Wylie (TX) Economic Development Corporation – Economic Development Strategic Plan

ChallengeLike many Dallas suburbs, Wylie has experienced dramatic growth in recent years. In Wylie’s case, the growth curve accelerated following the removal of the Kansas City Southern rail line in 2001. This action opened up the west side of State Highway 78 to development, allowing for greater mobility and creating opportunities for expansion. As the city’s growth continues, city leaders are faced with the task of charting the course for the future. To assist them in this effort, the Wylie Economic Development Corporation engaged TIP Strategies to prepare an economic development strategic plan.

ApproachTo better understand development opportunities in Wylie, the team conducted an economic assessment of the area. The purpose of the assessment was to gain an understanding of Wylie’s strengths and to identify the most pressing challenges facing the community. As part of the analysis, the community was compared to a number of other Metroplex suburbs. In addition, the team conducted a retail study and a target industry analysis. The consulting team held several workshops in Wylie—including a project kick-off meeting, an assessment session, and a strategy development workshop—and received input from stakeholders during focus group meetings and personal interviews. Topic areas for the focus group meetings included education, small business owners and chamber members, downtown merchants, major employers, and interested developers.

OutcomeA number of priority projects were identified during the planning process, including conducting a marketing & image campaign to better define Wylie in the minds of businesses and residents in the Metroplex; expanding opportunities in the town’s historic downtown; and preparing a master plan for a the city’s new town center and municipal complex. Wylie has had a number of successes since the plan was completed in late 2007, including the location of a new Target super store, completion of a number of significant infrastructure projects, and the expansion of several local manufacturing operations. The city broke ground on the municipal complex – the heart of the new town center – in 2008 and will be open for business at the new location in early 2011. The city has continued to see impressive levels of growth and was named among the nation’s fastest growing cities in 2009 by a national site selection firm, despite the economic downturn. According to city manger, Mindy Mason, “Wylie’s long-term planning, conservative budgeting, fiscal restraint and aggressive economic development plan has left us better positioned than many cities throughout the country.”

TIP Contact Tom Stellman