The 12 communities of Best Southwest Partnership region continue to be the hottest spot in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for industrial, commercial and residential growth.
Located in the heart of one of the nation’s fastest-growing and most prosperous metros, the region offers advantages including a job-ready workforce, incentives, superior transportation assets, affordable communities with quality schools, a wealth of cultural and recreation amenities and abundant land.
“With 211 square miles, we’re nearly 10 times as big as Manhattan,” says Joe Johnson, executive director of the Best Southwest Partnership, an organization that promotes investment and job creation in the region, which includes the communities of Balch Springs, Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville, Glenn Heights, Hutchins, Lancaster and Wilmer in southwest Dallas County and Ferris, Midlothian, Ovilla and Red Oak in northwest Ellis County.
It’s no surprise the region’s population has grown by 50 percent since 2000 and has reached 270,000. The buying power of households in the area exceeds $6.7 billion, Johnson says.
Logistics and Distribution
The Best Southwest region’s advantages are catching the eye of growing numbers of logistics and distribution firms. Digital retail giant Amazon, for example, leased a 920,000-square-foot warehouse in Lancaster, not far from cosmetics retailer L’oreal’s 500,000-square-foot distribution center.
Wayfair, the online furnishings retailer, announced a new regional shipping hub in Lancaster. The 874,566-square-foot facility is located on I-35 at Wintergreen Road. It includes more than 14,000 square feet of office space. Duke Realty Corp. is the developer.
“This new facility will provide excellent interstate access and incorporate modern features that are designed to enhance storage, distribution and fulfillment capabilities," says Jeff Thornton, Duke senior vice president.
Trybus Men’s Clothiers chose DeSoto as the location for its new 200,000-square-foot distribution center and offices. The company plans to create up to 75 new jobs over several years.
“This new facility will service the needs of our customers by providing faster and more efficient distribution. It will also address the growing needs of direct to consumer distribution,” says Gary Trybus, co-owner and president of the company.
Trybus specializes in the design, manufacture and distribution of high-quality men’s tailored clothing. It has produced both licensed and private-label clothing for specialty stores and department stores for more than 40 years. Brands include Ibiza, Flynt, The Savile Row Co. and Steve Harvey.
And the region is seeing growth not just in logistics and distribution. Aircraft manufacturer Triumph Group operates its flagship manufacturing facility in Red Oak. In fall 2017, Boeing Co. announced Triumph would be a major supplier on a new training jet the aircraft maker is pitching to the U.S. Air Force. If Boeing wins that contract, it could mean 950 direct and indirect jobs, hundreds of them in Red Oak, where Triumph now employs 1,250 workers.
Focus on Growth
The Best Southwest Partnership region’s unparalleled quality of life attracts growing numbers of new businesses and residents, says Johnson.
“We have top-tier health care at Methodist Charlton Medical Center, excellent schools, two community colleges and one university, and endless recreational opportunities. All that makes the region a great place to live, work and raise a family,” says Johnson.
Logistics and manufacturing are leading elements of the economy. The leadership of the Best Southwest Partnership region is also focusing on four other major sectors - education, transportation, health care and tourism.
“As we improve those, we improve our quality of life and we improve our economic development,” says Johnson.
Another focus is on helping growing businesses find the certified employees they need at a time the unemployment rate is just 4 percent. One solution is helping deserving individuals find meaningful employment.
“Veterans, the formerly incarcerated and juveniles fall into a ‘workforce gap’ that can be tapped,” says Johnson. “How can we get the last 4 percent to the work place? Workforce development is a big initiative."