Jim Grabenhorst, EDFP
Director of Economic Development
Jim Grabenhorst has served as Director of Economic Development for the City of Rowlett, Texas since February, 2012. Since joining Rowlett, the City has seen nearly $500 million in private investment, over 1,500 new jobs created and double digit sales tax increases as part of the department’s strategic effort to diversify Rowlett’s tax base and promote a sustainable environment for future growth. As part of the City’s strategic visioning document, Realize Rowlett 2020, the Economic Development department is leading the strategic implementation efforts. The following are the first major new private investments in Rowlett as a result of the community’s Realize Rowlett 2020 initiative: “The Homestead at Liberty Grove” a $200 million “New Neighborhood” residential investment on approximately 200 acres; “The Village of Rowlett” a $35 million “Urban Village” transit-oriented development in Downtown Rowlett; “Terra Lago” a $40 million “Urban Village” mixed residential development and the recently announced “Bayside” (Elgin B. Robertson property) mixed use destination and entertainment development with a planned $1 billion private investment.
Prior to this, he led Encore Development Company, a full service real estate development company focusing on land and commercial development in the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area, which he founded in 2003. Jim also served as Director of Economic Development for the City of O’Fallon, Missouri from 1996-2003, where he oversaw the development efforts of the fastest growing City in Missouri. During his tenure in O’Fallon, the City’s population grew from approximately 20,000 to over 65,000 residents. He was involved in the recruitment of several corporate headquarters, regional offices and significant retail development including MasterCard International’s Global Operations headquarters, CitiMortgage’s North American processing headquarters, the development of WingHaven a master planned 1000+ acre mixed use development and the development of over 1 million square feet of retail space. These developments resulted in the creation of over 10,000 jobs and $1 billion of capital investment.
Jim has a unique perspective in Economic Development as he has been involved in the development arena from both the private and public sectors. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Missouri St. Louis and has received his professional designation as Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) from the National Development Council, New York, NY.