Downtown Development

A Thriving Downtown

The City of McKinney is dedicated to strong and thriving downtown that enhances the quality of life in McKinney. We have several opportunities and programs that promote reinvestment in the physical landscape of downtown while simultaneously activating public spaces downtown. The careful balance of preservation and new development in Downtown McKinney preserves our unique historic character. 

The Town Center Study and Beyond

In the early 2000s, the City of McKinney and its residents made a conscious decision to promote a higher standard of living and encourage economic growth by investing in the community and revitalizing historic downtown McKinney. 

This decision initiated our Town Center study. With the information learned during this study, the City created a new form based code for the downtown area and initiated several programs aimed at fostering reinvestment in our unique downtown. Follow the links below for more information on these studies, initiatives, and programs. 


Economic Incentives

Sidewalk Use Areas and Parklets

Businesses in the Downtown McKinney area have the opportunity to obtain 2-year licenses to use limited sidewalk space and / or up to two adjacent parking spaces for a fee. There are three programs: the Sidewalk Café, the Sidewalk Patio, and the Parklet Program. 

  • Sidewalk Cafés: Outdoor dining areas located on public sidewalks. A café must be associated with and directly adjacent to a food establishment as defined in Section 46-2 of the Code of Ordinances, City of McKinney. All cafés are open to the air, except for a canopy, and not enclosed by fixed walls; and may contain seating, tables, chairs, plants and other accessories that are not specifically prohibited.
  • Sidewalk Patios: Outdoor seating areas that are available to retail businesses or other establishments that are not food establishments and are located within the Sidewalk Use Area. Sidewalk patios are located on the public sidewalk and may contain seating, tables, chairs, plants and other accessories that are not specifically prohibited.
  • Parklets: Extensions of the sidewalk over on-street public parking space(s) that serves as additional restaurant seating and dining space. Business owners in the Central Business District may be eligible to license the use of up to two parking spaces for outdoor seating.

Applications and Information for each of these programs can be accessed at the below links. For more information, please contact us at [email protected]

Information Sharing


McKinney Town Center Zoning District (MTC)

The MTC facilitates pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use, urban-infill redevelopment that provides for a number of land use opportunities including, but not limited to shopping, employment, housing & business and personal services.

To achieve our goals, we:

  • Promote an efficient, compact and walkable development pattern.
  • Encourage pedestrian activity.
  • Reduce reliance on private automobiles.
  • Position the Historic Town Center as a viable transit-oriented development.
  • Promote a more functional and attractive community through the use of recognized and time-tested principles of urban design.
  • Allow developers flexibility in land use and site design.



Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 1 (TIRZ 1)

TIRZ 1 provides support for catalytic infrastructure and projects that do the following:

  • Support continued revitalization of the Historic Town Center.
  • Link the Town Center across S.H. 5 to potential future Transit-Oriented Developments around a potential future pedestrian rail transit station.
  • Provide infrastructure needed for the safe and pedestrian-oriented transportation circulation demands within the historic core of the Town Center.
  • Improve and remediate key locations that have suffered from historic industrialization.
  • Provide other support for the redevelopment of the Town Center.

Learn more about TIRZ in our FAQ