City of Round Rock (TX) – Strategic Workshop & Baseline Assessment
ChallengeAt a certain point, suburbs begin to function as their own urban centers. They provide a range of amenities which were previously accessed only by driving to the central city: retail, recreational, medical and educational to name some of the more prominent. Recent developments in Round Rock, coupled with the city’s explosive growth, clearly mirror that pattern. Based on current growth rates, Round Rock is poised to be the second largest city between Dallas and San Antonio as early as 2012. City leaders recognized that the city’s growing prominence was central to its economic future and that a new perspective was required to support a changing population. To launch this new approach, the City of Round Rock and the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce engaged TIP Strategies to prepare an economic development assessment and conduct a planning workshop.
ApproachTo provide a framework for making decisions about Round Rock’s economic future, TIP prepared an initial assessment of the community.
The purpose of the assessment was to:
1. Provide a comparison of Round Rock with other central Texas cities on a variety of economic development factors, including: demographic trends, incentive packages, and available sites.
2. Benchmark selected cities based on their experience in leveraging similar opportunities.
The results of the assessment were used as the basis for discussion at a planning workshop attended by 25 members of the Round Rock Economic Development Committee. The resulting recommendations helped form a common economic development vision and laid the groundwork for pursuing new opportunities.
OutcomeIn many ways, Round Rock’s planning efforts are a direct response not only to the opportunity presented by the rapid population growth, but also reflect the expectations of citizens and businesses. Capitalizing on new opportunities, many of which are public-private ventures, will do more to attract business than any traditional recruitment effort. The opportunity analysis presented in this report reinforces this approach. Higher education and medical research & services are two conspicuous examples of how public investment can trigger a new wave of private investment. The city’s highly successful “Momentum” fundraising campaign built upon the energy created by the opportunity analysis. In its initial year the campaign raised $1.6 million. As a direct result of this effort, the community formed the Round Rock Economic Development Partnership – a public-private partnership between the City of Round Rock and the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce.
Photo credit © 2006 Larry D. Moore (CC)
Photo credit Donna Buda
Photo credit Tim Patterson