The city of McKinney and the McKinney Economic Development Corp. on Feb. 22 agreed to enter into exclusive negotiations with development company KDC for the development of the Gateway site at SH 121 and US 75.
The commercial real estate development and investment firm is responsible for developing the Plano office campuses for JPMorgan Chase and Liberty Mutual as well as Toyota’s North American headquarters complex. KDC also developed the Raytheon and State Farm Insurance campuses at City Line in Richardson.
“KDC has a great reputation for doing incredible work in North Texas, and we couldn’t be more excited to work with them as they will help bring our vision and guiding principles for the Gateway development to fruition,” McKinney EDC President Darrell Auterson said.
KDC will work with the city and MEDC to determine what the development will include, and Auterson said he hopes to see Class A office space become a part of Gateway to fill the growing office space demand in the region.
Since Auterson took the helm of the EDC in July, city officials have been looking at the Gateway project as just the start of growing momentum for the MEDC and the city of McKinney.
“Darrell and his staff are highly regarded in the field of economic development and among the business community,” City Manager Paul Grimes said. “This is truly a new era for economic development in the city of McKinney, and we are excited for the future of McKinney economic development.”
The MEDC, established in 1993, is a nonprofit entity funded through a half cent McKinney sales tax. The organization’s role is to bring in corporations and businesses to add jobs and add to the tax base.
The organization has facilitated dozens of incentives to bring companies to the area since its inception, and it is now working to revamp the MEDC strategic plan. The process to update the plan began in February, and it includes roundtable discussions with developers, landowners, utility companies and builders.
“When our strategic plan is complete, it will be our manual for success,” Auterson said. “We are going to commit ourselves to accomplishing as much as is defined in that plan, and if we need to adjust as development trends or demands change, then we will.”
Auterson said the MEDC has hired a specialist to help teach the staff how to better understand what the business community is looking for.
“[The knowledge] will make it a lot better for us when we are sitting in front of an executive to have deep, meaningful conversations about their business,” he said. “We will be the ones who have done all of the homework and have learned how to do the proper business case analysis, so when that CEO is talking about the complexities of their business, we are better-equipped to tell them why McKinney is the right fit for them.”
Road to development
McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller said most of the development taking place in surrounding cities occurred once infrastructure was in place, adding that he expects McKinney to follow that trend.
“Compared to how long the Dallas North Tollway has existed, McKinney and Allen will just be beginning to look to development opportunities on SH 121 as the projects move east from the DNT,” he said.