You many not have heard of Collin County, Texas, yet, but you will soon. The 885-square-mile area located in northeastern Texas includes three of the eight top cities with the fastest job growth between 2000 and 2005, according to Money magazine.

The county is the richest in Texas and also ranks in the top 1 percent in the U.S. It includes such wealthy neighborhoods as Starwood, Willow Bend, Stonebriar, Eldorado, Glen Eagles and Country Club Ridge.

It's not surprising therefore that “Collin County has seen unprecedented retail development over the last 10 years,” according to Gavin Kam, of The Kam Group of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Co. “What started out as developments to meet population growth in Plano, Frisco and McKinney have expanded north to include Prosper, Celina, Melissa and Anna.”

One of the most unique projects is the mixed-use Cooper Life development in McKinney, a partnership of Wellstone Communities LLC and Dr. Kenneth Cooper, who coined the term “aerobics” in a 1968 book. The more than $1 billion Cooper Life at Craig Ranch complex will include 250,000 square feet of retail along a pedestrian walkway called the Esplanade, replete with café dining. Also planned are 155,000 square feet of office space, 225 townhouses or brownstones, a 124-unit condo tower and about 700 single-family homes.

In Frisco, Cross Development recently announced plans to develop about 121,000 square feet of retail with five pad sites, adjacent to a proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Collin County, with reasonably priced homes and a nationally recognized school system, is just 30 miles north of downtown Dallas, where much of the metroplex area is expanding. It's also home to two sports teams: FC Dallas, a major league soccer team that plays at Pizza Hut Park, and the Frisco Roughriders, a minor league baseball team whose home is Dr. Pepper Ballpark.

Fast Facts

  • Three cities in Collin County are among the top 25 highest-earning populations in the nation. The Woodlands ranks 14th at $96,216 per household and Allen comes in at 22nd with $92,404. Frisco ranks 24th at $91,556.
  • It ranked as the 14th fastest-growing county between 2000 and 2006 in the United States according to Census data. But it added more residents than any of the markets above it, growing by 207,000 people in that time span.
  • Collin County had a good showing in Money magazine's Top Places to Live survey. Plano (11) and Richardson (15) both ranked in the top 20.
  • In addition, Allen ranked 2nd, Frisco 4th and McKinney 8th in terms of fastest job growth.
  • Collin County contains a total of 42.3 million square feet of retail space, according to CoStar data.
  • The median household income in Collin County is $74,136. Meanwhile, the per capita income is $42,077.