Allen reported 8.3% year-over-year job growth in late 2022, 2.4% higher than Dallas-Fort Worth and 3.3% higher than the state of Texas. The secret? A long-held strategy for attracting quality employers who provide high-paying jobs, invest in lasting infrastructure, and offset the tax burden on Allen residents.
Renewable energy brings new employers
Texas has long been known as the oil and gas capital of the United States. However, the state’s other abundant natural resources—including open plains and sunshine—make it a prime spot to produce other forms of energy. Texas is now the leading producer of wind energy in the U.S. and is home to some of the largest solar farms in the country.
Allen Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has helped the City capitalize on this growth. Energy firm Sol-Ark moved to Allen recently, taking over two commercial buildings off U.S. 75. The company is leasing a 115,000-square-foot office building for its headquarters and 180,000 square feet of industrial space for production, research and design, product support and repairs.
Exterior Sol-Ark headquarters
MD7 LLC, another player in the energy sector, relocated from San Diego to Allen in 2021. From its headquarters off Bethany Drive and Watters Road, MD7 helps build and manage digital infrastructure assets including electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Its clients include XCharge North America, creator of a top-of-the-line EV charging station which provides 100 miles of charge in just 30 minutes. XCharge installed one of them inside MD7’s parking garage at One Bethany West.
Photo courtesy XCharge North America
Building a financially sustainable city
Investments like these don’t happen overnight. In 1992, Allen voters approved the creation of Allen Economic Development Corporation (EDC). Its budget comes from a half-cent sales tax on most products and services sold in Allen. Projects supported by Allen Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) have added $46 billion to the city of Allen and the wider regional economy, supported 155 projects and accounted for 18,542 direct jobs within the city—a staggering 51% of the total jobs in Allen.
As of 2021, AEDC projects represented $2.8 billion in appraised value that has grown over the past 28 years, or 57% of Allen's current commercial tax base.
Looking to the future
According to the International Energy Agency, renewable energy sources are expected to account for nearly 90% of the increase in global power capacity through 2025. With falling costs, improving technology, and growing public and government support, renewable energy is poised to play a major role in meeting the world's energy needs in a sustainable way.
Based on its current trajectory, Allen Economic Development Corporation CEO Dan Bowman believes Allen will play a key role in the industry as host to companies seeking a favorable business climate conducive to robust growth.
“With solar power technology experiencing significant growth within the energy industry, we’re excited to be at the forefront of what will continue to be a booming sector,” said Bowman.