Frisco North development moving forward following city council approval
Frisco North is expected to include a wide variety of components, including multi-family residential space, entertainment venues, office space and public parks. Illustration courtesy of Forest City.
When the Frisco City Council approved Frisco North, a 320-acre multi-use development, at a regular meeting Monday, there was clear excitement displayed by council members.
There's good reason for that. The development, located at the corner of the Dallas North Tollway and U.S. Highway 380, was originally thought up in the mid-2000s, although the national recession halted its progress.
Forest City, the Cleveland-based real estate development company behind the project, didn't let the economic climate sway its resolve in reaching a deal with the city, however.
"It certainly hasn't been easy, but we're glad we can start moving forward," said Brian Ratner, president of Forest City Texas. "When the economy took a turn for the worse we couldn't do anything for a few years, but now we're obviously in a different position."
The approval of the development has allowed Forest City to advance its discussion with several potential tenants that Ratner and his team have been talking to for a significant period of time.
Now that those discussions are moving forward, Forest City expects to begin construction on the development late next year or early 2014, with the first tenants scheduled to open shop in 2015.
"This is going to be a whole planned community that will have different uses over time," Ratner said. "We're looking at mixed-used development that will include shopping, office and multi-family residential space."
Ratner added that what gets built will depend on the market, but Forest City is hoping for a good balance between retail and residential space, among other uses. The company is also being mindful to include open space for Frisco North families and customers.
Much of the development will be focused on family-friendly venues, Ratner said, although Forest City hopes to appeal to a wide range of audiences. Among the types of venues expected are public parks and other entertainment components, such as a theater.
While venues will start opening in 2015, development is planned to continue through the years and advance with the city.
"It really depends on the market," Ratner said. "It's going to be a long-term project, so it will be a fair amount of time until full build out."
Forest City is creating a general timeline for beginning phases, although it likely won't have solid dates until construction begins.
In a statement released by the city, Frisco Mayor Maher Maso said the development will help the city beyond its obvious impact on residents.
"Not only will Frisco North benefit residents and visitors alike, it will enhance our financial sustainability through job creation and a growing tax base," he said. "We're excited to partner with Forest City Texas and welcome Frisco North to our community."
While Forest City Texas has developed a number of projects in downtown Dallas, Frisco North will be its first project in both the city and Collin County. If the experience it's had with residents and the city is any indication, however, it will be a smooth process.
"Frisco's growth was a major attraction, but the community also seemed to be receptive to the vision we had," Ratner said. "The city had a similar vision for the site, and the community embraced our ideas."