MEDC updates strategic plan to grow business in McKinney

The MEDC offered Independent Bank an incentive to build a new $52 million corporate headquarters in Craig Ranch.

The MEDC offered Independent Bank an incentive to build a new $52 million corporate headquarters in Craig Ranch.

The McKinney Economic Development Corp. is already making strides in its increased efforts to attract businesses using its new strategic plan.


On July 27, the MEDC announced that Independent Bank will build a new $52 million corporate headquarters on 10 acres of land at the McKinney Corporate Center at Craig Ranch. The MEDC has offered Independent Bank an incentive if the company maintains 221 jobs and creates 200 jobs. Independent Bank plans to bring up to 400 jobs in the next five years, said Peggy Smolen, Independent Bank marketing director.


The McKinney Economic Development Corp. updated its strategic plan in May to include five target industries and four fundamental areas of economic development, which will be used as guidelines when it comes to attracting businesses.


The reason for updating this plan, said Darrell Auterson, president and CEO of the MEDC, is to give the corporation a roadmap and dedicated focus. The five-year strategic plan, McKinney-Advancing Our Vision 2022, will also help align the goals of the MEDC with those of the city.


MEDC updates strategic plan to grow business in McKinney“Any time you try to compare what McKinney has accomplished from a commercial perspective versus Frisco, it’s going to pale in comparison because there’s really no one else around that can compare to [Frisco],” Auterson said. “Same with Plano.”


However, Auterson said the time is now for growth in McKinney. This anticipated growth and the new strategic plan will, at some point, help McKinney compare to its neighboring cities, including Allen, Frisco and Plano, Auterson said.


“We’ve got a new strategic plan here,” Auterson said. “The city’s got a new strategic plan; they’re working on getting their comprehensive plan rolled out, so I think that the time is now for this community.”



Reaching the goal


In updating its strategic plan, the MEDC identified five target industries to proactively attract to McKinney.


“Now that doesn’t mean that we won’t welcome other businesses in, but these are areas where we’ve seen significant growth trends; we’ve seen significant impact on local economies in terms of wage levels … and other factors that we consider as well when we evaluate where we want to target our marketing efforts,” Auterson said.




“I think we’re going to surpass Allen and Plano in terms of development because we have so much land that is undeveloped.”


— Brian Lockley, McKinney Planning Director



The five target industries include computer technology and services, wholesale trade, vehicle manufacturing and transportation, finance and insurance, and professional services.


Computer technology and services includes computer manufacturing; data processing, hosting and related services; custom computer programming services; and computer systems design services, according to the MEDC strategic plan.


McKinney is also a good market for wholesale trade due to its location within an “explosive growth area of North Texas and its major transportation corridors,” according to the plan.


When looking at vehicle manufacturing and transportation companies, Auterson said he believes this industry would be a good fit for McKinney due to McKinney National Airport’s attractiveness, which some companies will find as an ideal asset.


Health and medical insurance carriers fall under the finance and insurance industry MEDC is looking to attract.


“North Texas is becoming a major financial center, and we see that trend continuing,” Auterson said.


The last of the five industries is professional services, which include administrative management and general management consulting services in addition to process, physical distribution and logistic consulting services, according to the plan.


All of these companies would likely bring competitive or high wages to McKinney. In return, McKinney can offer educational programs at McKinney ISD, Collin College and other institutions to support these businesses.


In addition to these key industries, the MEDC identified four fundamental areas of economic development, which include business retention and expansion, business attraction, entrepreneurship and competitiveness.


The competitiveness initiative will help the city be “more effective in winning recruitment and expansion projects,” according to the plan.


“We get a lot of inquiries from all kinds of office or industrial space, and we just have so little product available and a lot of times companies, they need 20,000 square feet that they can move into in the next six months or less, and oftentimes we just don’t have that,” Auterson said.



Anticipating demand


Initiatives to solve the lack of inventory in McKinney have begun taking shape.


At the MEDC special meeting July 24, four developers presented their ideas for speculative industrial projects. These projects will be public-private partnerships and arrangements that will put product on the ground with everyone benefiting in the end, Auterson said.


“[McKinney is] getting big enough now to where we can sustain our own very robust business environment right here,” he said. “We can have the kind of live-work-play environment that people that chose to go into Legacy West [want]. … It’s coming. It’s not quite here yet, but it is coming.”


The MEDC is also expected to roll out a new brand identity for the Gateway development located at the northeast intersection of SH 121 and US 75.


“My guess is that a lot is going to happen in [McKinney over] the next 10-year period,” Auterson said.


City Manager Paul Grimes said he thinks the vision for growth in McKinney is to keep it going and attract “high-quality development” and companies that are going to be in McKinney for the long run.


There are approximately 22 square miles of undeveloped land within city limits and approximately 40 square miles of undeveloped land in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction—land the city has the authority to annex in the future, McKinney Planning Director Brian Lockley said.


“I think we’re going to surpass Allen and Plano in terms of development because we have so much land that is undeveloped,” he said. “I think we’re just right for the type of development that we anticipate.”

By Cassidy Ritter
Cassidy graduated from the University of Kansas in 2016 with a degree in Journalism and a double minor in business and global studies. She has worked as a reporter and editor for publications in Kansas, Colorado and Australia. She was hired as senior reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's Plano edition in August 2016. Less than a year later, she took the role of editor for the McKinney edition.


MOST RECENT

Here are the latest coronavirus updates for Collin County readers. (Community Impact staff)
3 additional coronavirus cases reported in McKinney

Health officials reported 19 new cases of coronavirus in Collin County on May 28, including three McKinney cases.

Airport Drive in McKinney is undergoing construction. (Graphic by Michelle Degard/Community Impact Newspaper)
McKinney transportation update: New turn lane coming to Airport Drive

In June, work will continue to pave new northbound lanes north of FM 546 and create a new southbound right-turn lane at Industrial Boulevard, officials said.

The Bodega at Craig Ranch is an upscale convenience store located in McKinney. (Courtesy The Bodega at Craig Ranch)
New convenience store The Bodega at Craig Ranch opens its doors

A new upscale convenience store opened May 25 at Craig Ranch in McKinney.

Normally crowded toll roads are experiencing a decline in the number of motorists, according to data from the North Texas Tollway Authority. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
North Texas Tollway Authority develops plan to mitigate unprecedented loss of revenue

Money-saving tactics include an indefinite hiring freeze and the delay of some projects, according to a spokesperson.

Independent Bank and Texas Capital bank will not merge, citing coronavirus complications. (Emily Davis/Community Impact Newspaper)
Independent Bank merger called off due to COVID-19

Independent Bank Group Inc., the parent company of Independent Bank, announced May 26 that the merger between the group and Texas Capital Bancshares Inc. has been terminated.

Outdoor venues in all Texas counties will be permitted to operate at up to 25% capacity starting May 31. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Spectators to be welcomed back to Texas outdoor sporting events May 31 at 25% of venue capacity

Venue owners must operate under guidelines that facilitate appropriate social distancing.

Tuesday Morning plans to close 230 of its 687 stores in a phased approach. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Development news and other top stories from this week in DFW

Read the most popular stories so far this week from Community Impact Newspaper's Dallas-Fort Worth coverage.

Each eligible child will receive $285 in benefits. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Some Texas students eligible for one-time federal benefit to aid with food purchases

Texas received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide more than $1 billion in pandemic food benefits.

Here is the latest coronavirus update from Collin County. (Community Impact staff)
Daily report shows 4 new cases of coronavirus in McKinney

Collin County health officials reported 28 new cases of coronavirus May 27, including 4 cases in McKinney.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar spoke to members of the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce on May 27 about what the state's post-pandemic economic turnaround might look like. (Screenshot of May 27 virtual luncheon)
Texas comptroller predicts slow, steady economic turnaround post-pandemic

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said the state entered the era of the coronavirus in a healthy financial situation, which bodes well for the future as reopening continues, but that Texans are not out of the woods yet.

Nursing facilities across Texas will be able to apply for federal funds to purchase devices to connect residents to friends and family. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Gov. Greg Abbott announces $3.6 million project to connect nursing home residents to families

Gov. Greg Abbott announced May 27 that $3.6 million will be provided to nursing facilities to purchase tablets, webcams and headphones to connect residents with family members.

Several cities in the Dallas area have joined The North Texas Innovation Alliance. (Courtesy Justin Terveen)
North Texas cities join regional alliance aimed at advancing innovation

The North Texas Innovation Alliance comprises 21 founding members, including Richardson, Frisco, Plano and McKinney, among others.