Allen EDC Presents 2019 Awards Development Projects

Allen EDC honored local companies, Billings Productions (The Dinosaur Company), Cytracom and the Watters Creek District as 2019’s top projects during the annual holiday event in December.

Billings Productions – Top Build-to Suit

Billings Productions , North America’s leading provider or life-size animatronic dinosaurs, broke ground on their new 50,000 square foot headquarters in Allen in November. The location will be home to all the designers, engineers, technicians and artists, as well as over 350 life-size dinosaurs and giant bugs that they create. The building, which features a space for community events will hope in Summer 2020.

Cytracom – Top Expansion

Cytracom, a software company delivering Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) to small and medium-sized businesses, expanded their current office space to accommodate the company’s rapid growth. Their office in AllenPlace along the US 75 corridor tripled in size and increased their workforce by 30 percent.

The Watters Creek District

The Watters Creek District received numerous accolades in 2019 and was honored with a special award recognizing the long-term vision and partners that made this district one of the top mixed-use developments in the region. Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm, the One Bethany at Watters Creek campus and the Delta Hotels by Marriott Dallas-Allen and Convention Center all make up the dynamic district.

Check out the video to see highlights from the event.

Billings Productions Inc. Breaks Ground on New Building in Allen

Billings Productions, Inc., North America’s leading provider of animatronic life-size dinosaurs, will break ground on their new 50,000 square foot headquarters in Allen. The company is expected to move its team of expert craftsmen as well as its warehouse filled with over 350 life size dinosaur and giant bug replicas to their new facility, east of Highway 75, by late 2020.

The build-to-suit facility, designed by Alliance Architects and represented by Partners National Real Estate Group, will contain customized layouts to meet the variable needs of their business. The facility will also have space available for community events and continue to offer tours showcasing how the modules are made.  “This is a covert factory that operates a mysterious business behind closed doors,” explains Sandra Billings, Founder.  “We want to involve the community in our business by showing them what we do so that they too can feel like they have a hand in our success.”

“We are thrilled that a home-grown Allen business has chosen to expand in our community,” Dan Bowman, Executive Director, Allen Economic Development (AEDC) says. “Animatronic dinosaur manufacturing is about as creative an industry as we could hope to attract – and it highlights the diversity of businesses that call Allen their home.”

The creatures are designed and constructed in Allen by the team of highly skilled designers, engineers, technicians and artists. Since starting the company in 2003, Billings Productions has grown to become a world leader in the design and development of animatronic exhibits for zoos, museums and theme parks and the only manufacturer of fully assembled animatronic dinosaurs and bugs in the United States. Each year, new creatures are added, and they incorporate new ideas and technology to help their clients make each animatronic exhibition better than their last.

Billings Productions is thrilled to continue to call the City of Allen its home, with its proximity to entertainment, dining and walking trails, as well as the unparalleled safety the city is known for, the City of Allen truly is a great place to live, work and play.

DFW Based WORKSUITES Opens Its 20th Location in Allen

Dallas-based co-working operation WORKSUITES is opening its 20th location and its first in
the booming office market of Allen.

WORKSUITES are designed for privacy, productivity and professionality, and provides its members with
workplace solutions for entrepreneurs, small businesses and large corporations. These turnkey offices are
move-in ready and equipped with conference and team rooms, co-working spaces, full-service coffee lounge,
and the latest IT infrastructure. With 20 locations in Dallas and Houston.

The new WORKSUITES location will take up 19,706 square feet on the second floor of the 470,000-square foot,
Class-A Allen Center at 450 Century Parkway, the premier office building in the heart of the Allen
submarket. The new location boasts excellent access to Central Expressway, a 5-per-1,000 parking ratio, an
indoor-outdoor café, and a fitness center.

“Obviously the metroplex has been expanding to the north for a long time, and we get so many requests for
office space north of Plano. We are very excited to finally have a location to serve the Allen/McKinney
market,” WORKSUITES CEO and Founder Flip Howard said.

John Pelletier, Austin Studebaker, and Greg Burns of ESRP Advisory Dallas handled lease negotiations for
WORKSUITES. Susan Singer, Jarred Laake, and Richmond Collinsworth of Bradford Commercial Real Estate
Services represented the landlord.

“Located less than one mile from Watters Creek, and the Allen Convention Center complex, this location will
offer WORKSUITES members the opportunity to enjoy the best of Allen’s numerous amenities in addition to
those offered in the center itself. WORKSUITES is yet again setting the bar for location and value,” ESRP
Senior Vice President John Pelletier said.

The new space features a clean, modern finish-out, must-have amenities, and WORKSUITES’ signature mix of
high-touch service, privacy, and professionalism.

The Allen location is under construction now and is slated to open in March 2020.

Learn more at worksuites.com.

More than $38 Billion Added to the Regional Economy Through Efforts of Allen Economic Development Corporation

(September 25, 2019) — Projects supported by Allen Economic Development Corporation have added $38.61 billion to the city of Allen and the wider regional economy, according to a recent study by a third-party analytics firm. Since its inception, the AEDC has supported 132 projects that have accounted for 17,606 direct jobs within the city, comprising 51% of the total jobs in Allen.

“Twenty-seven years ago, voters tasked the AEDC with bringing in high quality jobs and increasing the commercial tax base in order to lower the tax burden on Allen citizens,” said Michael Schaeffer, AEDC Board President. “And this study clearly shows we’re accomplishing that.”

An increase in the appraised value of commercial property in Allen is also linked to AEDC performance, according to the study.  These properties represented $2.3 billion in appraised value over the past 26 years, or 61% of Allen’s current commercial tax base.  The expansion of Allen’s commercial tax base added a total tax revenue of $326 million to the city and helped Allen’s City Council’s ability to decrease the city’s tax rate by 35% since 1993.

“The AEDC has focused on recruiting Class A office space and mixed-use projects that attract corporate relocations and quality jobs,” said Dan Bowman, AEDC Executive Director. “Recent projects like the NETSCOUT Systems regional office, the Credit Union of Texas headquarters and the 8-story One Bethany West at Watters Creek facility have brought economic growth and additional tax dollars to Allen.”

Insight Research Corporation , nationally recognized for their leading-edge methodologies, conducted the study which examines the economic, employment and tax revenue impact of AEDC projects.  Since the ordinance was approved by voters in 1992, the AEDC’s performance has been measured to track return on investment. This is the seventh impact report conducted by Insight Research for AEDC and provides a consistent measurement of the program’s value to the city of Allen.

“Allen Economic Development Corporation is one of the very few, if not the only, Texas economic development corporation that has consistently tracked its performance since its inception,” said Dr. Elizabeth Morris, CEO and Chief Economist for Insight Research.

AEDC projects have helped stabilize not only Allen’s tax base, but also that of the Allen Independent School District, Collin County, the Collin County Community College District and the State of Texas.  It is estimated that since 1993, AEDC projects have had a cumulative tax impact of $2.149 billion to all jurisdictions.

Morris said, “Using US Bureau of Economic Analysis standards, the AEDC has accounted for each public dollar invested from its sales tax increment funding to monitor its economic impact, employment in the City, and investment-grade tax revenue returns for the City of Allen, local jurisdictions and the State of Texas.”

Click here to view the entire report.