Years ago, it was a running joke that “businesses came to die in Colleyville,” according to Bobby Lindamood, Colleyville mayor pro tem and Place 2 City Council member. But not anymore, he said.

“Now, it’s no joke,” Lindamood said. “People are moving in here because they see that we are helping businesses thrive, and they are thriving big time.”

Between business support programs, the Colleyville Business Center, redevelopment through property purchases and commercial corridor beautification, the city has slowly created a bustling business environment, Colleyville City Manager Jerry Ducay said.

In fiscal year 2020-21, the city’s business support programs provided more than $1.01 million in direct reinvestment into the community, according to Colleyville’s FY 2020-21 economic development report.

“It’s just good business for the city to seek a balance in the commercial nature of our community,” Ducay said. “We’re blessed with a great corridor on [Hwy.] 26 and a great location on [SH] 121. These are opportunities for our business owners to succeed and, at the same time, help balance our tax base.”

Business support programs

Key to the city’s support of businesses in recent years are its gift card and grant programs, Ducay said.

The city began its gift card programs in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Residents receive a $35 gift card in the mail to use at participating businesses. Gift cards have been sent out multiple times, with the most recent round of gift cards distributed during November and December.

“The gift card program is something that we believe is an economic development program that connects our greatest resources—and that is our residents with our business owners,” Ducay said.

Lisa Pardo said she and her husband, Paul, opened their Stone House Restaurant in Colleyville on Sept. 28, 2020. Pardo said they have “been beyond blessed since opening” because of the city’s business resources.

“The most recent mailing of the $35 gift cards to all citizens of Colleyville is a great example of how the city works to partner with local businesses,” Pardo said. “Stone House was happy to honor these cards as it allowed us the opportunity to meet and serve new customers that might not have ventured in without the card.”

Another of Colleyville’s grant programs is Colleyville’s Professional One-minute Promos, or C-POP, which partners the city’s audio and video production staff with businesses to help them create promotional videos. Businesses also receive a $1,000 grant to spend on advertising to promote the video, according to the economic development report.

Another one of the city’s programs—done around the holiday season—is Colleyville Gives, which provides qualifying businesses $1,000 to use on advertising. Businesses that are part of the Colleyville Gives program can get an additional $1,000 grant if the business makes a $500 donation to an area nonprofit.

The city also offers Business Enhancements to Support Transformation grants—which help local business and property owners update their storefronts and improve commercial corridor appearance—and sign grants that help businesses revitalize their signage, the report stated.

Inspire Yoga Studio Director April Borge said she opened her business in Colleyville in October 2020. She said the yoga studio has participated twice in the Colleyville Gives program and once in the sign program, which helped get the word out about the new business.

“There’s nothing like driving up to your building and seeing your name on a new sign,” Borge said. “It makes a dream feel like a reality.”

Colleyville Business Center

In August 2020, the city opened the Colleyville Business Center to serve as “the physical home” for the partnership between the city and the Colleyville Chamber of Commerce, which shares the building with the center, according to the economic development report.

Chelsea Rose, Colleyville Chamber of Commerce CEO and president, said the business center has workstations open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The $25-a-day cost includes access to Wi-Fi, printers and free coffee. The center also has a boardroom and vault room for people to rent.

Lindamood said the business center is extremely successful and constantly full. Rose said the three offices for rent are in such high demand that they have been booked for about six months.

“Since it is the hub of business, we have people coming in—our chamber board members and our networking groups—that meet here, and there’s just a lot of life kind of coming through it, and also businesses that are here have kind of that direct access to the city as well,” Rose said.

Ducay said one of the center’s functions goes along with something that tends to be a hot topic among residents—vacancies across retail and office spaces. However, the city of Colleyville has shown stable numbers since FY 2014-15, with a 93.2% occupancy rate for retail and an 87.8% occupancy rate for office space in FY 2020-21, according to the report.

Part of the reason behind that, Ducay said, is that the business center has created a way for people to start businesses right in the community.

“One of the things that Colleyville’s very fortunate about is, even when we’ve had situations where we’ve had vacancies, our occupancy rates have maintained very strong numbers,” Ducay said. “We’re always over 90% occupancy in our retail, and that’s better than the national average.”

Citywide redevelopment and beautification

The city’s economic growth has also come from redevelopments through key property purchases, Ducay said. For example, the city bought acreage at Colleyville’s northern and southern entrances.

Colleyville City Council is still working on the concepts and ideas for those spaces, but Lindamood said businesses have already shown interest in both gateways.

“We [bought] those [for] strategic purposes for the opportunity to control the development, to ensure that the quality was in keeping with what we wanted, but also to spur opportunity,” Ducay said.

Colleyville has been working on its commercial corridor beautification project for the last three years, Place 3 City Council Member Kathy Wheat said at a Nov. 16 City Council meeting. The city held its groundbreaking ceremony to construct two new towers at Main Street and Hwy. 26 on Nov. 16.

The beautification project is broken into three phases. Phase 1 added decorative light poles, while Phase 2 encompassed a median and right-of-way beautification, according to the city’s website. Both phases are complete.

Phase 3 is split into three sub-phases. The Main Street site at Hwy. 26 is the first and features the new towers, lanterns, canopy trees and improvements to intersection corners, the website stated. A second construction site will be at John McCain Road and Hwy. 26. It includes a Colleyville identity sign, a tower element, stone walls, flagstone and a native meadow.

The third site of Phase 3 is at Little Bear Creek and Hwy. 26, according to the website. It will have a Colleyville identity sign, a tower element, stone steps, ornamental trees and a future trailhead.

“We want our business owners to feel that we identify with quality—not just in the businesses we attract and the way that those businesses operate within exceptional buildings with architecture and landscaping, but we also want them to feel like they’re part of a community corridor that is exceptional,” Ducay said.

Click here to read the February 2022 e-edition where this story is featured.

Community Impact Newspaper

Community Impact Newspaper