Construction has officially begun on McKinney’s new Town Hall, a complex that will be more than seven times the size of the current facility and include nine city departments.City officials held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new city hall on October 24 and expect a completion date of October 2024.
“What were we [chose] Here on the east side it was very deliberate. “We saw an opportunity to use this development as a catalyst project, spurring economic development and opportunity on the East Side,” McKinney Mayor George Fuller said at the opening ceremony.
The new city hall is primarily funded by a $50 million bond that was passed by voters in 2019. The call to elect the bond was preceded by a 2018 study that informed the departmental needs, staffing and workspace the new facility would serve, Assistant City Manager Barry Shelton said.
However, Shelton said the plan to build a new city council has been on the table since 2006. Between 2010-20, McKinney grew 49% and this year passed 200,000 residents, according to census data.
In 2019, Shelton said, the city manager’s office knew the project would total at least $85 million. This cost has increased over time. The construction contract amendment was approved on October 18 and the guaranteed maximum price was set at approximately $104 million for the total cost of the project.
“[The bond committee] I thought we’d have other funding sources that could fill the gap, so they went to get $50 million for the voters knowing it would take more than $50 million to build,” Shelton said.
The site for the new space is only half a mile from the building used for City Hall, and is adjacent to other East McKinney redevelopment projects, such as the upcoming Tupps Brewery site, newly painted silos and street improvement projects.
McKinney-based Pogue Construction Company has begun construction. The work will include improvements to nearby roads.
“Building is messy, and we’ll see a few years of streets being torn down and railroad crossings being rebuilt and things like that, but in the end, we think the benefits are going to be massive,” Shelton said. The City Hall oriented building is expected to reach the finish line in October 2024, two years after opening.
Community gathering space
Shelton said the process of defining the facility’s design began with hiring architecture firms Lake Flatto and Parkhill.
Parkhill community manager Scott Nelson said the company worked with city employees to create guidelines that informed decision-making throughout the project.
“Collaboration and communication are key to the success of any project, and even more so for a project of this magnitude,” said Nelson.
The design plans for the complex include community amenities, which include an outdoor plaza that can be used to host events and gatherings.
Nelson described the plaza as a key element of the design, noting its potential as an “attractive community space”. The city will coordinate events and activities in the square as well as find ways to bring the community together there.
“Our goal with programming has always been to really connect with neighborhoods in that specific part of the community and figure out what kind of works for them,” said Assistant City Manager Kim Flom.
Another community-oriented section is the dog track, a tunnel-style walkway with a revolving educational history exhibit along the walls. The 100-foot trail will have a dedicated annual budget that will be used to collaborate with local organizations to create historic exhibits focused on McKinney.
“It will honor those communities that have shaped the East Side and describe and honor our history in a way that is most useful to people who visit,” Fuller said.
Shelton said the architects spent time analyzing historic downtown McKinney to assess how to incorporate elements, such as brick color and other facade features, into the new building while maintaining a modern look inspired by buildings like San Antonio’s Pearl Brewery and Austin Central. Library in Austin.
The interior and exterior design elements, Shelton said, reflect the site’s historic “agribusiness” uses. The building’s design also includes the glass wall elements of the council chambers, which act as a “physical manifestation of the [the] “The transparency that we operate with,” Shelton said.
Central government services
The new city hall is 175,000 square feet spread over five floors and provides office space for various departments of the city. Shelton said this would bring city employees from nine different offices under one roof. It would also eliminate the $650,000 the city pays annually in rental costs for buildings in use.
“Our departments are spread over 7 miles across the city. Having all our departments under one roof comes with inherent synergy and effectiveness,” Fuller said.
Some of the existing offices—such as human resources and law enforcement—are leased by the city and will be returned to their owners. City-owned buildings, including the existing town hall and development services, would either be sold intact or demolished before the land could be sold, Shelton said. Shelton said the city wants the developments and businesses that will eventually replace them to enhance downtown. Officials said the city has used the existing building as a town hall since 1988.
For city employees, Shelton said, the new building will bring together employees who have never worked under one roof. The building was designed to accommodate growth by intentionally creating open spaces and limiting solid walls, according to Chilton.
“We wanted this space to be something that had a lot of flexibility, because the number of employees we have and what we need for the building today will likely be very different from what we will need in 20 years,” said Shelton.
For the community, this means city services will be centralized and more easily accessible, Shelton said. The first floor will include council chambers, a utility bill servicing counter, and a community event space with direct access to the outdoor plaza.
“It becomes more than just office space for city employees. It becomes a real community building,” Shelton said.
Long term vision
The new city hall will be located on 9 acres among several other East Side redevelopment projects, including a flour mill and Tupps Brewery.
Tupps will move from its Anderson Street location to a remodeled grain mill with a four-story, 25,000-square-foot brewery. In addition to the brewery, the development will also feature an on-site retail craft community shopping precinct, full-service restaurant, coffee shop, indoor and outdoor stages, fire pits, and more on 4 acres.
“Part of the added value for us in moving to the East Side is that we will bring a fun, culture and social environment,” said Tupps Brewery President Keith Lewis. “It will really help spur a lot of other growth on the East Side, and ultimately, it will be the place to go.”
The new city hall will be just one street away from the new Tupps location. Lewis said the two projects will complement each other and help bring attention to the city’s east side.
“For the longest time there was no commercialization on the East Side, and the area was almost forgotten,” Lewis said. And there’s a lot of history; there’s a lot of culture. Redeveloping the East Side was part of his mayoral campaign, Fuller said. Despite the push for growth, Fuller recognized the potential for negative repercussions for nearby residential communities.
“We are sensitive to the fact that the downside to development like this in the Old Quarter is gentrification in general, which comes with potential prices.” [people] Outside. This was something we were very familiar with and aware of… [so] We’re developing programs that will protect the homeowners who are out there right now,” Fuller said.
The site of the new town hall has not been occupied for a number of years, with only one industrial building standing on the site. No residential homes were displaced due to this project.
Once City Hall is complete, Shelton said, the city anticipates more interest in redeveloping nearby historic buildings, particularly along Virginia Avenue and Louisiana Boulevard. Shelton also noted that the 500 public-use parking spaces that the City Hall complex will provide will provide parking convenience for existing and future nearby spaces.
“this is [City Hall] It will propel us forward long after we’re gone and grow the city into a much larger community,” said City Manager Paul Grimes.
Additional reporting by Miranda James.