State of the City is an annual event held by the McKinney Chamber of Commerce at which guests receive a recap of the city’s recent progress and also get a sneak peek into its plans for the upcoming year.
Mayor George Fuller also said that in 2019, McKinney had the highest percentage of commercial growth it has ever experienced, which is important because it means “lower property taxes for our homeowners.”
The city is expecting to continue this momentum, namely with the progression of Hub 121, which is expected to be open in spring, McKinney City Manager Paul Grimes said.
Hub 121 is a new mixed-use development that will feature six or seven restaurants, a coworking space, a music pavilion, a brewery, an apartment complex, a hotel and more at the northwest corner of Alma Road and SH 121.
Urbanization in the Craig Ranch area is only expected to continue moving east along the SH 121 corridor into McKinney, Grimes said.
“These economic development successes are so important for us because of the social and cultural capital they bring to our community,” Grimes said. “It’s not just the jobs, that is important, but ... they are bringing knowledge, education, experience that they will be able to impart in some way to our community.”
Grimes and Fuller also touched on the progress of a $350 million bond package, which was passed in May. The bond will fund new streets, parks, a new municipal complex for city staff and more.
So far, the city has issued about $8 million of bond funding, $3 million of which has gone toward planning for a new City Hall. Another $5 million is going toward acquiring an existing building on the north side of the city that will serve as a second public works facility.
On the education side, MISD has nearly completed all projects that were part of a bond passed in 2016. Bond projects included a new districtwide stadium and renovations of several MISD schools.
“They are like brand-new buildings,” Superintendent Rick McDaniel said. “No matter what part of McKinney you’re from, you get the same quality education in whatever building you walk in, and that was the intent. Because of that bond election, we were able to put in a schedule to refurbish buildings.”
MISD has also added several new components for school security, including new cameras and safety personnel on campuses.
Other highlights involved the growth of Collin College’s presence in the county, as it is set to open two new campuses in 2020 in Allen and Wylie. In addition, two other campuses are set to break ground next year in Farmersville and Celina that are expected to be open in 2021.
Collin College is also offering two new bachelor’s degrees, including a Bachelor's of Science in nursing, which will be available in spring 2020 at the McKinney campus. Also, a cybersecurity degree will be available at the new Frisco campus, and a third undetermined degree will soon be offered as well.
In addition, now students of the Collin County Higher Education Center, located in McKinney off of SH 121 and SH 5, can receive associate, bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees.
“McKinney has the largest university presence anywhere in Collin County,” Collin College District President Neil Matkin said during the State of the City. “Our goal is to create an environment where students can stay right here in Collin County and without going into incredible debt.”