City officials say Flower Mound and Lewisville’s strategic central location in the Metroplex, low tax rates and easy access to major highways and the airport have helped them attract major employers and national firms.
Since 2015, developers have delivered 4.6 million square feet to the Lewisville industrial submarket, which includes Flower Mound, according to CBRE industrial research analyst Miller Hamrick.
CBRE is a company in Dallas that helps commercial real estate developers, companies and investors find property.
Lewisville has attracted national companies, such as Xerox, Bed, Bath and Beyond, and most recently, global cosmetics company Mary Kay Inc.’s $100 million manufacturing, research and development facility.
The town of Flower Mound is no stranger to attracting large companies, either, with Stryker Corporations, Best Buy Distribution and HD Supply all in its Lakeside Business District.
Officials in both cities have said that through continued investment in public infrastructure and quality of life as well as great incentives, Lewisville and Flower Mound will remain highly attractive to businesses.
“Having a diverse economy is critical to keeping taxes low and sharing the tax burden, as well as maintaining the highest level of services for our residents,” said Andrea Roy, Flower Mound economic development director. “A community needs a healthy mix of residential and commercial development, which ensures sustainable economic vitality. Simply put, diversity creates stability.”
THE LEWISVILLE ADVANTAGE
When looking for the perfect site for its new manufacturing facility in 2015, Mary Kay Chief Financial Officer Deb Gibbins said Lewisville remained at the top of executives’ list due to its location and great incentives.
“We looked at the Metroplex specifically because we are committed to staying in the region,” Gibbins said. “We needed more than 25 acres, and [the site]needed to have easy access to the highways because we have a lot of 18-wheelers going in and out, so great access was important. We had 10-12 sites we were looking at and Lewisville was a front-runner from the beginning.”
Gibbins said Mary Kay also looked at where its employees live and the effect it would have on them.
Lewisville Economic Development Director Nika Reinecke said the city’s location puts them at an advantage.
“Nobody can beat our location; that’s just the reality,” she said. “We are very centrally located and have ease of access to I-35, SH 121 and [President] George Bush [Turnpike] and proximity to [the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport].”
Besides its location, Reinecke said the city’s tax rate is one of the lowest in the area.
“[Companies] may get an abatement or tax relief for some years in other cities, but when the normal [tax]rate kicks back in, they’re back in that high tax bracket. However, in Lewisville, when your incentive ends, you are still in a very low tax environment.”
When comparing 2017 total tax rates, which includes city, county and school district taxes, Lewisville’s rate of $2.081398 per $100 valuation was lower than Coppell’s rate ($2.3103 per $100 valuation) and Carrollton’s rate ($2.2338 per $100 valuation).
Being development friendly and having a diverse housing market have also played to Lewisville’s advantage, Reinecke said.
“Our diversity in housing really helps us,” she said. “[Companies] could have all of their employees from executives to warehouse workers living in Lewisville.”
LAKESIDE BUSINESS DISTRICT
In recent years, Flower Mound’s Lakeside Business District has attracted company headquarters and warehouses. In the last six months, the town has been able to secure Mannatech Inc.’s relocation of its headquarters from Coppell and Haag Engineering Co.’s relocation of its forensic engineering headquarters to the business district.
Landen Fredrick, Mannatech chief global sales officer and president, said he and the CEO are Flower Mound residents and they wanted to move Mannatech to the business district after watching the growth of the area.
“We have been excited about the growth of the town and the development and what’s going on in that Lakeside area,” he said. “The town was very supportive in putting together incentives for us, and we felt wanted by the town.”
Because Mannatech is a global company, Fredrick said having easy access to the airport was a must.
“Right now, the advantage of our Coppell office is the closeness to the airport and by moving to Flower Mound we don’t lose that, or the access to major highways,” he said. “And that’s important because our employees live in various parts throughout the Metroplex.”
Roy said these new businesses will only further contribute to Flower Mound’s economy.
“Over 3 million square feet of commercial space has been added to the town’s business district over the past five years, resulting in over $100 million in added value.”
Roy said a low tax rate and excellent school system are some of the reasons that companies look to locate in Flower Mound. The town has attracted so many businesses to the district that Roy said future growth is limited.
“Currently, the town’s business district is operating at 98.9 percent occupancy, which will slow growth until such time as additional space is constructed,” she said.
Ultimately, Roy said she hopes businesses continue to see the value of Flower Mound.