Growth along McKinney’s SH 121 corridor has continued steadily throughout the years, and a large part of that growth began in 2000 when more than 1,000 acres of land were acquired to begin construction on Craig Ranch.
Now a 2,200-acre, mixed-use development spanning from Custer Road to Stacy Road and north to Silverado Trail, Craig Ranch is getting close to build-out.
David Craig, the master developer of Craig Ranch, said the development is expected to sell its last parcels of land in 2018.
“My guesstimation would be it’s possible that there could be several sites that aren’t built on in five years,” he said. “But I’d say for the most part [Craig Ranch] is developed out within five years. And that means built on and occupied.”
The development currently has approximately 1,287 acres of residential space, 6 acres of medical space, 42 acres of office space and 49 acres of retail space. Upon completion Craig Ranch expects to have 1,363 acres of residential space, 38 acres of medical space, 181 acres of office space and 141 acres of retail space, according to Craig.
As of late September, Craig Ranch had 14 parcels of land available for purchase, Chief Operating Officer for Craig Ranch Miles Prestemon said.
According to Craig Ranch’s property map, these remaining parcels are zoned for office, commercial retail, an urban core and corporate center spaces.
“We’re fortunate to be in the geographical location we’re in because of the proximity of the location to Legacy [West and business park], and Legacy has been so successful,” Craig said. “And right about now there are no sites that can be bought there. So there’s a natural migration on [SH 121 to Craig Ranch].”
There are 4,000 employees working in Craig Ranch today, but that number is expected to increase to a minimum of 20,000 employees upon completion, Craig said.
Craig Ranch recently announced Methodist McKinney Hospital’s plans to open the new Methodist Craig Ranch Surgery Center in November and Independent Bank’s plans to build a new headquarters. Craig said he expects more corporations to follow.
“If you look at, say an area with potential—Craig Ranch—there’s more
and more going on there from a corporate standpoint,” said Cindy Schneible, president of the McKinney Community Development Corp., in a previous interview with Community Impact Newspaper.
Independent Bank announced in July it will build a new $52 million corporate headquarters at the McKinney Corporate Center at Craig Ranch. Construction on the minimum six-story building is expected to begin before May 1, and it is anticipated to open in 2019.
Independent Bank plans to bring up to 400 new jobs to the city during the next five years, Independent Bank Marketing Director Peggy Smolen said.
“We knew that one of the last things that would come would be corporate relocations,” Craig said. “[The] market really drives the uses. You can’t force the market to come to a location because you want them to come to the location. There has to be a demand.”
When development at Craig Ranch began, the key amenities were the golf course, Craig Ranch Fitness and Spa, the Michael Johnson Performance Training Center, baseball fields and the McKinney Premier soccer fields, Craig said. In today’s market, the human resources department for the companies looking to relocate expect more amenities, including nearby retail and restaurants.
Hub 121, a mix of office, restaurant and retail space, will develop at the northwest corner of SH 121 and Alma Road. The first phase of Hub 121, which is expected to break ground by the end of January, will have 60,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, Hub 121 developer Shane Jordan said.
In addition to retail and restaurants, Hub 121 will have urban housing, offices, a hospitality component, a pavilion area, and a performance stage for live music and family movie nights, Jordan said.
“A corporate center, for it to be successful, it needs some walkable entertainment to the employee base, and so actually we think we’re going to help [the corporate center at Craig Ranch] develop,” he said.
Craig Ranch also attracted a 285-room hotel and 33,000-square-foot conference center. Craig Ranch Resort & Conference Center will be located on an 8-acre site at the corner of Collin McKinney Parkway and Weiskopf Avenue and is expected to open in March 2020, Prestemon said.
“We desperately need hospitality near the McKinney Corporate Center,” Craig said during an April 2016 McKinney City Council meeting when the hotel’s plan was presented to council. “This is an opportunity to bring one of the essential developments and attractors to the corporate center in the form of a hotel that brings many of the amenities required by corporate America: meeting space, dining and overnight stays on campus.”
In the first year of operation the hotel is estimated to generate over $350,000 in tax revenue for the city. Upon expiration of the tax incentives approved by City Council, the city expects to collect more than $2 million annually through sales, property and hotel occupancy taxes collected from the hotel, according to a city presentation at the May 2 City Council meeting.
The growth at Craig Ranch is not expected to stop anytime soon. The development is expected to bring additional corporate centers, retail and restaurant spaces, residential lots and apartments. Some of these spaces are either under development or in the early stages of development, Craig said.
Artistry at Craig Ranch, a 163-unit apartment complex for seniors age 62 and older, is one of many developments adding additional growth to Craig Ranch. The Artistry expects to open in mid-October at 6370 Piper Glen Road.
Craig said he will also continue pursuing corporate companies and is looking to redevelop portions of Craig Ranch, including two of the four baseball fields.
The Dr Pepper StarCenter, located at 6993 Stars Ave., will expand south onto two of the baseball fields at Craig Ranch. It will also add approximately 46,000 square feet to its facility, including an ice rink with 1,800 seats, more parking and locker rooms.
“I think [Craig Ranch brings] resort-style living, which is a lifestyle community and a destination location … that’s self-sustainable with a true mix of uses not vertically but horizontally, [and we have created] a tremendous tax base and a quality of life.” Craig said.