Richardson, Texas

Richardson, Texas
City of Richardson

Nickname(s): "The Telecom Corridor"

Location within Dallas County and the state of Texas
Coordinates: 32°57′56″N 96°42′57″W / 32.96556°N 96.71583°W / 32.96556; -96.71583Coordinates: 32°57′56″N 96°42′57″W / 32.96556°N 96.71583°W / 32.96556; -96.71583
Country  United States of America
State  Texas
Counties Dallas
  Type Council-Manager
  City Council Mayor Paul Voelker
Bob Townsend
Mark Solomon
Scott Dunn
Mabel Simpson
Marta Gómez Frey
Steve Mitchell
  City Manager Dan Johnson
  Total 28.6 sq mi (74.2 km2)
  Land 28.6 sq mi (74.0 km2)
  Water 0.08 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 630 ft (192 m)
Population (2010)
  Total 99,223
  Estimate (2014)[1] 108,617
  Rank US: 275th
  Density 3,803/sq mi (1,468.2/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
  Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 75080-75083, 75085
Area code(s) 214, 469, 972
FIPS code 48-61796
GNIS feature ID 1345172[2]

Richardson is a principal city in Dallas and Collin counties in the U.S. state of Texas.[3] As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 99,223.[4] In 2014 the population was estimated to be 108,617.[1] Richardson is an affluent inner suburb of Dallas and home of The University of Texas at Dallas and the Telecom Corridor with a high concentration of telecommunications companies. More than 5,000 businesses have operations within Richardson's 28 square miles (73 km2), including many of the world's largest telecommunications/networking companies: AT&T, Ericsson, Verizon, Cisco Systems, Samsung, MetroPCS, Texas Instruments, Qorvo, and Fujitsu.[5][6] Richardson is also the home to the BlueCross-BlueShield of Texas headquarters in the healthcare industry.


Settlers from Kentucky and Tennessee came to the Richardson area in the 1840s. Through the 1850s the settlement was located around the present-day site of Richland College. After the Civil War a railroad was built northwest of the original settlement, shifting the village's center closer to the railroad. Richardson was chartered in 1873, and the town was named after railroad contractor E.H. Richardson. In 1908, the Texas Electric Railway an electric railway known as the Interurban, connected Richardson to Denison, Waco, Corsicana and Fort Worth. In 1910 the population was approximately 600. A red brick schoolhouse was built in 1914. The schoolhouse is now the administrative office for the Richardson Independent School District. In 1924 the Red Brick Road, the present-day Greenville Avenue, was completed. The completion of the road brought increased traffic, population and property values. The town incorporated and elected a mayor in 1925. In 1940 the population was approximately 740.

Aerial photo of Main Street, circa 1950

After World War II the city experienced major increases in population, which stood at approximately 1,300 by 1950. Throughout the 1950s the city continued to see growth including the opening of the Collins Radio Richardson office, Central Expressway, a police department, shopping centers and many homes. Texas Instruments opened its offices in Dallas on the southern border of Richardson in 1956. This was followed by significant gains in land values, population and economic status. In the 1960s Richardson experienced additional growth including several new parks, facilities and the creation of the University of Texas at Dallas within the city limits. By 1972 the population was approximately 56,000. Residential growth continued through the 1970s and slowed in the 1980s. Commercial development increased throughout the 1980s. Richardson had a population of 74,840 according to the 1990 census. Population increases throughout the 1990s was primarily from development of the northeast part of the city. The city of Buckingham, after being completely surrounded by Richardson, was annexed into the city in 1996.

Richardson had a population of 91,802 as of the 2000 census. By 2002 Richardson had four Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) light rail stations and had built the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts and Corporate Presentations and the adjacent Galatyn Park urban center, which has a two-acre public pedestrian plaza, a luxury hotel and mixed-use development. Richardson was a "dry city" with no alcohol sales until November 2006, when the local option election passed to allow the sale of beer and wine in grocery and convenience stores. Richardson received local media attention for removing its rocket slide, space age and Cold War-era playground equipment from Heights Park in July 2008. In the fall of 2008 Peter Perfect, a Style Network television show, came to Richardson. The business-makeover show remodeled SpiritWear, an apparel and embroidery store in the city's historic downtown area. The episode first aired on January 22, 2009. It was the first episode of the series to be filmed outside of California. In an April 2009 interview, Mike Judge said that he modeled Arlen, the setting for King of the Hill, after Richardson.[7][8][9][10][11][12]

In 2006, Richardson was ranked as the 15th best place to live in the United States by Money magazine. This ranked Richardson the 3rd best place to live in Texas.[13] In 2007, the Morgan Quitno 14th Annual America's Safest and Most Dangerous Cities Awards pronounced Richardson the 69th safest city in America. In the same study Richardson ranked the 5th safest city in Texas.[14] In 2008, Richardson was ranked as the 18th best place to live in the United States by Money magazine. This ranked Richardson the 4th best place to live in Texas.[15] In 2009, Business Week's annual report on the "Best Places to Raise Kids," ranked Richardson in 2nd place in Texas.[16] Richardson was the first North Texas city recognized as a best workplace for commuters by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Department of Transportation in 2004. As of 2010 the city has continued to be recognized every year since 2004.[17] In 2011 the Texas Recreation and Park Society awarded Richardson with the Texas Gold Medal for excellence in the field of recreation and park management.[18][19] In 2014, Richardson was called the "5th happiest mid-sized city in America" by national real estate website and blog,, based on a number of metrics, such as low unemployment, low crime, and high income.[20] Also in 2014 Richardson was named America's 17th Best City to Live in by 24/7 Wall St., based on crime, economy, education, housing, environment, leisure and infrastructure.[21]


Map of Richardson

The cities of Dallas, Plano and Garland, Texas constitute almost all of the Richardson border apart from the municipality's extreme northeastern "panhandle."

 The Lake Highlands area of northeast Dallas borders Richardson to the south, North Dallas to the southwest, Far North Dallas to the west, West Plano to the northwest, East Plano to the north, the city of Murphy to the northeast, Sachse to the east, and Garland to the southeast.

Richardson is located at 32°57′56″N 96°42′57″W / 32.965628°N 96.715707°W / 32.965628; -96.715707.[22]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.6 square miles (74.2 km2), of which 28.6 square miles (74.0 km2) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.2 km2), or 0.32%, is water.[23]

Approximately two-thirds of the city is in Dallas County, with the northern third of the city in Collin County. Of the 28.6 square miles (74.2 km2) contained within the borders of the city of Richardson, 18.2 square miles (47 km2) lie in Dallas County; the other 9.2 square miles (24 km2) are in Collin County.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Richardson has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[24]

Economy and development

Despite declining economies in other parts of the United States, from 2005 through 2009 Richardson had substantial increases in its economy. The city's total assessed property value went up from $8.3 billion in 2005 to $9.5 billion in 2008. Sales tax collection went up from $21 million in 2005 to an estimated $24.7 million in 2008. The city has also achieved a considerable amount of corporate recruitment and retention. Including the new Blue Cross Blue Shield development, the largest Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex office campus development since 1987 is a 15-story, 1,000,000-square-foot (93,000 m2) regional headquarters, where 3,100 employees work. Other major corporate expansions or relocations include Bank of America Financial Services, MetroPCS (corporate HQ), Yahoo, Fujitsu Transaction Solutions, and Halff Associates.[25]

The city has experienced a surge of mixed-use development, suburban infill and transit-oriented development, predominantly on the city's eastern side. The Venue is a 4-acre (16,000 m2) mixed-use development adjacent to Galatyn Park, a DART rail station. Eastside, a mixed-use, infill development, is at the midpoint of two rail stations, Arapaho Center and Galatyn Park. Eastside is located on the southeast corner of Campbell Road and Central Expressway. It features 450 apartments by Post Properties, 90,000 square feet (8,400 m2) of retail and restaurant space and 35,000 square feet (3,300 m2) of office space in addition to an 11-story class A office building that was pre-existing on the development site. Eastside Phase II will include 12 acres (49,000 m2) of office and mixed-use development. Brick Row, a $200 million mixed-use development, is located on the northwest corner of Spring Valley Road and Greenville Avenue, less than half of a mile east of Central Expressway. Brick Row borders the Spring Valley Station and will have at completion 500 upscale apartments, 150 townhomes and up to 300 condominiums surrounding the historic natural McKamie Springs. The Shire is a mixed-use center of 6.5 acres (26,000 m2). Phase II is an additional 10 acres (40,000 m2). The former Richardson Square Mall has been redeveloped into an outdoor retail center. Other retail centers have been re-developed or remodeled including Buckingham Plaza, Buckingham Square, Dal-Rich Village, Richardson Village, II Creeks, Richardson Heights and Richardson Village.[26]

This city has won many economic awards, including DBJ's 2006 "Best Real Estate Deal of the Year", International Economic Development Council's 2006 "Technology-Based Economic Development Award", and Texas Economic Development Council's 2007 "Texas Economic Excellence Award".[27]

Since 2008, both Standard & Poor's and Moody's have upgraded Richardson's credit rating to "AAA" from the previous rating of "AA+". At the time, Richardson was one of only four cities in the state of Texas and one of 88 cities in the nation with an "AAA" rating from Standard & Poor's. Richardson is the metropolitan statistical area's second largest employment center with daytime population increasing to more than 140,000. The economy remains rooted in the telecommunications industry. However, Richardson's property tax base is deep and extends beyond its Telecom Corridor area with other sectors including health care, technology, and finance. The city's per capita sales are 200 percent of the national average as well as the second highest sales tax per capita in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The tax base is very diverse with the 10 leading taxpayers accounting for 10 percent of total assessed value.[28]

On March 1, 2014, the Richardson Fire Department will officially receive its Class 1 ISO rating. The Insurance Services Office (ISO) is "a leading supplier of statistical, underwriting and actuarial information for the property/casualty insurance industry", and its rating is used to measure the quality and effectiveness of fire protection in a community. Richardson is one of only 56 municipalities in the country to achieve this highest rating, which tends to reduce property/casualty insurance premiums.[29]

Late-2000s recession

In the overall economic downturn or the late-2000s recession, Richardson has not been affected as adversely as other cities in the nation, Texas or even the North Texas region. In June 2010 both Moody's and Standard and Poor's bond rating agencies reaffirmed the city's "AAA" rating, the highest assigned by either agency. Of the cities that maintain bond ratings, Richardson is in the top 3.1% in the state and the top 6.8% nationally.[6] Always a technology-centric city, Richardson has fully recovered from the tech downturn of 2001-2003. The city has diversified its business base with financial service firms and has adopted a live-work-play approach to future mixed-use and transit-oriented developments. As of early 2011 local unemployment was still high by historical standards at just over 7%, but lower than the state and federal unemployment levels.[30] This is down from the unemployment rate of 8.4% in August 2010 according to figures collected by the NCTCOG[31]

Corporate headquarters

MetroPCS,[32] Fossil, Lennox International, Vent-A-Hood, Wingstop Restaurants,[33] and VCE[34] have their corporate headquarters in Richardson.

Major employers

According to the Richardson Economic Development Partnership's listing on Major Employers (last updated September 2014),[35] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 AT&T Inc. 4,300
2 State Farm Insurance 4,000
3 The University of Texas at Dallas 3,500
4 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas 3,100
5 Richardson Independent School District 2,500
6 Verizon Business 2,250
7 Cisco Systems 1,700
8 United Healthcare 1,700
9 Fujitsu 1,500
10 Fossil, Inc. 1,400
11 Bank of America 1,000
12 Samsung Telecommunications 1,000


Richardson has had a council–manager form of government since 1956.[36]

The City Council is elected for two-year terms on a nonpartisan basis. The Council is made up of seven elected officials. The officials elected for Places 1 through 4 must live in those Places (generally, the four quadrants of the City). The officials for Places 5 and 6 can live anywhere in the city. The official elected to Place 7 is the Mayor (this was changed in an election in November 2012), who also can live anywhere in the city.

Notwithstanding the requirements that some elected officials must live in certain Places, all seven officials of the City Council are elected by all Richardson voters.

The city of Richardson is a voluntary member of the North Central Texas Council of Governments association, the purpose of which is to coordinate individual and collective local governments and facilitate regional solutions, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and enable joint decisions.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 2015110,815[37]11.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[38]
2012 Estimate[39]

As of the census of 2000, there were 91,802 people, 35,191 households, and 24,774 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,213.9 people per square mile (1,241.1/km2). There were 36,530 housing units at an average density of 1,278.9 per square mile (493.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 75.39% White, 11.67% Asian, 6.18% African American, 0.45% Native American, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 3.65% from other races, and 2.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.26% of the population.

There were 35,191 households out of which 33.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.1% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.6% were non-families. 22.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 32.7% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.2 males.

In the 2000 census males had a median income of $52,381 versus $35,255 for females. The per capita income for the city was $29,551. About 3.3% of families and 6.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.4% of those under age 18 and 3.4% of those age 65 or over.[40]

According to a 2008 estimate, the median income for a family in Richardson was $90,790 and a median home price of $195,510.[41]

Foreign-born population

By 1990 10% of the Richardson population was not born in the United States. Ten years later, this percentage increased to 18.1%. As of 2000, of those not born in the United States, over 33% had arrived in the United States after 1995.[42]

Chinese Americans

The D-FW China Town is located in Richardson, in part because of the large Asian population.[43]

Esther Wu, a former editor of the Dallas Morning News, stated that Chinese immigration began in Richardson in 1975. Since then the Chinese community has expanded to the north.[44] In the mid-1980s the majority of ethnic Chinese K-12 students in the DFW area resided in Richardson.[45]

As of 2012 North Texas has over 60 Chinese cultural organizations and most of them are headquartered in Richardson and Plano.[45] The Dallas Chinese Community Center (DCCC; Chinese: 达拉斯华人活动中心; pinyin: Dálāsī Huárén Huódòngzhōngxīn) is in the D-FW Chinatown. It includes English as a second language (ESL) classes and 20,000 books written in Traditional Chinese; the center imported some books from Taiwan.[43] As of 2011 the Chinese restaurants catering to ethnic Chinese in DFW are mainly in Richardson and Plano.[44] The University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson, as of 2012, has almost 1,000 Chinese students. The university has a program to recruit students of Chinese origin.[45]

Indian Americans

Richardson's Asian Indian immigrant community has been primarily driven by the international telecommunications industry that is so prevalent in the community. Their town is known as Little India. The India Association of North Texas headquarters are in Richardson.[42] Indo-Pak grocery store is located in an Indian-oriented strip shopping center east of Central Expressway.[46] Of the suburbs in the DFW area, Richardson had one of the earliest Indian settlements.[42]


Colleges and universities

UT Dallas Student Services Building - A LEED Platinum Building

The University of Texas at Dallas, also referred to as UT Dallas or UTD, is a public research university in the University of Texas System. Despite its name the UT Dallas main campus, consisting of approximately 445 acres (1.80 km2), is within the Richardson city limits at 800 West Campbell Road. The campus is sited with Campbell Road on the south, Floyd Road on the east, Waterview on the west, and Synergy Park Boulevard on the north.[47] The university owns an additional 265 acres (1.07 km2) in Richardson, adjacent to the campus, between Synergy Park Boulevard and the President George Bush Turnpike.[48] The city of Richardson passed a bond election on May 8, 2010, which allocated $2.8 million in funding for a UT Dallas loop road to connect the roads around campus. The loop road will be designed to help keep traffic contained within the campus, rather than on the city's roads.[49] The UTD Student Services building, completed in 2010, is the first academic structure in Texas to be rated a LEED Platinum facility by the United States Green Building Council.[50] For the fall 2013 semester, UT Dallas had a total of 21,193 students enrolled.[51]

Richland College is a community college that is part of the Dallas County Community College District or DCCCD. The college is in Dallas on the Richardson border. It is the largest school in the DCCCD, featuring nearly 14,000 students. In 2005, Richland became the first community college to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.[52]

Residents within Collin County are in the zone of Collin College.

Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

The city is served by the Richardson Independent School District (RISD), except for the portion of the city in Collin County, which is served by the Plano Independent School District (PISD).

Twenty-one RISD schools have officially been named to the Texas Business and Education Coalition's (TBEC) Honor Roll for 2008, the second consecutive year RISD has led the state of Texas in Honor Roll Campuses. The TBEC Honor Roll is the most prestigious award for sustained, academic excellence in Texas. It recognizes schools that have demonstrated three years of consistent, high performance in all subjects compared to other schools serving similar student populations. Of the more than 8,000 Texas public schools less than 4% make the TBEC Honor Roll, while in RISD, 40% of eligible campuses are Honor Roll Schools for 2008.[53]

The RISD and PISD have many Blue Ribbon Schools.[54] [55] [56] [57] The Blue Ribbon Schools Program is a United States government program created to honor schools. The Blue Ribbon award is considered to be the highest honor that an American school can achieve.

Zoned RISD high schools in Richardson include Richardson High School,[58] Lloyd V. Berkner High School,[59] and J.J. Pearce High School.[60] The Christa McAuliffe Learning Center and the RISD alternative school, are also in Richardson.[61] Lake Highlands High School is part of the Richardson Independent School District but is located in Lake Highlands, an area in Dallas just south of Richardson.

Sections of Richardson in the Plano Independent School District are served by several schools. Aldridge, Miller, Schell, and Stinson elementary schools are within Richardson and serve Collin County portions of Richardson.[62][63] A section of Collin County Richardson is zoned to Mendenhall Elementary School in Plano.[64] Armstrong, Bowman, and Wilson middle schools in Plano and Murphy Middle School in Murphy serve separate sections of Collin County Richardson. Vines High School and T. H. Williams High School, 9-10 schools in Plano, serve separate sections of Collin County Richardson. Plano Senior High School and Plano East Senior High School serve separate sections of Collin County Richardson.[62][64] Prior to 2007 a section was zoned to Boggess Elementary School in Murphy.[65]

Private schools

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas operates two K-8 schools, St. Joseph School and St. Paul the Apostle School, in Richardson.[66] Other private schools include Canyon Creek Christian Academy (K-12), North Dallas Adventist Academy (K-12), IANT Quranic Academy (K-12), The Alexander School (8-12), Dallas North Montessori School (ages 3–9), and Salam Academy (K-12).

Public libraries

The Richardson Public Library is located at 900 Civic Center Drive at the southwest corner of U.S. Route 75 (North Central Expressway) and Arapaho Road.[67]

The roots of the Richardson Public Library date back to 1947 when a branch of the Dallas County Library was established in a section of the Cash Dry Goods store on East Main Street in downtown Richardson. The fledgling library collection numbered about 400 volumes and was managed by Jessie Durham the store's proprietor. The City Council established the library as a city department in 1958 and in 1959 the library moved into a newly constructed building at 310 Tyler Street. This new library was just under 6,000 square feet (560 m2) in size and was built at a cost of $100,000.[68]

Richardson was experiencing rapid growth in the 1960s and 1970s, and the library facility soon became inadequate for community needs. The current facility was constructed at a cost of $2 million and opened December 1, 1970. The new 81,650-square-foot (7,586 m2), four-story building opened with the use of two floors and a small portion of a third.[69] The basement was finished in 1980 for the reference collection and services. 1995 saw another expansion which finished the upper floor and renovated the three previously opened floors. Another renovation occurred in 2006 when the Youth Services department was expanded and other collections and services rearranged.[68]

In 2008 the library set a new record for the number of items circulated in a fiscal year when the 1 millionth item was checked out in the fall of 2008. The building has undergone building renovations and technological improvements in recent years that enhance the library experience for patrons.

The Texas Municipal League recognized the library with its "Achievement of Excellence in Libraries" award every year from 2004 to 2008. Hennen's American Public Library Rating publication has ranked the library second in the state of Texas every year from 2005 to 2008.[70]


Richardson's strategic location with major area highways provides convenient access for workers commuting into Richardson, the second largest employment center in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. U.S. Highway 75 (North Central Expressway) bisects the city from south to north. Texas State Highway 190 (President George Bush Turnpike) borders the north and Interstate 635 (Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway) borders the south. The city has more Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) rail stations than any other Dallas area suburb. The stations from south to north are Spring Valley, Arapaho Center, Galatyn Park and Bush Turnpike. Three of the rail stations have free parking for people who wish to park and ride. The four stations are strategically located for commuters working and residing in close proximity to the Telecom Corridor area. Feeder buses ensure commuters reach their destination safely. DART bus service is available throughout the city.[71]

The city's Walk Score varies widely based on the neighborhood chosen. Zip code 75080 is considered "Very Walkable" with a score of 77 out of 100,[72] but zip codes 75081 and 75082 are considered "Car Dependent" with scores of 49[73] and 20,[74] respectively. The most walkable Richardson neighborhoods are Southwest Richardson, Town North Park II and Mark Twain.[75]

Major highways

Light rail


Tom McKamy, 1st Mayor of Richardson

Notable people


Historic Richardson

Richardson today



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  95. Author Anne Rice, former Richardson resident, writes to the Richardson Echo
  96. Christensen, Thor. "Ashlee Simpson finds a high note in every low point of her career." WFAA-TV. Friday June 16, 2006. Retrieved on February 6, 2009. Archived June 29, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  97. Wilonsky, Robert. "Jessica and Zayra: Not Quite Good Enough." Dallas Observer. Tuesday October 10, 2006. Retrieved on February 6, 2009.
  98. "

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