Oct 21 2022 2:52 PM

Retail Follows Rooftops: Celina is a Commercial And Residential Boomtown

Celina is booming, as the recent City Manager report states there is 600,000 square feet of available retail space. (Photo courtesy City of Celina)

With a population growing by the month, the city is now welcoming one of the largest grocery chains in the nation.

Fifty miles north of Dallas lies Celina, Texas. 

Located north of U.S. 380 and the town of Prosper, Celina is slowly joining the ranks as one of the most attractive destinations in all of Dallas-Fort Worth. 

Celina City Manager Jason Laumer noted in his Fiscal Year 2022 City Manager’s Report there are 600,000 square feet of available retail space in the city. 

He called the city “very fortunate” as the Dallas North Tollway will expand 10 miles through Celina as well as the continued development of Preston Road, which runs south through Prosper and into Frisco. 

Celina is a Commercial Real Estate Boomtown

Laumer added that commercial retailers are looking for new markets, and Celina fits the bill, adding that they have, on average, higher income and increased spending power, and aren’t fond of having to go south of U.S. 380. 

The newest retailer that will soon call Celina home is grocery-store giant, Costco. 

Costco announced last month that it will build a 160,000-square-foot facility on the southwest corner of Ownsby Parkway and Preston Road. The development will be phase 1 of an estimated 105-acre development at the intersection, said Matthew Kiran, a real estate agent with REX Real Estate, a firm founded by Rex Glendenning. 

Kiran said Costco recognized the “dynamic growth” of Celina, as it is the only Costco in the U.S. in a city with less than 30,000 people. Laumer’s report noted the city’s population increased from 11,645 in 2017 to an estimated 2022 population of 29,170. 

The entire service population of Celina in 2022 was 36,213, which includes outside city limits. 

“The residential population has exploded,” Kiran said, adding the city approved anywhere from 2,600 to 3,000 residential permits this year. 

He said the adage that “retail follows rooftops” is ringing true in Celina, as Kiran said, “Costco is just the first” of several major retailers moving to the city in the next six to 12 months. 

Unable to release names of the companies, Kiran said the east side of Preston is seeing significant activity from home improvement stores, fitness centers, and retailers. While the leasing plan is not public, the leasing plan has a user represented in every space, with a letter of intent. 

Laumer said the city is “super excited” about Costco, which he said will also help make Ownsby Parkway a better east-to-west connection in the city. He added the chain’s Frisco and McKinney locations are among the highest performers, with hopes the Celina stores can keep those residents in town. 

“Our residents love Costco,” he said. 

Methodist Health System Moves in

Laumer said the intersection of Ownsby and Preston is not the only sector of the city seeing development, adding Frontier Parkway, the Light Farms development, and Frontier and the Dallas North Tollway is attracting “serious” attention. 

The Methodist Health System announced in January to build its newest hospital in Celina, with its Board of Directors approving the $200 million facility. 

The Methodist facility is set to open in 2025 and could bring more than 220 jobs to Celina. (Photo courtesy City of Celina)

Methodist announced the 200,000-square-foot facility will open in 2025 and will initially bring over 220 jobs to Celina. 

Laumer added that Celina’s 78 square miles is larger than its neighbor to south Frisco (72 square miles) and the population could peak between 300,000 and 400,000 at full build-out. 

Kiran said the Tollway’s expansion will play a large role in this growth, which will expand the Tollway from Glendenning Parkway to the Grayson County-Collin County line. 

He added that estimates show 700 to 750 residents are moving to Celina per month and that grocery stores — like Costco — and shopping centers are the next stages in commercial growth. 

Kiran said the development at Ownsby and Preston could provide $300 to $350 million annually in retail sales tax, and employ up to 1,400 people — making it the largest commercial development ever done in Celina. 

Downtown Celina is just one of the many areas of the city experiencing unprecedented growth. (Photo courtesy City of Celina)

The land that will house this development, specifically the Ownsby farm on the southwest corner of the intersection, dates back to the 1880s. Both the Ownsby and Moore families, who own the property across Preston, are the original landowners. 

Kiran said the Ownsby and Moore families are “cornerstone founders” of the city and the “cornerstone of the largest development to come to Celina.” 

“That land has been very good for Celina,” he said.

- Mike Albanese, Candy's Dirt

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