Traci Anderson, Buda’s new Economic Development Corp. executive director, describes her role in the city as one moving piece that is part of a bigger puzzle.
“I think EDC, wholistically speaking, is one entity out of several partners, essentially the school district, the chamber and the city,” Anderson said. “We all work together for the same goal, to lower [the] tax base, create opportunity and quality of life for the citizens in the community, and to be able to keep up with the growth.”
Anderson started her career with the Pflugerville Community Development Corp. in 2006 as an administrative assistant and got promoted in six months to become the assistant director. She worked there for three years and said she “fell in love” with her position.
During her 13-year career, Anderson has also worked both as vice president and as business retention and expansion manager with the Taylor Economic Development Corp. She was also formerly executive director for the Cibolo Economic Development Corp., in addition to her time as a consultant for the Mike Barnes Group, an economic development consulting group.
Anderson began her position as the BEDC executive director Oct. 28, and though she is still learning the ropes, she said, she is excited about the potential she sees in Buda.
“Buda has a lot of room to grow,” Anderson said. “It’s the first community south of Austin, which gives it a whole lot of benefit; it’s right on I-35; [and] downtown is a huge asset for the community.”
The board of the EDC, which is appointed by the City Council, is composed of all new members as of April, and Anderson said she looks forward to working with the new group.
Already the board has completed a sales tax workshop, according to Anderson, who said she will be meeting with the group after the holidays.
“We’re planning to do a strategic planning session in January with the board to get a feel of what their thoughts are,” Anderson said.
At a recent meeting with regional partners in Austin, Anderson said she talked about three potential goals for the city of Buda in 2020: recruitment, business retention and speculative development to create space for businesses.
One of the projects the EDC has previously worked on is the Exeter project, which was approved by Buda City Council in 2017. The 305,000-square-foot building is currently under construction and will provide a large industrial space that will offer potential locations for a variety of new businesses.
“Buda has the opportunity to attract businesses that want to move quickly because of the [speculative] space that we have developers working on,” Anderson said. “So I think that is a huge asset for Buda.”
Another thing Anderson wants to do is diversify businesses in the city.
“Everyone knows Buda for Cabela’s, and I know [Buda] wants to change out of that mindset,” Anderson said.
Anderson said that she is glad to be in Buda and looks forward to building relationships with local businesses and wants the community to know the EDC is a resource for business owners.
“I never thought I’d get the position, and when I did I was humbled and grateful,” she said.