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19th annual Women in Business Summit
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Throughout the past two decades, Collin County has seen tremendous growth in terms of business and economic opportunities. People have flocked to Collin County by the dozens in order to pursue careers with companies now headquartered in north Texas. With population growth comes the need for residents to have a sense of community. James Craig, President of Craig International, hopes to help cultivate a sense of community among residents as Collin County is projected to grow.
James Craig is known for helping develop Craig Ranch with his father, David. Craig Ranch is a living community which mixes vintage America with modern technology. It is largely influenced by “new urbanism,” a term referring to a design movement in which neighborhoods are environmentally conscious and simple to navigate.
“There’s nothing new about new urbanism,” James Craig says. “It’s really about going back to the fundamentals of this country and how communities were developed. People can work, live, and play in the same community.”
Craig Ranch offers a variety of amenities to help its residents live healthy, active lifestyles.
“We have a plethora of healthy living amenities,” James says. “There’s the Craig Ranch Fitness Center with an Olympic-sized pool. It’s a monument to wellness. It was designed by Dr. Kenneth Cooper, who actually coined the term ‘aerobics.’”
Aside from the Fitness Center, Craig Ranch also has a hike-and-bike trail, which runs throughout the community. Craig Ranch also houses the Michael Johnson Performance training facility, multiple soccer fields and TPC Craig Ranch, a premier, private par-72 golf course.
Although James says that there are no plans for a Byron Nelson-esque golf tournament at TPC Craig Ranch in the near future, he does not rule out the possibility.
“There’s a huge appetite for golf in the north Texas market,” James Craig says. “Over the next two or three years, you’ll see all of the infrastructures in Craig Ranch necessary for housing major golf tournaments. The hotel will be in place, and there will be many eateries and places to drink.”
The hotel to which Craig is referring is the Craig Ranch Hotel, which is set to begin construction early 2019.
“It’s very high-end, and it’s boutique,” Craig says. “You’ll have 33,000 square feet of office space. It’ll be 8 stories, just under 300 rooms. It really amenitizes our corporate center. I think it’ll be a mix of both business-oriented and family-oriented.”
Craig hopes that McKinney will grow as a business, arts, and nightlife district, as Plano and Frisco have quickly become over the past decade.
“Plano is already fully built-out,” Craig says. “Frisco’s getting there, but McKinney has the same amount of land mass as Frisco and Plano combined. I think you’ll see a variety of single-family products. This area is recognized nationally as a center of tremendous growth and a community with a great quality of life. There are people moving here from all over the country.”
As Collin County is projected to grow, there are steps we need to take in order to make way for the forecasted rise in population.
“We’ve definitely taken everything we’ve learned in developing Craig Ranch, and applying that moving forward,” James Craig says. “We need to continue to do what we’ve been doing as far as incentivizing companies that want to relocate to north Texas. We also need to decongest the area as much as possible.”
While James does not know if Craig Ranch will accommodate future forms of transit, such as autonomous vehicles, he says anything is possible, as long as there is a demand for it.
James cites good schools and affordable housing as factors that draw transplants into Collin County.
“This is a very ideal community to raise a family in,” James Craig says. “The crime rates are low, there’s a been a lot of economic growth, and there are a lot of educational and business opportunities.”
In the future, James hopes to see more communities where people can easily travel between work and home, and spend time with friends, family, and loved ones.
“We don’t want people who work in McKinney to have to commute all the way from Dallas,” James Craig says. “I think it’s important for people of all socio-economic backgrounds to work, live, and play in the same community.”