Let’s go inside Grapevine commercial real estate and economic development. The City of Grapevine is the focus in this edition of the Champions DFW Radio Show and Podcast. Pam Goodwin, who is the owner of Goodwin Commercial Real Estate and a vendor partner of Champions DFW, filled-in for Jim Kelley in hosting the 32nd Champions DFW podcast.
Ms. Goodwin welcomed Bob Farley and Garin Giacomarro from the City of Grapevine’s economic development department. After you read this excerpt from their conversation, go further inside Grapevine and download the podcast—it’s a free download.
Pam Goodwin: I know, you know, being in Texas, the tax advantages, the triple Freeport Tax Exemption, we have very low property tax here and strong incentive packages, I know per city are case-by-case basis. But can you share a little bit of possibly how does the city of Grapevine economic development…does it differ? Why should businesses, you know, do business in Grapevine versus the other suburbs around here? What kind of good incentives do you have?
Inside Grapevine with Bob Farley: I think we’ve tried to piggyback on two things. One is the natural advantage of being kind of in the center of the Metroplex. You can’t sort of be more middle than middle, and we’re right there. So that helps a lot for people who have business relationships on both the Forth Worth and Dallas side of the Metroplex and also is the immediate proximity to DFW Airport, which is critical for market access for big corporations these days.
In terms of incentives, what we’ve tried to do is build our program based on lower tax rates and on faster service for people who come in. Obviously, for any corporation, if they’re relocating, building, time is money. So what we try to do for them is make sure their development process is as streamlined as it can be. We can shave sometimes weeks, even months, off the development cycle that companies go through. And they appreciate that both from getting their business up and running, but also from the cost savings that go along with it.
Our tax rate is, I think the lowest in Tarrant County or certainly the lowest of any city of our size in Tarrant County. We like to say to people, you know, “We’re not going to just have you make money on day one or two until the incentive expires. You’re going to make money in our community for the rest of the time that you’re operating here.” So we take a very long-term view.
Ron Taylor: Bob, tell us a little bit about a family-friendly area. Tell us about the school districts. Tell us about some of the community aspects. And Garin, we can even bring you in on this as well, because as the retention manager for the city, there are some great things that you can say about, you know, community involvement, schools, and things that benefit families.
Inside Grapevine with Garin Giacomarro: Sure. You know, the GCISD, Grapevine Colleyville, great school district, we do a lot of work with them. I actually had the opportunity to…they have a training center at Grapevine High School where it’s a jobs training. They go through things like auto-mechanic and culinary, things like that. They’ve been a great partner—someone that we regularly refer people to. Whenever Kubota announced their headquarters was coming to Grapevine, one of the first things they wanted from us was the information on local school districts. And, you know, we sent information. We worked with Rick Hadley, the director over there. And he kind of came with a package for us, and we sent it over there. But we’re in a really great area of the Metroplex for school districts. But I think ours really stands out. It’s kind of a unique set up with the dual school district. But we’ve got a lot of great things to offer.
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