Members of Denison’s downtown and development communities came together to welcome Vilbig and Associates to the area Thursday afternoon. Despite just moving the engineering office from Dallas to Denison’s Woodard Street, David and Barbara Vilbig, have worked in the Sherman-Denison area for more than 20 years.
And after experiencing the major growth the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex has seen in recent years, the Vilbigs said they see promise and opportunity for more growth in Texoma.
“If you don’t realize it, the wave is coming and fast,” Barbara Vilbig said Thursday.
When asked about the addition of Vilbig and Associates to downtown, interim Denison Area Chamber of Commerce President Shelle Cassell said she was happy to have a professional-level employer entering the community.
Despite being a long-term Dallas native, David Vilbig said he has had a connection to Texoma for more than two decades. His grandfather built a home on the Preston Peninsula, which he often came to, and more recently, David Vilbig purchased land nearby to build his own retirement home.
“It isn’t usually easy to get a Dallas boy away, but the lake made it easier,” he said.
David Vilbig said the engineering firm specializes in civil and urban engineering, surveying and land planning with a focus on large raw land and residential subdivision development. Among the projects he has worked on in Texoma are the O’Hanlon Ranch and the Vista Norte subdivisions in Sherman. Most recently, he said the firm worked on improvements and new entrances to the Sherman Commons shopping center near U.S. Highway 75 and Loy Lake Road.
“You know you are getting older when you do work on the first Office Depot in a community and then work on the second, its replacement,” he said.
When asked what made him move his firm to Denison, David Vilbig said recent development in Dallas has focused on redevelopment of existing neighborhoods and areas. As such, there has been little work for civil engineering. David Vilbig said his business thrives in areas with wide open stretches of land for development.
With growth and development steadily moving north, and focusing on the McKinney and Prosper areas, David Vilbig said both Sherman and Denison are on the path for future growth. What sets the two cities ahead of other communities is their developed infrastructure that can handle the growth, he said. Additionally, he said the recent boost in housing for the region will also help spur development.
“You have to build the houses, and then the commercial development will come soon after,” David Vilbig said.
This comes nearly 10 years after the great recession of 2008 that saw the collapse of the housing market and a decline of the economy. Since then, development has been slow to return, but Vilbig said he is seeing changes in that trend.
“Since the 2008 crash, it (development) has been painfully slow to come back, but I think the pent up demand is beginning to fight back,” he said.