City of Keller economic development is the focus in this edition of the Champions DFW Commercial Realty Radio Show and Podcast. Jim Kelley and Ron Taylor welcomed a trio of guests from Keller for a round table discussion on one of the fastest growing cities in the Dallas / Fort Worth area. After reading this excerpt of their conversation, the entire conversation on Keller economic development is available as a free download.
Jim Kelley: One of the favorite cities that we love to work in and we enjoy working with the City of Keller. I’m going to turn to my left and introduce Trina. Trina is the economic development manager director for the City of Keller. We work closely with Trina and her team on development projects, on leasing projects, and it’s been amazing, Ron, to see how Keller has been transformed over the years that I’ve been in Northeast Tarrant County. Trina, start us off, introduce yourself, give us a little background about yourself and then introduce us to your team.
Trina Zais: Certainly. So, I’m blessed to be a wife and mother. I’ve got a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University and came all the way across the country as fast as I could to get to Texas. I have a master’s in public administration from UNT and 30 years of experience in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors as an urban planner, a contractor, a land developer and an economic developer. So that’s a little bit about me.
Jim Kelley: Introduce your team.
Trina Zais: Thanks. So with me is Kayla Thomas, she’s our Keller Economic Development Coordinator, and Rachel Reynolds, our Public Information Officer.
Kayla Thomas: I am the economic development coordinator for the City of Keller. I’ve been here for about a year and a half now. So, I came down from Kansas around that time and I’m excited to be a part of this growing area.
Rachel Reynolds: I am a UNT grad as well and I was a journalist before this, reporter and editor. I’m the public information officer for the city. So it’s a citywide, you know, everything from website to social media, to media relations for all of our departments. So, started with the city about four years ago when I came over to the dark side from being a journalist and I loved it and looking forward to talking to you today.
Jim Kelley: Well, obviously there’s a good fit because four years, you don’t stay someplace four years unless you really enjoy it. Trina, talk to us about the City of Keller. I’m always excited about Keller and what’s going on, and I’ve got multiple projects going on there, but talk to us, give us a 10,000-foot view of Keller.
Trina Zais: Keller is an exciting place to be. We have a population of over 44,000 but we have a retail trade area population of almost 150,000 with an average daytime population of over 47,000. The retail trade area population is expected to increase in 2021 by over 12%. So we’re rockin’ and rollin’. We have a high education in Keller. Most everyone has a bachelor’s degree, 38%, and then 13% with a master’s degree. What’s really neat about Keller is that we have pretty high incomes, $143,000 with expendable income, which attracts a lot of those retailers office that are looking for someplace to land because they want to be able to know that people will shop there.
Jim Kelley: Well, and Keller was voted what, a few years back, the seventh best place to live of its size in the country.
Trina Zais: In the United States, absolutely, and we keep getting those awards on a regular basis. We have 336 acres of parkland, that’s one of the reasons we’re one of the best places to live. 23.6 miles of hike and bike trails with plans to double that in the next years. 192-acre sports park featuring football, baseball, softball, and soccer, and a 92,000 square foot fitness and aquatic center called the Keller Point. We have an excellent quality of life, Jim. The big city comforts with small town charm is our tagline and we live it and breathe it every day.