On the cover of June’s Texas CEO Magazine are two Waco executives who talk about downtown, the Magnolia Market, Amazon, Topgolf, the February ice storm and the momentum that captured the public’s attention and imagination.
“Like many people, Dillon Meek and Bradley Ford are optimistic about the future of Waco,” says the introduction. “As mayor and city manager, respectively, of one of Texas’ fastest growing cities, Meek and Ford have been working as a team since fall 2020 to smartly continue Waco’s momentum. For them, growth is good, but it must happen in a way that serves everyone in the community, and without overburdening the city’s infrastructure.
Meek said, “A lot of the growth is due to our location. The population of Texas is increasing at a rate of nearly 800 to 1,300 per day. A lot of people who move to Texas go on the major subways, but Waco being on I-35, halfway between DFW and Austin, attracts a lot. Waco is also more affordable than some large urban areas, and the quality of life is rich there. It is a very rich community in terms of its values.
Ford said: “We feel like Waco is going beyond its weight class. Last year we had over $ 400 million in industrial investments, our best year ever. We think we will do better this year. We want to move this sector forward without forgetting small businesses. … When making calls with bond rating agencies, we no longer have to educate them about Waco. They know Amazon is coming. They know Topgolf is building their new prototype here. They know Chip and Joanna, ”Waco’s powerful couple, the Gaines, the force behind Magnolia.