Richardson Chamber’s economic development group builds on successes

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With three of the top 10 leases in DFW in 2015, the Richardson Chamber’s economic development division - Richardson Economic Development Partnership (REDP) continues to deliver upon its mission of building a vibrant and thriving local economy by attracting companies and jobs to Richardson.

Last year was a phenomenal year, and we’re using that momentum to benefit Richardson far into the future. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to be in economic development in Richardson right now.

The REDP successes just in the last year include:
  • 6315 new or retained jobs
  • Three of the top 10 leases in all of DFW – RealPage, GEICO, Frontier Communications
  • Laying groundwork for a talent recruitment campaign
  • Named the best economic development organization nationwide for communities its size
  • Ranked #1 for foreign direct investment (FDI) for populations less than 250,000
  • Named a top 50 U.S. city for young professionals
REDP’s strategy revolves around recruiting new companies to Richardson, helping existing companies expand and stay in Richardson, encouraging small business and entrepreneurship, developing international contacts, attracting retail offerings, branding the city as a technology hub, developing the workforce and attracting talent. Affordable housing costs, multiple rail stations in the city and 58 new restaurants in 2015 are factors that have attracted new companies to Richardson.

In the area of small business and entrepreneurship, as well as redevelopment opportunities in Richardson, we have established an economic gardening program that helps emerging companies grow their revenue - is showing promise. The chamber has also established a task force of property owners and tenants to investigate how they can stimulate a plan for redevelopment at the Collins/East Arapaho road corridor along 75, which was heavily occupied during the tech boom some years ago, but now has a high vacancy rate.

We have an opportunity to increase value in that area. The focus shifts to finding investors and bringing tenants into those areas. Small businesses are good economic partners for this.

Richardson still has several commercial land tracts left, and office and flex space is plentiful. Richardson is comparable with neighboring cities in the amount of office space available, but our rates are as much as 25 percent lower, which gives Richardson a competitive advantage. Richardson has been known as an economical, get more for your money city and that will continue. 

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