Located on the eastern side of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Rockwall, Texas, is an economic development leader. Its strong commercial and industrial tax base supports a high quality of life for residents, while maintaining a low property tax rate relative to the region. The establishment and growth of the Rockwall Technology Park, a competitive incentives package, and the Rockwall Economic Development Corporation’s (REDC) sustained and professional approach have all contributed to a number of successful business expansion and relocation projects in the city. While growth along the I-30 corridor will likely continue for the foreseeable future, Rockwall’s rate of growth will likely slow as the city approaches buildout over the next 10 to 20 years. Rockwall’s economic development efforts will require a more calculated and strategic approach if the city is to maintain its quality of life, attractive business climate, and balanced tax base.
Recognizing this challenge, the REDC hired TIP Strategies to lead a collaboration of partners in updating its 2017 strategic plan. Launched in spring 2022, the work was guided by an 18-member steering committee representing public- and private-sector interests. The project included a robust analysis of economic, demographic, and industry data, as well as extensive stakeholder input via one-on-one interviews and roundtable discussions focused on specific target audiences. The resulting strategy incorporated key elements from the 2017 plan that were still integral to Rockwall’s success, while also considering recent data, both quantitative and qualitative. TIP proposed a three-pronged approach to the updated plan: taking concerted action to maintain and enhance Rockwall’s competitive position; supporting efforts to build the pipeline of skilled talent that current and future employers need; and ensuring the availability of quality, shovel-ready sites to accommodate business expansions and new investment. With this framework, the REDC is positioned for ongoing economic success by leveraging existing strengths, preparing for future buildout, and building on the collaboration established during the planning process.