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On Tuesday, January 28, the City of Frisco’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved a conveyance plat and preliminary site plan for a 91-acre development on the northwest corner of Warren Parkway and Dallas Parkway.

The project includes a multi-use events center and the future headquarters of the Dallas Cowboys, as well as potential office, hotel, retail and restaurant spaces.

The P&Z approval starts the formal process of laying out where roadways, the multi-use events center and the Cowboys headquarters will be located on the property. It is required by City ordinance and is the initial step in any land development project in the City of Frisco. It does not require additional review by the Frisco City Council. 

Although routine, the anticipated impact of the project generates much excitement.

"Each step brings this project closer to fruition and we are actively exploring all the different ways students in Frisco ISD will benefit from having this world class facility to use,” said Dr. Jeremy Lyon, Superintendent of Schools. "The student opportunities created by this public-private partnership will be extraordinary."

The City of Frisco and Frisco ISD will share a 12,000 seat multi-use events center, with two outdoor fields, with their tenant, the Cowboys, which will utilize it as a training facility. FISD will host football and soccer games and other athletic, academic, fine arts and entertainment events and competitions at the center.

Construction is scheduled to be complete mid to late 2016.

“This is another example of how great things happen when people come together to collaborate and partner for the good of the community,” FISD School Board President Renée Ehmke said in August when the project was first announced. “The economic impact of this project will be phenomenal, but the varied experiences provided to our students due to this partnership will be unparalleled. We could not be more excited.”

Frisco ISD will contribute $30 million to the project, or 1.2 million annually for 25 years. The money will come from an existing revenue stream generated by a Tax Increment Financing District formed years ago in the area around Stonebriar Centre mall.

The City of Frisco will contribute $30 million; the Frisco Economic Development Corporation, $30 million; and the Frisco Community Development Corporation, $25 million. The Cowboys will be responsible for any cost overruns.

No increase in property or sales tax rates for the FISD, City, FEDC or FCDC is projected as a result of the project.

As FISD continues to grow, a bond committee was preparing to begin meeting in September to look at facility needs for the future. The 2006 bond program has been spent or committed and takes the District to 52,000 students as planned.

“This partnership opportunity came at the exact right time in the growth of our school district,” Lyon said at the time of the announcement. “We could in no way duplicate a stadium of this caliber on our own, spending the same amount for construction.”

Frisco ISD had been looking into the need for a third stadium, with its seventh high school, Independence, and eighth high school, Reedy, set to open in 2014 and 2015 respectively. The District’s six high schools currently play football on Thursday and Friday nights at Memorial Stadium and Toyota Stadium.  

The cost of a stand-alone facility similar to Memorial Stadium would cost $27-$30 million. The partnership will allow FISD to enjoy a much better facility at the same cost.

“This public-private partnership better meets the needs of all of our programs with an ultimate savings to the taxpayers,” Lyon said. “We will pay only direct event costs, but will not incur ongoing maintenance and operation costs, resulting in a savings of $250-300,000 annually.”

As shown in the conveyance plat, the mixed-use development, corporate offices, retail, restaurants and a luxury hotel are planned for 66 acres of the 91-acre tract.

The estimated economic impact over the next 30 years is $23.4 billion. Employment impact is estimated at 4,500 new jobs at full development, with tax revenues of $1.26 billion.

The architecture firm of Arthur Gensler Jr. & Associates was chosen by the City Council in October to oversee the design of the project.

Click here to see the full story from the August announcement.

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