Allen Economic Development Corporation’s original and patient approach to supporting the development of the city’s Watters Creek District has earned two prestigious awards from the Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC).
The 2019 Community Economic Development Award for Innovativeness was presented to Allen Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) on Thursday, October 10 in San Antonio, Texas. AEDC also received the CEDA award for its population category (100,001 to 250,000).
AEDC began assembling the land now known as One Bethany at Watters Creek in the early 1990s, envisioning a first-class office park. Over the years, leaders intentionally turned away strip center retail and industrial projects to wait for better projects.
“Allen was previously not considered a market for Class A offices,’” said Dan Bowman, Executive Director of Allen EDC. “But we knew from our research that corporate tenants would be attracted to Allen’s amenities and quality of life.”
The district began taking shape in 2008 with the addition of a 1.5 million square-foot mixed-use shopping center, Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm. As the region’s population grew, AEDC began leveraging this vibrant development—and it paid off. In the last year, AEDC welcomed $260 million in development with new Class A office buildings, a four-star hotel and 78,000 square-foot convention center.
With four office buildings complete or under construction, the Watters Creek District has scored numerous corporate relocations, including NetScout, Credit Union of Texas, Boss Fight Entertainment and Verado Energy.
“We’ve not only changed the landscape of this coveted piece of real estate, we’ve changed the landscape of Allen’s employment base,” said Allen Mayor Stephen Terrell. “This critical and creative investment in Allen will pay off for decades to come.”
The TEDC provides information, education and legislative services to its members to foster the expansion of existing businesses, the location of new firms and the development of strategies that promote a positive business climate in Texas. With 870 members, the TEDC is the largest state economic development association in the nation. The 2019 Community Economic Development Award (CEDA) recognized communities in six population categories which display innovativeness, transferability, community commitment and leverage, measured objectives and secondary benefits.