By Lisa Ferguson
Massive construction vehicles and the banging of hammers will continue to be common sights and sounds in Anna during 2020 as restaurant, retail, medical and municipal development projects get underway, progress forward and prepare for completion.
“We are very pro-development right now,” Anna Mayor Nate Pike said. “It’ll be interesting to see what the next couple years hold if we’re continuing (to grow) at this rate.” At the bustling intersection of U.S. Highway 75 and FM 455, a pair of highly anticipated dining establishments are under construction and two others are readying to open their doors in coming weeks.
“Now Hiring” signs hang in the windows at Salsa Tex Mex. The small restaurant chain, which offers table service, currently operates three locations in Plano, Frisco and Prosper.
Although he could not provide the exact date when the eatery here will open, Joey Grisham, economic development director for the city of Anna, expects that should occur in February. “It’s a sit-down, casual concept, which is something we’re lacking in the city right now,” he said.
On the opposite side of the Anna Town Center parking lot, construction is wrapping up on the city’s first Starbucks location. A date for the local outlet of the ubiquitous coffee chain has yet to be announced, although it likely is just weeks away.
Several hundred feet to the south, construction recently began on a forthcoming Chik-fil-A location, and ground has been broken for a Whataburger restaurant. Both establishments are expected to begin serving customers later this year.
“Obviously Anna is … becoming a destination for retailers. I think we’re far enough outside of McKinney to kind of be our own retail market, which is good,” Grisham said. “Anytime you get national tenants like Chik-fil-A, Whataburger and Starbucks, that is obviously good from a retail sales tax standpoint.”
It also provides more options for residents who wish to spend their dollars locally.
“People are gonna drive somewhere else to get (goods) if it’s not here, so fortunately we’ll be able to capture that benefit here versus people going to McKinney or Sherman” to shop, dine and obtain services, he explained.
Along the U.S. 75 frontage road, north of FM 455, dirt is being turned at the future site of Texoma Medical Center’s freestanding emergency room. The ER at Anna is anticipated to open in the fall offering 24-hour care.
Meanwhile, on the west side of the highway, construction is nearing completion on the 23,000-plus square-foot Surgery Center of North Texas. The ambulatory surgery facility, which wil include four full-sized operating rooms and other procedure suites, is planned to open this spring.
Earthmovers are also churning up ground on South Powell Parkway, where a 37,000 square-foot municipal complex is being built. Once completed in 2021, the modern building will serve as Anna’s City Hall and house other city departments and services.
“We’re also working on our downtown area,” Grisham said, explaining that a master plan for the area is under development.
“That will mean hopefully a lot more opportunities (for) retail (and) restaurants for downtown,” which could include wineries and breweries. “Nothing is set in stone,” he explained, however the master plan “will really kind of shape the future of downtown.”