Frisco’s Explosive Growth Is Accelerating, Late Night Ordinance Is Up For A Vote
Frisco’s Explosive Growth Is Accelerating, Late Night Ordinance Is Up For A Vote
Show Notes & Links:
- GearBox Software Moving to Frisco
- Dallas Cowboys Break Ground on Frisco Headquarters (video)
- Wade Park Project Expands
- Scottish Rite Hospital For Children is Opening a Facility in Frisco
- Behringer and PegasusAblon Announce Development of Luxury Multifamily Community in Frisco
- Toyota Headquarters moving to Plano
- Own a Frisco business and want to provide a discount, deal, or promotion for our audience? Contact Us
- Frisco Events Weekend Round Up for September 5,2014
- Frisco Farmers Market 2014
- Frisco RoughRiders Schedule
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This weeks Guest: Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Cheney
Scott: On the show today we’ve got Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Cheney back in the studio to talk to us about all of the awesome things that are coming to Frisco and why you want to catch the Frisco Flu. This is the Frisco Podcast for September 5, 2014.
Hi, Jeff. Welcome back to the Frisco Podcast.
Jeff: Hey. Thanks for having me again.
Scott: Good to have you here. There’s been so much stuff going on around Frisco. It’s made my head spin over the last few weeks, and I can only imagine what it’s been doing to you.
Jeff: It’s been a lot of fun. In fact, we were joking with some TV reporters that they’re spending all their time in Frisco these days. One of them said they are. The only day they weren’t in Frisco last week they were actually reporting on Frisco. Fun time to be in Frisco.
Scott: That’s good for us, right?
Jeff: That is. Lots of things happening, lots of things coming for our residents.
Scott: Let’s talk about that a little bit because over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen a whole lot of things popping up on the news, on the social media channels about groundbreakings and new businesses that are relocating here. There’s a handful of them that we’re going to touch on, and then if you’ve got some to add, we’ll get to those.
Jeff: Let’s do it. I’d say the ten-mile radius around 121 and the Tollway is probably one of the busiest real estate markets in the entire country. Just incredible what’s happening right now.
Scott: Back in January we had a conversation with Mayor Maso, who was kind enough to sit down with us for a little while. He mentioned how much of a need we have for more office space in Frisco, and it sounds like we’re getting a lot more of that, so we’re glad to hear that.
Jeff: Absolutely. Yes. That is one of our biggest needs. Class A office space here in Frisco is nearly a hundred percent leased, which is great, but the downside to that is we have lots of companies that want to come here and we don’t have a place to put them. There is definitely some help on the horizon. All these new developments that we’re going to be talking about from Frisco Square to Wade Park to the Warren Project where the Cowboys are going, all are going to have new office towers and new environments to bring those businesses here to Frisco.
Scott: All right. Let’s dig into a few specifics on that note then. One of the newer ones is the Tower at Frisco Square, and this is going to be home to Gearbox Software. Tell us a little bit about that. What can we expect there in Frisco Square?
Jeff: This is going to be a project that we think will really finally kick-start Frisco Square. Frisco Square has been a project being built over the last ten years and has really just needed this kind of shot in the arm to really get off the ground. Gearbox Software is a bull’s eye type company that we were looking for in the technology field, lots of high-paying jobs right in our demographics. Many people may know the games they create, from Borderlands to other titles. It’s a really interesting business because each video game may be worth hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue, so it’s almost like a movie studio. They’re going to kick off that building. It’s supposed to be delivered here in about a year, and they’re going to be bringing several hundred very talented employees, what they consider to be the best in their field, to Frisco.
On top of that, that entire block that they’re going is going to be built out all at once, so Frisco Square is going to really start filling in very quickly. A company like Gearbox, they’ll also bring other companies, too, that want to be near them just because of their success and that hope to do work with them and people that already partner with them. It’s just not an impact on their jobs in Frisco Square, but all the other companies that it can bring as well in the technology field. We think Frisco Square, because of that, can become really a tech-heavy part of town. That’s exciting for that area to finally get that shot in the arm.
Scott: That will definitely be exciting. It’s nice to see that we’re getting some companies like Gearbox to come to town.
Scott: We’ll definitely be there to welcome those guys when they get here. Is there anything else you can tell us about the building? I know it’s going to be about five stories, so it’s a little taller than some of the things there.
Jeff: It is. It’s going to be a really neat building. The first floor is going to be retail space and then the next four floors are going to be office space. Gearbox is only taking two of the floors, so they’ll- to other companies, and I’ve heard from their brokers that the demand is off the charts for that building. The Gearbox owners, they’re doing a cool project. They’re actually going to have a video game bar on the first floor of that building. You can go in, pick your drink of choice, and start playing some video games. It sounds like a really interesting concept. It’s going to be called the XP Bar for the video gamers out there.
Scott: Sounds like I’m going to start losing my quarters again pretty soon. That’s awesome.
Jeff: There you go.
Scott: That’s cool. That’s good to know that that’s coming to town. That’s one we hadn’t heard about. Let’s talk about next up, the Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. This one completely caught me off guard. I did not have any idea that not only were they coming to Frisco but that they were building a new facility anywhere around town. It looks like they just bought forty acres in Frisco.
Jeff: Absolutely. They’re going in on the northeast corner of Lebanon and the Tollway. Of course, their brand is a brand any city wants to have in their community and what they do in the medical field. We’re really excited about that project as well. They’re going to start it on a smaller scale, but we expect that to fully grow to full-blown scale hospital that will be a great amenity for Frisco. Having, again, their brand in the city is just something we welcome with open arms.
Scott: Yeah, that will be a very welcome addition to the city. It’s a great facility, and they do a lot of good things there. I’m really happy they’re coming to Frisco.
Scott: Moving on. There’s a couple of projects we’ve known about awhile but are finally getting underway or expanding. One of the articles I read recently was about the expansion of the Wade Park Project in Frisco, which won’t be too far from where the Children’s Hospital will be.
Jeff: We talked about this project as well when I was here last time, and that was the very preliminary stages at that point. It’s good to see it start coming together. The way I describe this project is they really have some visionaries leading it. Stan Thomas is the development group. Of course, this property was owned by the Wade family and being helped developed by the Newman family. Of course, they do everything first class. Seeing the site plan for this project, it’s truly going to be one of the top commercial projects in the country, we think. Whole Foods is going to be the anchor for the project, but that’s just where it’s going to begin. Just yesterday, they announced that they’re bringing iPic, which is the luxury type movie theater.
Scott: Oh, very nice.
Jeff: Yeah. Where you can recline in your leather seat and order some food and maybe take a nap during the movie if you’re not liking the movie. That’s going to be a real nice added feature to this development. They also announced that they’re bringing Pinstripes, which I believe is going to be the first of its kind here in Texas. They have some in other parts of the country. It’s high-end, American food, but it’s also for family entertainment. They’ve got bowling alleys and bocce ball and outdoor fire pits and large patio space. It’s going to be a really neat entertainment destination for families right there. So they’ve got two big wins already right out of the gate.
This project, the concept they’re going for is to be the best of what the Shops at Legacy and Watters Creek offer. Watters Creek, they did a great job of incorporating family entertainment, open space. They have shows on the weekends. They just did a great job with that. What the Shops at Legacy did a great job with is incorporating the business park, having that day crowd so it can sustain these businesses, of course, a vibrant environment. They going to mix both of those.
The site plans call for two 16-story office buildings in Frisco, which will be the largest office buildings in the city, and then some other offices as well. It’s going to be a large-scale office park, but then it’s going to have lots of retail, open space parks. They have a design for a stage to come up out of the water for some concerts and shows. It’s truly going to be a destination like no other. Stan Thomas, he’s a very vibrant guy and very excited about the project and thinks this is going to be the top mixed-use development in the entire country.
That’s what we’re seeing from businesses these days is they want to be in that type of environment where their employees can work, walk to lunch, come back, go walk for the evening. Just really enjoy the experience and not have to get into their cars. That’s a push Frisco has, too, just so that not everybody is adding to the traffic count, that you’re not driving five minutes to lunch, because every car on the road just makes traffic congestion worse, that you’re able to walk to it. This is a hard push, something our residents have been asking for for a long time and we have to be able to deliver it here pretty quick.
Scott: We’re going to have to keep our eyes on Wade Park because that sounds like it’s going to be an awesome complex. We knew that for awhile, but as more details come out, it just gets more and more exciting. Pinstripes sounds particularly interesting. Between that and the movie theater and now a video game bar, I don’t know when I’m ever going to get home, but glad there will be some more fun things to do in Frisco.
Moving on down the list, we’ve known about the Cowboys for quite awhile, certainly big exciting news for Frisco. They’ve actually gone through the groundbreaking, so if you’ve driven by that intersection at Warren and the Toll Road, you’ve seen the beginnings of what will be that complex.
Jeff: Yes. The groundbreaking happened last week. Jerry Jones came out and had a great show and used a term that we love, which is he said he’s caught the Frisco Flu. I think we’re going to use that and some other marketing trying to recruit some businesses here, because I know I’ve had the Frisco Flu for a long time. We hope other people catch it as well. That project is obviously creating a lot of buzz for the city of Frisco, having a brand like the Dallas Cowboys in your city. I was reading an ESPN article last night about Jerry Jones and his quest to be an owner and his legacy. In the article they mention Frisco, Texas, so things like that are going to really expand what we can do as a city, put us on the national map to help us meet our other objectives like land another Fortune 500-type company and other large-scale projects that we’re trying to do.
The kids of Frisco should be really excited about this project. I think most people know now that it was a partnership between the city, the school district, our EDC, CDC, and, of course, the Dallas Cowboys. Our student athletes in Frisco will have the benefit of playing their high school football games, take Friday Night Lights to a whole new level, and play in a 160-175 million dollar domed stadium. Quite a unique experience. I hope my boys get to play in that stadium one day. It’s not just football. There will be band competitions; there will be soccer; there will be lacrosse. That facility will be used year round, and it came, really, at a cheaper cost to the school district than it would have cost for them to build a normal stadium that they needed like Memorial Stadium.
Just being able to put that project together was really an exciting thing to work on. It all came together in literally about 60 days. Projects like this don’t happen very often, because once you get government involved typically, a project like this, with this many parties, likely would never get put together or take years to get put together. Everyone came together and said we want this in our city; we want this for our residents, our student athletes. Everyone made it happen. The stadium will be opened and ready for the fall of the 2016 season.
Scott: Wow, that’s quick. That’s not far away.
Jeff: You’re going to start seeing things come out of the ground here pretty quick, so students and high school students here in Frisco in two years will be able to play in the stadium.
Scott: That is definitely something to be excited about. That is not a privilege that most high school football players are going to be able to enjoy. We’re very fortunate to have them here.
Jeff: The stadium is exciting and what it’s going to bring, so that development is another 400-acre development. You can only imagine the types of businesses that want to be near something like that. The interest is off the charts. Again, for other restaurants, there’s going to be restaurants and shopping surrounding there. There’s going to be more office towers to bring businesses in. We’re looking at another convention-style hotel to go into that area. You’re going to blink your eyes here, and in a few years the North Dallas Tollway between Main Street and 121 won’t look the same here pretty quick.
Scott: No, not at all. I’ve got one more on my list, and that is the Behringer and PegasusAblon Development. This is a multifamily community that’s going up in Frisco, and it sounds really nice.
Jeff: That is actually part of the Frisco Square Project that is going to be built at the same time as the Gearbox building as well as a parking garage there. That’s been one of the big complaints about Frisco Square, just adequate parking. This is going to really help turn that corner. It’s going to also help businesses around there. I want more restaurants and businesses to be there because there’s going to be more people living down there. It’s always been a very hot place for people to live. The apartments, as soon as they get built, get leased in that type of environment. This is just another project they’re going to be excited about. It’s going to look basically out their front door at City Hall and Pizzeria Testa and the park there. Frisco Square is going to become a much more vibrant place here in the next 12 months once these projects are built.
Scott: That’s good to hear. I think this kind of a development is interesting to me because it’s a little bit different than a lot of what we already have in Frisco. Obviously, most folks live in a house. There are plenty of apartments as well. This is a higher-end condo apartment sort of environment, which will be interesting not only for maybe somebody that just doesn’t really want maintenance of a house but still wants a little bit more of the amenities. Or in the case of all these businesses that are coming here, they’re going to need places to live for awhile while homes are being built or they’re planning their home. This will give them a different option to have in that regard.
Jeff: It’s a really great point, and that’s part of the reason why we pushed so hard to get a company like Gearbox here, because of the type of talent that they bring here. They’re looking for projects like that. There’s a likely chance that that project is going in because of the Gearbox and the employees, knowing they’re going to be attracted to that type of clientele. Again, bringing it all together to bring some more technology down to that area.
Scott: Yeah. Can’t get enough tech, in my book, in Frisco, so we’ll bring more there if we can.
Jeff: There you go.
Scott: As people move in, especially as they move in from other places out of state, one of the things that we’ve talked about in the past and that people have mentioned is that the nightlife in Frisco could probably use a little bit of help.
Scott: If I understand correctly, there are maybe some opportunities to help that along in the near future? Is that safe to say?
Jeff: It is. When I go around and ask residents … My favorite question I always ask them is, what do you leave Frisco for? I don’t like to ask them what we’re missing. I always ask, what do you leave Frisco for? The most common answer to that is for nightlife. A lot of people go down to the Shops at Legacy and Watters Creek, like we talked about, and we were really limited there just because we didn’t have the type of environment where a lot of energy was coming into one place. That’s going to change with the developments we spoke about, obviously, coming out of the ground.
Also, this November we’re going to have a chance, residents are going to have a chance again to vote on the late night ordinance. Many may remember back in 2007, I was still in Council. That was, I think, my third or fourth Council meeting where we actually voted to have the late night ordinance, which is taking serving time from 12:00 to 2:00 AM. It passed City Council, but then residents did petition and were able to overturn it in a vote in May of 2008.
The Council has decided that enough time has passed since then that it’s really time to take a second look at that. The resident sentiment has changed with the new developments coming in and we realize we’re being really limited on some of the restaurants that have come here because we do not offer that. It’s going to be on the November ballot. The residents have a chance to vote on it again. I’m certainly in support of late night ordinance. It’s been long documented that hotels want to come here. They want to have it because it’s hard for them to book conventions and large-scale visits from different companies because everyone wants to go to Plano because they have late night.
Truthfully, what’s a surprise to most people is we feel it’s actually a safety concern for us not to have 2:00 AM. What we’ve discovered and even MADD supports as well is that it’s better to have consistent closing times with your surrounding communities because we see it every day where residents at midnight will get in their car and then drive to Plano or other surrounding communities to continue their evening versus having an opportunity to stay in Frisco where a bartender has been monitoring and knowing if they’re being over-served, where our Police Department knows where people are likely coming from versus them coming from other cities.
Speaking to many of our police officers and surrounding cities and the stats since they’ve gone to 2:00 AM, we feel it’s actually making Frisco a safer community to have that. That’s a surprise to a lot of people when they really take a step back and think about it, but then it starts making sense to them as well. We feel it’s better for safety. We feel it’s obviously better for economic development and then bringing the lifestyle choices and entertainment districts that our residents have been asking for. We’ll be making a big push to hopefully get that passed here in November.
Scott: Do you know what the date on that vote is in November?
Jeff: it will be with the normal election, so the general election here in November, which should be the first Tuesday of the month.
Scott: I’ll have to look at the date, but I can tell you that we’re in support of seeing that through as well. It’s something we’ve paid attention to for a long time, so we’ll make sure to keep the word out there and let everybody know to get out and vote, whatever your position on that may be.
Anything else coming to Frisco that we should know about? We’ve covered a lot of ground. No pun intended.
Jeff: We have. I think we could probably do this show every couple of months. We have new things to talk about. We have a lot more on our radar, looking at a lot more companies bringing more jobs here. We’re doing the math here right now, thinking that over the next three to five years between companies relocating here to be near Toyota or other things that we’re doing could create 40,000-50,000 new jobs in this area right here. The sky’s the limit right now for Frisco. A good time to be here. All the homeowners should start seeing their property values continue to rise here.
Scott: And we like that.
Jeff: We like that. Lots of jobs will be available here, so our residents can work in the community that they live in. There’s a lot more we’re working on now that we’ll be able to talk about and announce here shortly.
Scott: Before I let you go, first of all, maybe we will just do this every couple of months because there is so much to talk about. Otherwise, we’re going to have to start doing hour-long shows. You mentioned Toyota, so let’s go out on that one. Because they’re moving to Plano.
Jeff: That’s right.
Scott: That still is going to have some impacts on Frisco. What do you guys that are monitoring that a little bit more closely see as the overflow from that?
Jeff: Sure. First of all, we congratulate our good friends there in Plano for the great job they did in bringing them here. They’re going to be just on the south side of 121 there at Legacy. Literally, their headquarters will be closer to Frisco than it is to a lot of the Plano amenities. I think some of the Frisco housing is closer than a lot of Plano, so it’s going to have a big impact. We’re already seeing it in the real estate market with Toyota employees already buying homes, some of them knowing that they’re not going to be here for two years buying them now and leasing them for two years until they’re ready to be here because they think property values will skyrocket.
We’ve heard from executives in Toyota that think they’re bringing 4,000 jobs but they think the total of that impact because of all the suppliers and different businesses that will relocate with them could be as many as 15,000 jobs in this area. It’s going to have a tremendous impact. It’s going to obviously bring more families here in their relocation to live in this area. Then it’s going to fill up our office towers that we’re building right now. It’s going to want more restaurants and more shopping to be in this area. We’re going to see that and all these other relocations. We’re talking about relocations just as big as that right now and a lot of thousand job relocations. Again, it’s going to drive these job numbers through the roof here in Frisco.
Scott: That’s good to hear. If you like living in Frisco and you want to work in Frisco, you’re going to have some options.
Jeff: That’s right.
Scott: Lots of stuff to do nearby and lots of good entertainment options coming our way, too, so that’s very exciting stuff.
Jeff, thank you so much for coming down again. I appreciate having you on the show.
Jeff: Absolutely. My pleasure. Any time.