Richardson in the news: March 2019

Richardson in the news:

  • City Council updated on Richardson Economic Development Partnership
  • Main Street revitalization project should begin this summer
  • City receives “Triple A” bond ratings
  • DART Galatyn Station platform extension project begins
  • Richardson a best city for retirement
  • Richardson named to “Top 100 Places to Live” list; highest ranked in Texas
  • UT Dallas’ updated campus master plan addresses unprecedented enrollment growth in recent years
  • Wildflower! Festival to feature performances by Fitz and the Tantrums, Blue Oyster Cult, The Jacksons and more
  • Eisemann Center officials announce art and technology programmatic partnership with UT Dallas
  • Texas House votes to rename part of North Central Expressway in Richardson
 
From the City of Richardson newsletter
City Council updated on Richardson Economic Development Partnership
Richardson Chamber of Commerce staff gave the annual report on the Richardson Economic Development Partnership (REDP) which included highlights of REDP’s efforts/successes in 2018 and plans for 2019.

REDP helped facilitate 33 business relocations or expansions in Richardson in 2018, resulting in 6,730 new or retained jobs, more than twice the new/retained jobs in 2017. More than 2.5 million square feet of office, data center and flex space were occupied as a result. Other REDP highlights from 2018 include:
  • Sponsored five luncheons to connect small local businesses with expanding and relocating companies
  • Hosted a delegation from the 78,000-member Tokyo Chamber of Commerce
  • Helped facilitate a collaboration between Richland College and a consortium of local companies (Argo Data/GXA/The Wilkins Group), which resulted in a $523,000 state training grant.
Plans for 2019 include continuing work with the Collins/Arapaho Innovation District project, working on the naming and branding of the area and helping with outreach during the rezoning process; continuing the Mayor’s lunch program, which fosters a relationship with existing Richardson businesses; and conducting targeted outreach both inside and outside Richardson using Gazelle AI, software that analyzes data on millions of companies in the U.S. and abroad to predict which companies are likely to be expanding soon.

REDP is a joint initiative established by the City of Richardson and the Richardson Chamber of Commerce in 1984, the oldest economic development partnership in North Texas. For more of the REDP report, view the presentation here.

Main Street revitalization project should begin this summer
Plans to revitalize a stretch of Main Street east of US 75 to Abrams Road have been ongoing for several months and construction on the project should begin in July.

The ongoing construction of the Public Safety Complex at Main and Greenville Avenue has served as a harbinger for the revitalization project. As fire and police staff move into the new headquarters in July and September, their former buildings will be demolished, allowing construction on the Main Street project to begin, Deputy City Manager Don Magner said. Read more about the changes coming and an artist’s rendering.

From the City of Richardson newsletter
City receives “Triple A” bond ratings
For the 10th year in a row, both the Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) credit rating agencies have reaffirmed Richardson’s “Triple A” status, the highest possible rating available for credit worthiness. Richardson has held AAA status from Standard & Poor’s for 12 years and has received an Aaa rating from Moody’s the past 10 years.

In its rationale, S&P cited Richardson’s “very strong economy, very strong management with strong financial policies and practices, very strong budgetary flexibility, strong budgetary performance, very strong liquidity and a strong institutional framework.” Moody’s stated that Richardson’s strong credit profile is based on “a healthy local economy, favorable resident income levels and historically stable financial position.”

This year the City plans to sell approximately $49.4 million in bonds, which includes $17.4 million for the continuation of the serial sale of bonds associated with projects that are part of the 2015 Bond Program and $32 million for capital needs, which include funds for water and sewer infrastructure improvements, emergency services equipment, information technology equipment, streets, park trails and public facilities including the Public Safety Campus and Fire Station 3.

From the City of Richardson newsletter
DART Galatyn Station platform extension project begins
DART has begun a platform extension project at Galatyn Station, lengthening the platforms to enable more cars on DART trains, so exiting passengers on end cars may exit onto a platform. Work is expected to continue for the next four months. Rail service will not be disrupted but riders need to be aware that there will be an active construction zone at that station.

 Learn the latest on the Cotton Belt rail project 
Richardson residents will have access to an east-west rail line via Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s Cotton Belt beginning in 2022. Recently, DART’s board also approved the addition of a second track along the entirety of the line that will not only improve the wait period between rail cars but also add more than $100 million to the project’s price tag. Two Cotton Belt stations are planned for Richardson at The University of Texas at Dallas and the CityLine development.

From the City of Richardson newsletter
Richardson a best city for retirement
The City of Richardson has placed No. 6 on a nationwide list of Best Cities to Retire in America just released by Niche, a Pennsylvania-based company that ranks U.S. neighborhoods, schools and companies. Niche ranked 2,228 cities based on analysis of key statistics from the U.S. Department of Education and millions of reviews. 
Niche gave Richardson an A+ in its categories of Diversity and Good for Families, and an A- in Housing and Jobs. It also earned an A in Public Schools, Health and Fitness, and Nightlife. 
For more information on the report and Richardson’s ranking, click here.

From the City of Richardson newsletter
Richardson named to “Top 100 Places to Live” list; highest ranked in Texas
Livability has named Richardson to its annual “Top 100 Places to Live” list. The company specializes in data-driven rankings for small- to mid-sized cities, showcasing the “unsung awesomeness” of these communities. Richardson ranked 34th in the U.S. and was the highest ranked Texas city. Richardson was recognized for its low crime rate, “fantastic” job market and infrastructure, including access to four DART rail stations and numerous bike trails.

For more information on Richardson’s ranking as well as the complete list, click here
 
UT Dallas’ updated campus master plan addresses unprecedented enrollment growth in recent years
Record-high enrollment growth at The University of Texas at Dallas is behind the latest update to its campus master plan released in late February. During the past decade, the number of students attending UT Dallas has doubled to 28,000. Another 7,000 are expected to enroll by 2029, according to Rick Dempsey, former associate vice president for facilities management.

Growing pains are most evident in laboratories, where the university has resorted to scheduling some classes on Saturdays to maintain a reasonable student-teacher ratio. As a result, the plan recommends going vertical by replacing older one-story buildings with more space-efficient alternatives.

A number of entities, including UT Dallas, the city of Richardson and the Richardson Chamber of Commerce, have urged state legislators to issue tuition revenue bonds to help pay for construction of new buildings and renovations at the university.

“We certainly need resources to continue; we are tapped out from a facilities standpoint,” Dempsey said.
 
Wildflower! Festival to feature performances by Fitz and the Tantrums, Blue Oyster Cult, The Jacksons and more
More than 80 bands and musicians will descend on Galatyn Urban Park in Richardson for the 27th annual Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival running May 17-19. Among the headliners are Fitz and the Tantrums, Judah & the Lion, Blue Oyster Club, The Jacksons, Good Charlotte, Neon Trees and more. Live performances will happen on six stages. Other features of the …

Eisemann Center officials announce art and technology programmatic partnership with UT Dallas
The intersection of art and technology is the focus of the Eisemann Edge Endowment Fund, a new, multiyear programmatic partnership between the city-operated Eisemann Center and The University of Texas at Dallas.

Made possible by a $250,000 donation from longtime community benefactors Charles and Ann Eisemann, the fund will support innovative visual art exhibits and performances. Students from UTD’s Arts, Technology and Emerging Communications department will design, develop and install the exhibits, according to Eisemann Center Managing Director Bruce MacPherson.
 
Texas House votes to rename part of North Central Expressway in Richardson
AUSTIN — The Texas House on Thursday voted to name part of the North Central Expressway that runs through Richardson after officer David Sherrard, who last year became the police department's first casualty in the line of duty in its 64-year history. 
"It’s my hope that this memorial, this honor, will bring a sense of joy and pride to Officer Sherrard’s family and to his fellow officers all across the state of Texas who continue to serve the state fully and courageously every day," said Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano, who carried the bill in the House. 
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