Royse City officials returned home from their annual trip to the International Council of Shopping Centers conference in Las Vegas with good news of retailers who have Royse City on their radar.

“I was very surprised everybody knew who we were,” Bobby Gladu, a Royse City Community Development Corporation board member, said during the CDC’s board meeting on May 30. “These are national chains and Royse City is already on their mind, on their maps. They know we’re here. That was nice to see.”

The ICSC event featured 1,000-plus exhibitors and about 37,000 visitors that included shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, lenders, retailers and other professionals and public officials.

Along with Gladu, Royse City was represented at the conference by Mayor Janet Nichol; City Manager Carl Alsabrook; CDC Executive Director Larry Lott and CDC Administrative Assistant Tonya Brown.

Lott said two planned projects—a ballpark and Buc-ee’s convenience store—“are playing well with other retail folks.

“Without mentioning any names, because it’s way, way too early to mention names, but I had a hotel that was very, very interested in looking at something near the ballpark. And I had a couple of sit-down restaurants that were very, very interested in looking at something near Buc-ee’s.”

The ballpark for an independent minor league baseball team is scheduled to be open and ready for baseball in 2018 near the northwest corner of Interstate 30 and Farm to Market 2642. 

The Buc-ee’s convenience store is scheduled to be open in 2019 on the southwest corner of I-30 and FM 2642.

“I would say from my perspective, it was a good, solid conference,” Lott said. “We met with a lot of good people and got a very favorable response.”

Lott said walking down the aisles of retailers, Nichol noted that it was “intriguing” to see the number of retailers that are already located in Royse City.

“Ten years ago, when we started this, we would walk down the aisles and we’d need to talk to everybody,” he said. 

Lott said that was no l onger the case.

Lott said Royse City demographic information was presented to retailers. And the biggest surprise to some of the prospects was information that Royse City’s median income per household is more than $90,000.

“That’s high,” he said. “That’s very high and we had a lot of people who were blown away by that.”

Gladu expressed a word of caution about the city’s future growth.

He wants to make sure “we grow properly and that we don’t give in to people because I think we’re where people want to come, so build our city like we want to build it. Bring the good businesses in here.”


Jim Hardin may be reached at

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