Wednesday, November 14, 2012
The Colony credits pro-business philosophy for rapid growth
146 businesses have moved in since 2010.
THE COLONY The Colony has seen a tremendous amount of growth within the last decade. But what does this mean to the city's image and atmosphere?
The Colony is a relatively young city compared to counterparts such as Plano, Frisco, Carrollton and Lewisville. But some residents used to the small town feel may be wondering why the push for more development.
City Manager Troy Powell said the additional development is a good thing for the city and its residents.
"[New business] provides more opportunity for them to shop where they live and see the benefits of that returned to them through public projects," Powell said. "I also think its providing valuable jobs while bringing in new people to see and experience our community. Business growth also helps redistribute the tax base, allowing us to continue to lower our property tax rates."
Most residents of The Colony have heard the buzz about the Nebraska Furniture Mart development, which will bring one of the largest home furnishings stores in the nation to the city's backyard. But what residents may not know about is the smaller businesses that are also helping the city's economy grow.
Keri Samford, director of economic development for the city, said the report on Certificate of Occupancies for 2010 until this month showed the city had 146 businesses move in, or begin in The Colony after removing duplication, owner changes and city buildings.
So what is it about The Colony that makes it a diamond in the rough for big business developments like Nebraska Furniture Mart, TopGolf and the Chapel at Ana Villa? Powell said it's all about location, location, location.
"The Colony is a great place for business for many reasons," he said. "I think one of the biggest is our location and access to major highways. You can get anywhere in the Metroplex quickly and easily from The Colony. The site is perfect for their vision and plan."
The city works hard to make sure it is balancing its economic expansion with the quality of life it so the city doesn't lose the small town feel that makes The Colony "a great place to live," Powell said. But, the city is also very business friendly, he said, and understands that businesses play a key role in helping planners achieve goals of creating a high quality of life for all residents.
"We support our businesses and do all we can to help them be successful," Powell said.
Some of the ways the city attempts to help businesses be successful includes working with new businesses by offering attractive cuts and partnerships. An example of this is the work done to get Nebraska Furniture Mart to choose The Colony instead of its neighbor Frisco. The mega-mart agreement was a performance-based sales tax and property tax rebate set up by Denton County and the city of The Colony.
"We have completed several development agreements over the past couple of years," Powell said. "These range from simply waiving some fees to much larger partnerships such as Nebraska Furniture Mart. These agreements not only make us competitive with other cities and states, they illustrate to the prospect that we are willing to partner for long term results. We are interested in creating long-term relationships, not short-term."
With the new businesses coming in, there is a certain amount of change that's expected within the city, not only geographically, but when it comes to the city's image. But Powell said the city by the lake will stay true to itself.
"I think more people are realizing this is a great community in a great location with a city government that's accessible and fair to work with," he said.
There are numerous types of businesses the city would like to see come to the community, but some of the current areas of emphasis are grocery stores and fine dining restaurants, Powell said. And in order to secure some of those businesses, Powell said the city will continue its efforts to attract other businesses.
"We will continue to get our message of partnership and pro-growth philosophy out to business prospects both in our region and outside our region," he said. "We also have some exciting projects going on over the next couple of years that will completely change our traffic patterns and help support growth."
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