Proposed site for Toyota HQ
PLANO — If you’re ever curious about business in Collin County, check out the bar at The Ginger Man in the Shops at Legacy.
On Monday night, we saw a thirsty person in every seat.
"As it is right now, these streets stay pretty crowded during the day and night," said bar manager Stephen Sanderson.
This area, which already boasts two Fortune 500 firms (Dr Pepper and JC Penney), is looking toward another business boom as the future U.S. corporate home of Toyota.
"As you can imagine, it was a real coordinated effort," said Plano Mayor Harry Larosiliere, who partnered with Collin County and state officials and focused the last three months wooing the automaker away from its current home in Torrance, California.
By late 2016 or early 2017, Toyota's million-square-foot U.S. headquarters will emerge from a pastoral field near Highway 121 and the Dallas North Tollway. That's about half the size of the nearby JC Penney campus.
More than 4,000 people will work for Toyota, many expected to relocate to North Texas from the Los Angeles area.
"What it really means to the community is additional families, more economic vibrancy," Mayor Larosiliere said. "That’s what we do in Plano."
Another happy pitchman? Gov. Rick Perry, who for months has campaigned to lure businesses to Texas. He spoke about the Toyota deal Monday on the Michael Medved radio show.
"What we’ve done in the state over the last decade on tax, and regulatory and legal policies and our educational policies we put in place so we have a skilled work force," Perry said. "Getting Toyota to move is a result of those."
And that has businesses like The Ginger Man toasting to the years ahead.
"It’s a good future, yeah," Sanderson said. "I don’t see it going downhill anytime soon."