North Texas

McKinney Announces Another Year of Massive Growth

McKinney, named one of the fastest growing cities in the country, announced another massive growth spurt.

The city is now home to nearly 180,000 residents, which is a 6.8 percent increase from the year before.

The growth's impact can be seen even more clearly looking back over 20 years. During that timeframe, the city has grown 365 percent.

That's nearly 10-times the rate of its larger neighbor, Plano, but it's only half as fast as Frisco.

Mayor George Fuller says the growth has forced city officials to focus on infrastructure, making sure roads and utility systems keep up with a growing number of residents.

He says a growing residential population has also forced the city council to put an emphasis on commercial growth to keep the tax base balanced. But while they do that, they maintain that McKinney won't lose its small-town feel.

While new businesses pop up, one of the McKinney's oldest businesses has watched the changes around it for more than 60 years.

Decades after Bill Smith's Café opened on the edge of a cotton patch, traffic lights and big stores have replaced the lone four-way stop that used to sit outside.

"Now it's just bumper to bumper. You've got so many shopping centers and schools," said employee Debbie Hamm.

Inside, most regulars come not just daily but twice a day.

They say the growth is good and bad, but they also know it's tough to avoid.

"I think it's necessary. I don't put it in either category. I think they've been really smart about how they're growing," said Dan Sparks.

In addition to new residents, the city cites several projects as signs of growth, including the construction of a Costco store, a nine-acre mixed-use development being built near downtown and the approval of a tax incentive plan for an upscale hotel.

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