Business Climate in Southwest Dallas County, TX
Southwest Dallas County includes DeSoto, TX, Cedar Hill, TX, Duncanville, TX and Lancaster, TX, which offer top schools and an outstanding quality of life. Top industries in Southwest Dallas County include manufacturing, transportation and logistics, and hospitals and health care. The University of North Texas at Dallas is one of the many colleges and universities in Southwest Dallas County. Recreation options include Cedar Hill State Park and Joe Pool Lake.
Regional Economic Approach Brings Success to Southwest Dallas County
The high quality of life that makes Southwest Dallas County an attractive home for a diverse population of professionals, families and retirees also makes the region of more than 233,000 residents a destination of choice for large and small businesses that represent many sectors of the economy.
There’s no personal income tax; we have good schools, universities and competitive (sales) taxes. In our region, the price of land is more reasonable and traffic congestion doesn’t touch the level in the rest of the area,” says Allison J.H. Thompson, director of the Cedar Hill Economic Development Corp.
The region’s advantages for businesses and individuals are similar. They include lower costs for housing and for sites for business relocations and expansions. In addition, the highway network cuts down on traffic jams and reduces travel times for commuters. It also enables businesses to ship goods quickly.
Those advantages have helped the region score a number of recent successes. In DeSoto, retailer Kohl's plans a 951,000-square-foot distribution center to fulfill orders placed on the company's kohls.com website. The project is expected to create 400 jobs over the next three years.
“Labor resources within this region offer a broad range and variety of skills, and access to those skills is readily available due to the region’s sophisticated transportation networks," says Ed Brady, director of economic development for the city of Lancaster. "People can live anywhere in the region and get to their jobs, whatever city they are located in, in a reasonable amount of time.”
The collaborative approach can be seen in the formation of the Best Southwest Partnership. Four founding communities in Southwest Dallas County – Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville and Lancaster – have been joined by seven associate communities in Southwest Dallas County and Northern Ellis County (Ferris, Glenn Heights, Hutchins, Midlothian, Ovilla, Red Oak, and Wilmer) to promote the region's business advantages, including its lower costs and access to the vast Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
A Rising Tide
Universities, community colleges, highly regarded public schools, superior recreation opportunities, historic town centers, and a variety of shopping destinations make the region an attractive place to live. For businesses, the region’s high quality of life simplifies the task of finding workers locally and recruiting employees from other parts of the country.
It all creates a climate where businesses, individuals and families can thrive, says Boyce Whatley, mayor of Midlothian.
“Land costs are a fraction of the cost of similarly located communities on the north side of the Metroplex," Whatley says. "In addition, we generally have more land available for development than many cities that are landlocked. Our housing costs are relatively low, and the quality of our public school districts is very high.
“We have a large pool of available workforce and continue to work with our colleges and universities to customize training that will be beneficial to their operations. We’re proud of the can-do, pro-business perspective that our local governments in this region share.”
Communities throughout the area have long embraced “regionalism,” the understanding that a rising tide lifts all boats and the one city’s success strengthens everyone else, Whatley says.
“I recognize the many benefits of regional success, primarily the creation of jobs and expanding opportunities for our constituents,” he says. “As much as I would like to see economic development happen in Midlothian, I celebrate the successes of our neighbors as well.”
The expansion of municipal tax bases throughout the region allows cities to improve and expand services, develop additional revenue sources and limit the tax burden on existing taxpayers, Whatley says.
The regional approach improves the quality of life and the business climate, for everyone, Thompson says. It helps explain successes such as Home Depot’s decision to build a 1.2 million-square-foot distribution center in DeSoto, expanding an existing 531,000-square-foot facility. The $20 million facility is expected to be complete in 2012 and to create 250 jobs.
“The pie is big enough for everybody to have some, and with each success the pie grows. We’re stronger together than separately,” Thompson says.
Find out why Texas is the land of opportunity: http://governor.state.tx.us/texas_brags