Is this sleepy village the next North Texas boomtown?

Anna, a small town on Highway 75, is the latest developer favorite

A photo illustration of Anna, Texas (Getty, The City of Anna, Ixnayonthetimmay, Public domain - via Wikimedia Commons)
A photo illustration of Anna, Texas (Getty, The City of Anna, Ixnayonthetimmay, Public domain - via Wikimedia Commons)

A sleepy town north of Mckinney is fast becoming Dallas-Fort Worth’s latest hinterland boomtown.

Anna, TX, 45 miles outside of downtown Dallas, was once considered too far north for serious development, according to the Dallas Morning News. But the DFW metroplex has increasingly grown outwards since the pandemic brought in new residents from out of state and allowed more people to work remotely, bringing the one-time whistle-stop town to the attention of major developers.

“When I first started, I think a lot of people, even brokers and developers, thought Anna was pretty far north, but right now they think it’s perfectly located,” said Joey Grisham, director of the Anna Economic Development Corp. “That’s how quickly things changed just in the last few years.”

Straddling Highway 75, Anna is right between the booming DFW suburbs of Plano and Sherman, and local leaders expect to ride their wake to similar growth.

“The amount of momentum that it’s going to put into the U.S. 75 corridor, all the way to the Oklahoma border, Anna is certainly going to feel a lot of positive impact from that,” said Anna Mayor Nate Pike, who works in Sherman as a financial adviser.

Nearby Sherman, future home to multibillion-dollar semiconductor projects from Texas Instruments and GlobiTech, has seen explosive growth of late, leading to a dramatic surge in home prices. Earlier this year, Sherman was singled out by Moody’s Analytics’ Mark Zandi in his list of the nation’s most “overvalued” housing markets. And spiraling home prices could well push would-be homebuyers to look to neighboring Anna, just as Austin’s overheated housing market is pushing more buyers to San Antonio.

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Anna’s population is expected to grow from around 20,000 last year to nearly 45,000 by 2030, and the city has two two major master-planned communities underway right now. Anacapri, a development from Megatel Homes, will have 1,239 home lots centered around a large lagoon feature, and Centurion American Development Group is building the 1,800-lot Villages of Hurricane Creek. The city had 1,127 home starts in the first two quarters of 2022, according to Residential Strategies.

“The question has always been, in far northern Collin County, can you sell a half-a-million-dollar home? And the answer is 100 percent,” Pike said. “I’ve got proof on the ground of that right now.”

To accommodate the expected growth, the city has been investing in improving its roadways and streamlining its permit process so developers can secure permits in days instead of weeks.

“We have truly created a culture of wanting to be the most developer-friendly city in all of North Texas,” said Pike.

In as sure a sign as any that Anna is on the cusp of a boom, over the last two years, Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Whataburger and Panda Express have all popped up at the Anna Town Center shopping center, which is anchored by a Walmart.

“For most communities, those are not big deals, but when you live in a smaller community, those are very big deals,” said Grisham.

— Maddy Sperling