Amazon’s second headquarters will be built in a city with these 9 qualities—Learn how McKinney fares

A worker loads boxes for shipping at an Amazon fulfillment center.

A worker loads boxes for shipping at an Amazon fulfillment center.

Amazon announced Sept. 7 its plans to open a second headquarters, and McKinney Mayor George Fuller said he and city staff will are taking steps to draw the tech company to the city.

The process for submitting proposals opened Sept. 7 and will close Oct. 19.

Amazon estimates the new headquarters will result in a $5 billion investment and bring 50,000 high-paying jobs to the city that lands the project. According to Amazon documents, it is estimated that Amazon’s Seattle headquarters brought an additional $38 billion to the local economy between 2010 and 2016.

For prospective cities, there is a lot to be gained in hosting Amazon’s second headquarters; however, Amazon desires much from its future location. Below is an official list released by Amazon of ideal characteristics for a host city and a look at how McKinney compares to each characteristic.

1. Metropolitan area with more than one million people


Amazon wants a location that is heavily populated—more specifically, an area within at least 30 miles of a population center as the company expects to bring roughly 50,000 jobs. The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area's population was measured at more than 6.4 million people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau 2010 estimates. The city of McKinney's population was estimated at 168,358 people, according to city estimates as of Jan. 1.

2. Within 45 minutes of an international airport


The Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is approximately 32-50 minutes from McKinney.

Should Amazon select McKinney, the company would also have easy access to the McKinney National Airport, which is in the process of updating its master plan.

3. Located 1 to 2 miles away from major roadways


Three major roadways run through McKinney's city limits—SH 121, US 75 and US 380.

4. Access to mass transit


Collin County Transit provides a subsidized taxi program for residents in McKinney, Melissa, Princeton, Celina, Lowry Crossing and Princeton. This service is available for residents who are 65 years and older or are disabled.

5. Estimated campus size is 8 million square feet


The city of McKinney has approximately 22 square miles of undeveloped land within city limits and approximately 40 square miles of undeveloped land in the city's extraterritorial jurisdiction, which is land the city has the authority to annex in the future. Given the amount of land left to develop, Amazon could find a place to settle in McKinney.

6. Economic incentives


The McKinney Economic Development Corp. updated its strategic plan in May and has since made strides in its increased efforts to attract businesses.

The city signed a deal with Independent Bank in July for the construction of its $52 million corporate headquarters on 10 acres of land at the McKinney Corporate Center at Craig Ranch. Other economic incentives offered to companies such as Raytheon Co., Simpson Strong-Tie Co. and PACCAR can be found here.

7. Strong labor force and university system 


Between July 2015 and July 2016, the city of McKinney ranked the third fastest-growing city in the country, according to new data released May 25 by the U.S. Census Bureau. McKinney has ranked on the bureau's fastest-growing cities list since at least 2012.

Amazon said a strong local university system is preferred. The city of McKinney is home to Collin College which has nearly 5,000 students at the Central Park Campus, located at 2200 W. University Drive, McKinney.

8. Quick timetable for construction commencement


This characteristic means an easy and streamlined permitting process. The city is working to streamline the development process and convey the message that McKinney is open for business, Michael Quint, executive director of development services for the city, said in a previous interview. The city also updated its permitting requirements in the ETJ.

The MEDC has also selected Hunt Southwest to develop a speculative light industrial development project in the city in hopes of attracting more businesses.

9. Cultural community/quality of life


Priding itself on its "unique by nature" culture, McKinney was ranked as the number one best place to live in America by Money Magazine in 2014. In 2017, Wallet Hub rated McKinney the second-best real estate market in the country and the best U.S. city for first-time buyers. Smart Asset also ranked McKinney the fourth best place to raise a family in Texas in 2017.

More city accomplishments can be found on the city's website.
By Joe Warner
Joe Warner is executive editor of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as managing editor for Central Texas and senior editor of the flagship Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto newspaper. He came to Central Texas from Metro Detroit, where he was editor and general manager of several daily and weekly publications. He is the former president of the Michigan Press Association and was on the MPA board of directors for nine years.


MOST RECENT

Artio Birth Care opened in October at 614 S. Edmonds Lane, Ste. 205, Lewisville. The education center offers classes and groups for people preparing for childbirth. (Courtesy Artio Birth Care)
Artio Birth Care opens in Lewisville, plus 7 more DFW business updates

Here are eight recent business updates from across the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Mitzi's Sonoma offers wine and gifts, such as this tea starter kit. (Courtesy Mitzi's Sonoma)
Mitzi’s Sonoma moves to new location in downtown McKinney

The fine wine and gift shop, which is just off the square in downtown McKinney, offers a curated selection of wine from around the world.

D'Ambrosio's #1 Pizza Pub will offer customers a friendly environment to enjoy a more contemporary style of Chicago deep-dish pizza. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
D'Ambrosio's pizzeria opens in Grapevine and more DFW news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for the state Nov. 23 for a vaccine he said could be available as soon as December. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

The vaccine could start being distributed "as early as next month," according to a Nov. 23 news release.

Visit McKinney works to encourage visitors to come to the city. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
Inside info: What to know about Visit McKinney

Learn more about Visit McKinney and how its services benefit the city.

 (Community Impact Newspaper)
Tracking COVID-19: McKinney cases climb, county hospitalizations surge

The number of cases in McKinney has nearly doubled, increasing from 327 to 570 over a period of 14 days.

Play Street Museum recently celebrated its fifth anniversary in McKinney. (Courtesy Play Street Museum)
Play Street Museum celebrates fifth anniversary in McKinney

The interactive children’s museum and indoor play area is designed and scaled for children age 8 and under.

Santa Claus has arrived in downtown McKinney and is ready to ring in the holidays. (Courtesy city of McKinney)
McKinney cancels annual Home for the Holidays event, replaces with four-week celebration

“The biggest difference this year is that we are not concentrating all of the activities into one weekend for a closed street festival," said Amy Rosenthal, McKinney Main Street program director.

Collin County commissioners unanimously approved a $2 million allocation of federal funding to continue reimbursements of local food pantries. (Screenshot courtesy Collin County)
Collin County allocates additional $2M in CARES funding for local food pantries

Collin County commissioners allocated an additional $2 million in federal funding to the Collin CARES program to continue reimbursements for local food pantries.

Laura Colangelo
Q&A: Laura Colangelo discusses challenges facing private schools during pandemic

Colangelo said private schools have adapted to remote learning and other obstacles in 2020 despite less revenue and a 9% decline in enrollment statewide.

texas health breeze urgent care concierge desk
New urgent care center in McKinney, plus four more DFW-area business updates

Here are five businesses that opened recently in the Greater Dallas-Fort Worth area.

chilangos tacos
Chilangos Tacos opens in Plano, plus three more DFW-area restaurant updates

Here are four restaurants that opened recently in the Greater Dallas-Fort Worth area.