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Thursday, October 22, 2020
Government Grapevine hires first economic development director

Grapevine hires first economic development director

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

Robert (Bob) C. Farley, a 25-year veteran of the community development industry, has been selected by the city of Grapevine to serve as its first-ever economic development director. The city created the position as part of its new, strategic focus on attracting, retaining and growing quality businesses in the community. Grapevine selected Farley after a nationwide search. “Grapevine is excited and fortunate to bring in a professional of Bob’s caliber to serve as our first economic development director,” said Grapevine City Manager Bruno Rumbelow. “Bob will serve a vital role in identifying key business prospects and then creating and executing successful marketing campaigns to attract those businesses here. With his talent for innovation, extensive experience and knowledge of economic development trends, coupled with Grapevine’s unique attributes, we expect to be very successful in this new initiative.”

Farley initially will oversee the creation of a master plan for the 185-acre parcel near Grapevine Mills that the city acquired in December 2013, and marketing the property to developers or users. The prime property, located at the intersection of SH 121, Grapevine Mills Boulevard and Grapevine Mills Parkway, is the single largest tract of undeveloped land remaining in Grapevine. The city recently retained a land-planning consultant to conduct feasibility and site planning, and to develop a site marketing plan. Farley also will focus on raising Grapevine’s profile with strategically identified end-user markets, such as hospitality, entertainment, retail, and corporate and medical offices, among others, and guiding greenfield and infill development accordingly to meet the community’s development objectives. Development of a future TEX Rail station and the surrounding area, in historic downtown Grapevine, will also be a key priority for Farley and the city. “The mission of our economic development team is to provide assistance in business attraction, relocation and retention,” said City of Grapevine Mayor William D. Tate. “The city of Grapevine prides itself in being a progressive city that seeks unique and powerful venues to better our economy, community and business climate. The dexterity and insight that Bob possesses will be an asset to the growth and development of Grapevine.”  

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