In the News
This article appeared in Frisco Enterprise print and online versions. By Audrey Henvey, Star Local Media.
There’s no doubt about it: Frisco is in an era of change.
The city is days away from initiating a fundamental shift as one city manager takes up the torch from another. The city of Frisco has adopted a mentality of “embracing change” and “inviting possibilities” as it prepares to manage the transition between the two leaders.
Meanwhile, Frisco is gearing up for major soon-to-open developments like the PGA Frisco Omni Golf resort and UNT Frisco Landing.
But for a few moments on Tuesday, city and business leaders took time to reflect on the current state of play in Frisco, Texas.
That afternoon, the Frisco Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2022 iteration of its State of the City event, giving visitors a chance to hear from Mayor Jeff Cheney, Visit Frisco Executive Director Marla Roe, Frisco Economic Development Corporation President Jason Ford and Wes Pierson, the city’s future city manager. The luncheon served as a snapshot of where Frisco is as it continues to create its future.
Here are key takeaways from the 2022 State of the City event hosted by the Frisco Chamber of Commerce:
Burgeoning economic development
As Mayor Jeff Cheney paged through 76 slides that summed up the state of Frisco, community members and business leaders had a chance to take in the kaleidoscope of development that is burgeoning in the city.
From the imminent opening of the Omni PGA Frisco resort, slated for early 2023, to current reinvestment at HALL Park for a new master plan that will elevate the space into a mixed-use development, the projects covered in the 20-minute presentation reflect a Frisco that is playing host to development across a variety of industries and platforms.
That includes the healthcare industry, where Medical City Frisco is in the midst of a $91 million expansion, as well as Texas Health Hospital, where a $25 million buildout of the 6th floor is underway.
It also includes the education sector: the University of North Texas is on the precipice of offering classes on its Frisco campus starting in spring 2023. UNT Frisco has been offering classes since 2016 and is expected to offer 27 undergraduate and master’s level programs.
The list of projects covered during Tuesday’s presentation included such efforts as investment in Frisco’s downtown Rail District, where work for the Ritchey Gin development is underway. Also included were the 2,544-acre Fields development and a $1 billion mixed-use district dubbed The Link, both complementing the PGA Frisco site.
It was a list that reflected both new investment in Frisco as well as reinvestment in already-developed parts of the city as Frisco looks ahead to more activity and growth.
Post-pandemic, that activity has already seen an uptick: during a panel discussion Tuesday, Visit Frisco director Marla Roe said that “tourism is rebounding hugely in Frisco.”
Jason Ford, Economic Development Corporation president, added that the EDC is seeing an elevated level of “high-quality prospect activity.”
“We continue to thin the prospect pipeline to try to make sure that we’re staying focused on the best opportunities, and we’re still almost twice what we were pre-pandemic,” Ford said.
A graphic of Frisco’s North Platinum Corridor along the Dallas North Tollway showed a constellation of sites that have added to the city’s economic growth over the years, including The Star, Frisco Station, HALL Park, the National Soccer Hall of Fame and the PGA of America site.
Cheney recalled that the stretch used to be referred to as the $5 billion-mile.
“We now kind of laugh at that, because if you look at everything that’s happening along the Dallas North Tollway, it is tens of billions of dollars of investment that is happening right there in our community,” he said.
Emerging tech focus
As Frisco moves into its future, the city’s priorities include emerging tech, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, AR/VR and autonomous technologies, according to the Tuesday presentation.