Archive for the 'Growth in Frisco' Category

FRISCO TO BREAK GROUND ON PUBLIC PARKING GARAGE, NOV. 30

FRISCO TO BREAK GROUND ON PUBLIC PARKING GARAGE, NOV. 30

(November 17, 2009) Beginning Monday, November 30, the parking lot behind City Hall and the Library will be closed to make way for the construction of a 574 space, public parking garage. Two, small surface lots will also be constructed with one on the east side, the other on the west side of the garage for a total of 70 additional parking spaces.

On November 3, during a regularly scheduled council meeting, the Frisco City Council voted unanimously to approve the contract to begin construction on the $6.4 million public parking garage. Four million of those funds were approved by voters during the 2006 Bond Election.

Construction is estimated to take one year to complete.

“When construction is finished, we’ll all benefit from the convenience of having a total of 644 parking spaces to choose from whether we’re attending meetings, using the library or visiting the many businesses, restaurants, venues or special events in and around Frisco Square,” said Mayor Maher Maso.  “The 644 new parking opportunities far outnumber the 141 spaces we currently have available in the parking lot behind City Hall.”

The drive way and half-circle drive directly behind City Hall/Library will remain open, providing public access to the ‘after hours drop boxes’ for utility payments and library books.  The ‘loading zone’ space will be accessible, allowing for loading and deliveries, only. Eight handicap spaces will be available in front of City Hall.  This includes four existing spaces and four additional spaces, which replace those lost to parking garage construction. Anyone with a handicap placard may use handicap parking, first come, first served.

Visitor parking includes angled spaces on Frisco Square Blvd., which includes spaces in front of City Hall and around Simpson Plaza.  Most spaces on Church and Library Streets will also be available for visitor parking. For safety reasons, parking is prohibited in some spaces on Church and Library Streets, adjacent to the garage construction site.

Parking on Page Street, between Church and Library Streets, is prohibited.

Visitor parking is also available in the west parking lot of Frisco Square.  This parking lot is located west of one of the Frisco Square business/residential buildings on Coleman Blvd. This lot is accessible from Main Street. For your convenience, the City of Frisco has installed a temporary sidewalk leading from the Frisco Square west lot, through Simpson Plaza and to the front of City Hall.

“We appreciate your patience as we work to improve parking availability in this area,” said Mayor Maso.  “When construction is finished, we’ll all appreciate the fact we’ll have four times more parking than we currently have at City Hall and the Library.” To see the visitor parking plan maps, go to www.friscotexas.gov/garage

Museum of the American Railroad and City of Frisco Finalize Move

MAY 5, 2009 – Today Museum of the American Railroad officials signed, and the Frisco City Council approved, a formal agreement that finalizes plans to move the Fair Park collection of trains to a new site in Frisco. The City Council passed by unanimous vote the Development Agreement and Lease that enables the museum to move from the planning stage to Phase I design and construction. The Museum of the American Railroad joins an exciting array of attractions in this North Texas city including the Frisco Heritage Center and Museum. It will also be adjacent to a system of planned outdoor spaces and recreational areas to be known as Grand Park.

Last year, the Museum of the American Railroad entered into an agreement with the City of Frisco that initiated serious discussions between the two organizations. The two quickly arrived at terms that were mutually beneficial and an engineering firm was hired to prepare a conceptual engineering site plan. The plan, prepared by Lunsford Associates of Arlington with Wilson & Company of Fort Worth, calls for nearly a mile of trackage and future exhibit buildings totaling 94,000 square feet.

The museum’s priceless collection will also be covered by a train shed reminiscent of turn-of-thecentury stations. With the Council’s adoption of the formal agreements, the railroad museum will now finalize its site plan and prepare engineering specifications for Phase I construction. Phase I calls for some 5,000 feet of track to be laid at the museum’s new Frisco location, including 3,000 feet of exhibit track that will accommodate the current 36-piece rolling stock collection. The museum’s two landmark structures will also move to Frisco and compliment the historic locomotives and railway passenger cars.

The City of Frisco will provide 12.34 acres of land for the project. Located on Cotton Gin Road, the new site is adjacent to the Frisco Heritage Center and borders the BNSF Railway line to the east. The museum currently resides on a 1.8 acre footprint in Fair Park and stores one quarter of its collection offsite.

A majority of Phase I funding will come from Frisco to construct the basic facilities necessary to relocate the museum from Fair Park. The museum will raise their portion of the funding privately.

Upon completion of Phase I, the museum will open for business at the new site. “We are very excited to get to this point; it’s been mostly planning until now. We’re getting close to turning some dirt and watching the wheels roll. The area railroads have pledged their support and we should be moving equipment in early 2011,” said Bob LaPrelle, MAR’s President & CEO.

The museum will continue operations at its present Fair Park location until the rolling stock begins moving to Frisco. Educational programs for Dallas area schools will also continue through late 2010. While the collection will be relocating to Frisco, the move is viewed by museum officials as an operation becoming more regional rather than one leaving the Dallas market.

With nearly half a mile of locomotives and cars weighing almost 3,600 tons, the move of the museum’s historic rolling stock collection will be an event in and of itself. The museum has fielded calls from as far away as New Zealand since the announcement of the move last year. The museum’s Big Boy steam locomotive, the largest ever constructed, will attract interest from all over the world when it begins to roll to its new home.

The museum has worked closely with Frisco city officials to finalize plans and create an attraction that embraces the city’s rich railroad heritage. Frisco derives its name from the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Company which established a water stop there following construction in 1902.

Initially satisfying a thirst for steam locomotives, the area was later subdivided and plots were sold by the railroad. A few years later the town of Frisco was officially incorporated and has grown in population to just over 100,000 today. While the museum will endeavor to tell the story of railroads on a local level, its collection is national in scope. In 2006 the museum, with the aid of M. Goodwin Associates of Los Angeles, created a Strategic Plan that identified its strengths and addressed limitations at its present site. The Plan acknowledged the significance of the collection as one with great potential that tells the story of the American Railroad on a national level.

The new facilities in Frisco will allow for expanded programming and house the collection in a setting that is befitting of its heritage. Future buildings will present the trains in the context of a large, urban train station while featuring all the amenities of a museum. Visitors will climb aboard trains that once arrived and departed stations at nearly every major city in the nation.

Museum officials have chosen a style of architecture for its new main building that compliments neighboring structures in Frisco Square. A Neoclassical style is represented in the museum’s proposed building that borrows elements from the great train stations of the past. To be constructed as part of a Phase II capital project, the facility will feature a grand hall and concourse that will serve as a museum facility by day and a venue for community activities after hours. “We envision this building being a center for local activities and events – a place that is at the heart of a community just as train stations were in their day,” said LaPrelle.

The new museum will also serve as an anchor arts & cultural institution in Frisco. The facility will provide educational programming for Frisco ISD and surrounding school districts through interactive tours and in-class programs. The museum’s grand hall will also act as a venue for the visual & performing arts.

Over the past year the museum has consulted with Freeman Ryan Design, an Australian company, to develop spatial requirements and visitor flow patterns for the new main building and train shed. Specializing in creating museums around large objects, the Sydney-based company has addressed thearchitectural considerations associated with housing and presenting the museum’s extensive rolling stock collection.

Using the latest technologies, the museum will entertain and educate visitors and students with exhibits on the cultural history and technology of railroading. Programs will also explore the role of the railroad as a solution to the nation’s transportation challenges. Where railroad museums have typically been viewed as looking back, the new Frisco museum will also look forward and showcase what the rail industry has to offer now and in the future.

The City of Frisco has generously provided the railroad museum with offices and 800 square feet of exhibit space in the new Frisco Heritage Museum. Located at 6455 Page Street, visitors can enjoy exhibits on Frisco history, including the arrival of the railroad in 1902. With offices and programming already established in Frisco, the railroad museum is on its way toward building a brand and engaging in fund raising and development.

With today’s vote, the City of Frisco and the Museum of the American Railroad have solidified a partnership and created much excitement toward establishing the premiere museum of railroad history and technology in the Southwest. The Museum of the American Railroad would like to extend its most sincere gratitude to the City of Frisco and its citizens. Their generous contributions and endorsement of our museum will ensure its future role as a cultural history center and educational resource in North Texas.

For more information about the museum and its move to Frisco go to http://www.dallasrailwaymuseum.com

Frisco Med-Tech Building Tapped as a Finalist 2008 Best Real Estate Deals

January 19 2009 — The Frisco Economic Development Corporation announces that the Med-Tech Building project has been announced as a finalist for the 17th Annual Best Real Estate Deal for 2008. The 50,000 square foot building is the headquarters for the North Texas Enterprise for Medical Technology Center (NTEC). The project was funded by a bond issue from the Frisco Economic Development Corporation (FEDC). The two-story, state-of-the-art medtech facility, includes 80 offices, 30 cubes, 10,000 square feet of highly flexible biolabs, device labs and prototyping labs to empower life-science start-ups. The incubator/accelerator will house as many as 25 entrepreneurial medical device and technology businesses. NTEC’s expansion and substantial growth compliments increased investments at the state, national and international levels. This development will further expand the vision of the FEDC being a supporter of and for emerging medtech companies and the City of Frisco to continue as the leading catalyst for development of a medtech cluster in North Texas.

 

“We are very pleased that this project has been acknowledged as a finalist for the Dallas Business Journal’s Best Real Estate Deals, said Jim Gandy, president, Frisco Economic Development Corporation. “We are very proud of Frisco and this is just another example of the good things happening in Frisco.”

READY, SET, GROW: RESIDENTS CALLED TO HELP GUIDE CITY’S GROWTH;

(October 22, 2008) Help Frisco design a road map for where it needs to go – and grow! The City of Frisco is looking for direction from citizens interested in helping staff update the City’s Zoning Ordinance that directly impacts the future development of this city. Applications are being accepted now through November 17 for Zoning Advisory Committee (ZAC).

 

The Frisco City Council will review applications and make appointments to the ZAC, which will work with City staff and consultant on the updating of the Zoning Ordinance over the next 18 to 24 months.

 

Members of ZAC will consider revising the Zoning Ordinance, which includes, but not limited to, regulating current — and future — land uses, lot sizes, setbacks, lighting standards, parking requirements, landscaping, and the process for reviewing site plans. The ‘Comprehensive Plan’, adopted in 2006, will be used to guide the updating of the Zoning Ordinance.

 

“These standards are vital to the development and ‘smart and sustainable growth’ of a city,” said John Lettelleir, Director of Planning & Development Services. “As a result, we need to review our ‘Zoning Ordinance’ periodically to make sure we’re meeting the City Council’s goal to become a sustainable city and to implement the City’s Comprehensive Plan.”

 

In 2000, the City of Frisco’s ‘Comp Plan’ was named ‘Best in the State’ by the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA). In 2006, a revision of Frisco’s ‘Comp Plan’ received a Planning Excellence Award by the APA.

 

Frisco City Council members will make their committee selections on December 2, during their regularly scheduled council meeting. Applications are available for download off the City of Frisco website at http://www.friscotexas.gov or by contacting Ryan Middleton, Planner at 972-292-5363 or rmiddleton@friscotexas.gov

 

Applications submitted by mail should be addressed to Ryan Middleton, Comprehensive and

Environmental Division, Planning & Development Services Department, City of Frisco, George A. Purefoy Municipal Center, 6101 Frisco Square Blvd, 3rd Floor, Frisco, 75034.

2008 Frisco Forecast

Below are summary notes from the Weitzman 18th Annual Shopping Center Survey & Forecast and comments made by Steve Brown, Dallas Morning News Real Estate Editor at a meeting of the Frisco Developers Council.  Both were held in January, 2008.

 

Metroplex Region:   

  • Metroplex region is a blessed economy; but has cooled off some.
  • Anticipated 100,000 new jobs annually will be down to a projected 65,000 new jobs, which will still be No. 2 or 3 in the US.
  • Office space, approximately 5.5 million SF under development.
  • 2007 office leasing was down about 50% in the Metroplex.
  • New housing starts are down. Single family home foreclosures will be a problem for the next 12-18 months.
  • Apartment development is a hot market right now, people who cannot qualify for a home loan are leasing apartments and houses.
  • About 4 million SF of retail is under construction and vacancy rate is about 10%, not bad.
  • DFW Region economy is still better off than most other places in the US.

 

City of Frisco:  Overall market in Frisco is good and remains strong.

 

  1. Office:

·         Office development in 2007 was approximately 1.5 million square feet.

·         Office leasing absorbed approximately 600,000 square feet or 40% absorbed.

·         Office vacancy is approximately 20%, which ranks third best in the Metroplex.

  1. Retail:

·         At 95% retail occupancy, which is considered full occupancy, Frisco ranks fourth best in retail submarket occupancy in the Metroplex, (1. McKinney 98%, 2. Allen 97%, 3. Cedar Hill 96%)·         Frisco ranks fourth best in 2007 retail construction with approximately 550,177 SF.       (1. Lewisville/Flower Mound 1.1M SF, 2. Grand Prairie 640,000 SF, 3. McKinney 615,000 SF)

·         Retail construction in Frisco remains strong with approximately 500,000 SF of retail under construction.

  1. Hotels:

·         Frisco has 3 full service hotels and 3 limited service hotels with a total of 1,034 rooms.

·         Four hotels are under construction, which will add 469 rooms for a total of 1,503 rooms.

·         Four hotels are pending, which would add 477 rooms, or a potential 1,980 rooms.

4.   Housing:

·         Several major commercial and mixed-use projects at major intersections along the Dallas North Tollway from SH 121 to US380 have been announced or are under construction.

·         New single family starts are down about 40%.

·         Apartment development is a hot market as Frisco has approximately 2,500 units in the pipeline.

5.   Overall outlook:

·         Overall economic outlook is good with slowed single family housing development and several major commercial/mixed-use projects underway in 2008.