturer in the world. McKinney and the North Dallas area are home to key oil and gas equipment suppliers that Emerson serves.
The current Regulator Technologies headquarters is located at 310 E. University Drive in McKinney. Emerson has been a part of the McKinney community for more than 50 years and is a strong supporter of charitable initiatives, including education, community welfare and arts. The headquarters relocation is made possible through a partnership between the City of McKinney and Emerson.
When it opens, Emerson Process Management will be located on the site with tenant Collin College. The Collin Higher Education Center there houses classrooms where students work toward bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from four university partners.Administrative offices are also a part of the newest campus for Collin College.
Collin County Regional Airport
Collin County Regional Airport has a new runway, a new regional Incentive and a new website. In addition, the governing board of the airport adopted the new name of Collin County Airport Development Corporation. All support the new focus of regional impact for the general aviation business airport located in McKinney.
The first aircraft took off from the new longer, wider runway on July 26. The runway was constructed 7,002 feet long and 150 feet wide with a weight-bearing capacity of 450,000 pounds. It is the largest in single development project in Texas Department of Transportation Aviation history.
The width and weight bearing capacity can accommodate larger, heavier aircraft, including commercial jets. Other additional new projects at the airport include the relocation of FM 546 using aviation grants to accommodate the runway and a future extension; a new air traffic control tower that was dedicated in April 2011; and a recently unveiled regional incentive for Collin County cities and entities.
The regional incentive provides cities within Collin County the opportunity to offer certain abatements to companies that would locate property to the airport. A new website, Flytki.com, uses the airport call letters, TKI, to stress that Collin County Regional Airport is a regional asset, not just a boon to McKinney’s economy.
“As the airport continues to add state-of-the art equipment and amenities like the new air traffic control tower and a wider, heavier duty runway, the impact it has on economic growth in the region will continue to grow,” Loughmiller says. “Now we are looking to the operational future of Collin County Regional Airport as it serves to help create an even more prosperous Collin County and North Texas.”
Craig Ranch Corporate Center
Earlier this year, the City of McKinney set aside 185 acres in Craig Ranch as a McKinney Corporate Center. Office Developer KDC has teamed up with Craig Ranch to be a preferred developer of the project. Because KDC is not the exclusive developer, Craig Ranch and the McKinney Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) are seeking and accepting proposal submissions for corporate clients from office developers and brokers.
“For future economic development, it is important to identify areas of McKinney best suited to be competitive in attracting corporate relocations and office developments,” Loughmiller says.“Craig Ranch has a highly visible, easily accessible location along the newly completed Sam Rayburn Tollway, with infrastructure in place to start attracting new corporations now.”
The Corporate Center will be part of the 270-acre Craig Ranch employment district. The site is part of the 2,200-acre award-winning Craig Ranch master-planned community and sits along a nearly two-mile stretch of the Sam Rayburn Tollway, which features six main lanes and six frontage road lanes.
With three full on/off ramps that connect directly to it, the prime location is easily accessible – less than a 30-minute drive to DFW International Airport and only six miles from Collin County Regional Airport.
About the author: Anna Clark is Communications and Media Relations Manager for the City of McKinney.