The City of Keller is an attractive community for businesses and families. In this edition of the Champions DFW Commercial Realty Radio Show and Podcast, Jim Kelley welcomes Mark Hafner (City Manager) and Trina Zais (Director of Public Services and Economic Development) from the City of Keller. They introduce you to this “sweet spot” near Fort Worth.
This is an excerpt of Jim’s conversation with Mark and Trina. Be sure to listen to the free podcast for the complete conversation.
Jim Kelley: Mark, why don’t you tell us about yourself before giving way to Trina, and then we’ll talk about the city of Keller?
Mark Hafner: I’ve been doing the City Manager duties for about 18 months now here in Keller. Before that, I’ve been a long-term employee of the city of Keller, a police chief. Came here in 2000 and shepherd the police department, led the police department for many years, and we’ll talk about the awards the police department has won. But I’ve given up my badge and gun to come across the street to town hall, and I’m just having a blast in growing Keller and working with a great city council that’s doing things right.
Jim: We’ve worked together on some projects and I can applaud you for what you’ve been able to accomplish in Keller. It is a pro-business, pro-development type of city, and they welcome development and construction. So thank you, Mark. Trina, talk to us about you and your background.
Trina Zais: I’m blessed to be a wife and mother. I have a bachelor’s from Eastern Washington University in urban planning and a master’s in Public Administration from University of North Texas, right here in North Central Texas. I have 30 years experience in the private sector, public sector, and nonprofit sectors as urban planner, contractor, land developer, and economic developer, worked on everything from multi-family housing for the veterans, to small offices.
Jim: Mark and Trina, let’s dig into Keller. Talk to us about the makeup of Keller, the population, the demographics, the significant demographics as you see them. Mark, you want to lead the way there?
Mark: Sure. Keller is a community of about 42,000, 43,000 people. It’s doubled in size of population since 2000 when I first came to Keller. We’re in the sweet spot of the DFW area. If you look at it, we’re 9 miles from Alliance Airport, 17 miles from DFW, and Fort Worth, 18 miles, and Dallas is only 30 miles. So we’re really in the sweet spot of the DFW, where people choose to live and choose to do business.
Jim: And Trina, what’s the household income like? What’s the median home price there in Keller?
Trina: Average home value is $545,000 and that seems to be steady and increasing.
Jim: Excellent. Now, I want you guys, because I know you’ve received a lot of awards, can one of you, Mark or Trina, talk to us about the awards that Keller has seen in the last few years? Because I think you guys have really gained a lot of attention with what you’ve been able to do.
Mark: Some recent awards: “Top 10 Neighborhoods Overall” by the Dallas Morning News, “Best Small Cities in America” by WalletHub, “Scenic City Gold Status” by Scenic Texas. And the one that I’m very proud of and we continuously, and Money Magazine that rates us very, very good is that we have a very, very safe community. When talking economic development, we always brag about the thing that you have to worry about is thefts and robberies, and we can say that many years in Keller, we’ve registered zero armed robberies, and that’s a great economic development stat for we want to do business.
Learn more about the City of Keller in the free podcast below, or visit us on iTunes for a free download of this show and all of the Champions DFW podcasts.