Aligning with its Citizens.
With historic charm and putting its residents first; Princeton, Texas is set for economic expansion.
There are enticing towns dotted throughout the US that attract residents and tourists. Very few, however, display the charm and community feel of Princeton, Texas. Sitting on the Northeast corner of the Dallas Ft. Worth metropolitan area just minutes from the bustling 121 Corridor in Collin County, Princeton is blessed with friendly residents with scenic assets. The town is also clearly poised for economic growth.
Before the City was officially named Princeton, it was known as Wilson Switch and is historically well known for its bois d’arc wood products, which were used in construction in the 19th century.
Fast forward to present day and the city is experiencing an unprecedented increase in housing and business development. “We believe wholeheartedly that we can’t leave the older parts of town behind while focusing only on the future. So, as we replace streets and other infrastructure assets, we want to ensure that all of the infrastructure is up to standards and able to be maintained for all residents,” says Derek Borg, City Manager of Princeton, Texas.
In an effort to prepare and plan for this growth, Princeton is actively pursuing forward-thinking infrastructure projects, which will be in use beyond the foreseeable future, including extending water and sewer mains to remote corners of the city. With these new build outs, the city is meeting its goal of ensuring that upgrades extend to older infrastructure around the city. This initiative has been budgeted for by the city for several years.
As the importance of high-speed internet is realized by cities nationwide, Princeton is no exception. Over the past few months, the city has completed its Communications Master Plan that identifies the tallest locations within the City that will serve for high-speed internet locations. Princeton has also received grant funding to begin the construction process, enabling the city to provide high-speed broadband service to serve portions of the community and eventually provide service to underserved areas.
Three years ago, the City of Princeton, Texas was awarded bronze level Scenic Texas City Certification, for its efforts in creating standards for green space and scenic development now and in the future. City leadership, city employees, and Princeton’s residents remain incredibly proud of this accolade. Recognition like this attracts developers to the city. The city works diligently alongside developers coming into the city to incorporate as much green space in new developments as possible, as well as creating new parks. The city is in talks to develop these spaces into more than just regular parks including additions such as ponds where residents can go fishing, skate parks, and splash pads.
“We work hard in planning with our developers to assure the developments and subdivisions represent what the city’s comprehensive plan lays out and the citizens expect. The eventual long-term goal is to connect all new developments to local walking trails. We are proud to offer these green spaces, which allow our residents to enjoy a real work-life balance.” says Brianna Chacon, Mayor of Princeton, Texas.
Mayor Chacon is constantly inspired to assist and serve with programs for children, animals, and the senior and homeless communities, and that means working with the right professionals. “What motivates me is my love for all people. Also, having a servant’s heart was part of the driving factor for me to enter into politics.” The mayor is passionate about her very own non-profit, People Feeding Princeton, that has partnered with Community Lifeline Center in McKinney and the North Texas Food Bank to provide food to vulnerable families.
Projects like these are only made possible by volunteers, and although there were initial concerns about whether the program would have enough participants, there has been an endless supply of volunteers. “Whether it is a food drive or water drive for hurricane victims, we have endless volunteers from our community, and that makes me incredibly proud of our city and its huge heart,” says Mayor Chacon.
The city has been focusing on injecting new life into its business sector by developing the Economic Development Corporation’s (EDC) Bois D’Arc Business Park. Currently, 40% of the 108 acres have been sold already, and the team is looking to attract more businesses to the park. The three largest companies based at the new EDC Business Park are Texas Star Pharmaceuticals, Buff and Shine, and Princeton Storage. With these three companies buying into the park, the excitement is growing.
Another factor for developing the business park is that it is situated between several growing cities. The city is excited to see businesses moving in, gaining additional tax revenue, improving job growth, and developing new areas. Princeton is taking a more hands-on approach to this by encouraging businesses to talk with them directly, enabling the city to advise of the direct incentives offered by the EDC based on the needs of the business. “We have some tax abatements that we’re willing to look into for businesses as well,” says Economic Development Corporation Board Chairman, Terrance Johnson.
Johnson is currently involved with an entrepreneurial program through AEYL, that serves individuals across the entire Collin County area and is run in partnership with the Texas Workforce Commission. This program offers courses in resumé building, workforce readiness, and entrepreneurship for individuals interested in venturing into the market independently. “We focus on training these individuals here in Princeton. They need to be ready for the workforce as companies move into the area,” says Johnson.
Princeton maintains a solid relationship with Collin College, which offers a wide range of degree programs and certificate courses, including biotechnology, civil engineering, robotics, nursing, firefighting, and law enforcement training. The City also works closely with the Princeton Independent School District (PISD).
“We have a great relationship with our ISD. Currently, they offer students who are not bound for college, trade skills, which they can learn in high school. These programs now include nursing, cosmetology, coding, automotive services, carpentry, plumbing, and more,” says Mayor Chacon. The goal is to equip students with trade skills so if they want to avoid student debt and need to immediately step into the job market, they are able to do so. Collin College has also started to offer a more hands-on course where students can obtain certification in programs offered by their Tech Lab. Another collaborative effort between the college and ISD is the dual credit system that allows students to easily transition into college or graduate high school with an associate or EM certification at a fraction of the cost.
“Our Community Development Corporation (CDC) along with the city is constantly engaged in assisting with courses for residents, many of which are hosted by the Police and Fire Departments as well as more specialized emergency teams. The city’s fire department hosts classes sponsored by our Community Development Corporation, offering CPR certification and fire safety, and our police department hosts a citizens’ police academy, both of these programs have greatly benefited our community to give residents the basic community preparedness skills to help in crisis situations until the fire department and law enforcement arrives.” says City Manager Borg.
A significant residential development within the city, called Sicily, is currently being undertaken by Megatel Homes and will offer residents pristine lagoon living. The homes in the facility are on larger plots of land, great for entertaining, but still sold at affordable prices. This means that Sicily will offer so much more than the usual bedroom community projects. The developer has ensured that the installed lagoons are complemented with best environmental practices. While the Sicily development is situated on the city’s edge, it is guaranteed to attract people to the city.
There is another development called Lakeside Estates that is also turning heads. Developed by Universal Green Developers, Lakeside Estates sells lots ranging from one acre and homes from 2,400 to 3,700 square feet. All the homes within this neighborhood will be green, utilizing innovative technology, solar power, and more. “We’re seeing several other developers coming into the community and employing these selling points within their developments,” says Mayor Chacon.
The City of Princeton is located in one of the country’s most aggressively expanding regions, Collin County. Currently, the city’s estimated population is approximately 32,000 residents and growing. This is believed to be a growth rate of over 20%, and once you include current and future buildouts, the population is estimated to reach anywhere between 110,000 to 120,000.
Moving into 2023, the city is focused on continuing economic development in the area.
“We have laid the groundwork for many projects, and we are at a pivotal time, with so much on the go,” says Mayor Chacon.
The city has established an excellent Development Department, led by Director of Development Shawn Fort with the right individuals overseeing projects. Princeton has also established great boards and a strong council. With the correct framework, the management team at Princeton is sure they can get the job done.
Mayor Chacon concludes, “We are currently securing a better tax base, which will help all the residents in the city. And our goal is to continue our economic growth by making smart and strategic decisions, so we align with our residents’ vision for the city.”
AT A GLANCE
What: Historic town with economic growth projected
Where: Collin County, Texas
International Capital – www.international-capital.com
International Capital, LLC is a Dallas, Texas-based boutique real estate advisory firm that sources, acquires and manages a diverse real estate portfolio in the U.S. For more than 45 years, International Capital has successfully represented hundreds of clients investing in our portfolio that includes multifamily, retail, office and land development.