PCDC: 20 Years of Community Progress & Impactful Leadership
20 Jul 2021
The City of Pflugerville has transitioned from a sleepy bedroom community to one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. It all started with the creation of the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation (PCDC), celebrating 20 years of successful community building this year.
Mayor Victor Gonzales, longest serving council member in the history of the City, has never served on the PCDC, but had the opportunity to be involved in its creation and oversight for the past several years.
“We were a small suburb outside of Austin. As we saw the expansion of Austin it was an opportune time to start the economic development organization to see how we could move forward as a more vibrant and economically viable community.”
In August 2001, citizens voted to increase sales tax by ½ cent to establish an economic development corporation and the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation was born. At the time, the city had the 2nd highest taxes in the state of Texas with no real commercial development. Primarily a bedroom community for nearby Austin, the community was so sleepy it was impossible to buy a pair of socks due to the lack of retail stores.
John Franklin, the PCDC Board’s first President serving in 2002 - 2004 said, “The first day after we created the corporation the city staff got a phone call from someone in Boston looking for properties and wondering what type of incentives Pflugerville can do for them. We didn’t have anything, but this told me we had to get in gear and get this going because there’s a ton of opportunity out there. That was the beginning.” He continued, “The potential was huge. We just had to take the steps to get there.”
“PCDC has made an incredible impact,“ said Mayor Gonzales. I know that part of the springboard that launched the PCDC was the tollways that opened up a tremendous avenue for community growth. It used to be cow pasture. Now we have Stone Hill (shopping center). What happened after that has been a combination of projects and creativity on behalf of PCDC.”
Since PCDC was established 20 years ago, sales tax revenue has increased by 650%, propelled by a combination of retail growth, the PCDC waterpark and the establishment of the Pflugerville Industrial Park. As a result, in 2017, Pflugerville was designated as the 3rd fastest growing city in the United States, per the U.S. Census. Pflugervilles’s incredible growth continued in the midst of a global pandemic. Last year, the PCDC had $6.3 million in sales tax revenues.
Ken Dalfonso, PCDC Board President said, “We have come a long way even since 2016. At the time, we had some big challenges. We took risks and with skilled leadership it was pulled off.”
One of those challenges was the PCDC waterpark project, Mayor Gonzales continued, “This was one of the toughest decisions for the council to make because risks were there. In spite of that it has turned out well and the water park is a viable amenity for the city.”
According to Amy Madison, PCDC Executive Director, it was getting the right mix of entertainment options and that meant finding the right partnership.
“We had to get the right operator for the water park to create job opportunities for our young people, and to create a fun place for local residents to have good, clean, fun.”
The waterpark is one of several success stories PCDC’s former and current board members shared, with the most recent being the attraction of Amazon, a $250MM investment in a 3.8MM square foot fulfillment center bringing 1000 jobs in 2021.
“We can look back on the success of PCDC and see that it took leadership at all levels to achieve what we have. We are grateful for the collaboration, involvement and support of the community helping us transform Pflugerville into the vibrant community it is today,” said Amy Madison.
Many of the board members have also gone on to serve the community in other leadership capacities as Mayor, City Council members, and leadership in nonprofit organizations.
“The time I spent on PCDC prepared me to serve on the City Council. The accomplishments I was able to be a part of at PCDC gave me the confidence and drive to continue my service on the Council and I’m one of several who has made that transition,” Doug Weiss, City Councilman and former PCDC Board Member.
To learn more about the impact leaders have made on PCDC, watch our webinar “A Look Back.”
Have questions about Pflugerville Community Development Corporation and how we can help your business? Contact us here.