The Next Big Thing in DFW CRE: Fields Frisco
06/27/23 | Thought Leadership
By Bill Guthrey, KDC Senior Vice President / Land Development
A 15-minute city. The urban planning concept revolves around a plan in which most daily necessities and services can be easily reached by a 15-minute walk or bike ride. This is the Fields Frisco concept. This city within a city includes: a wide variety of residential housing options, a university campus, hotels and resorts, health care, retail and entertainment, the PGA of America’s new headquarters, and a plethora of other amenities.
Ultimately, Fields could also house up to 11 million square feet of corporate office space. That is where KDC comes in. By design, Fields will be North Texas’ next major corporate destination with a range of strategic office components integrated into the overall master plan. The location in Frisco on this beautiful piece of property and the team involved combine to make this the perfect storm for office development.
This development’s scale is beyond compare. Fields is big, highly visible, and easily accessible. Situated on more than 2,500 acres in both Collin and Denton counties, it is bound by Highway 380 on the north, Panther Creek Parkway on the south, and Preston Road on the east. It also has the Dallas North Tollway going right through the eastern edge of the project.
The project is nestled within this acreage while being accessible to the super arteries of both the Dallas North Tollway and U.S. 380. Its location is tailor-made for this true live, work, learn and play destination. The development presents a connected lifestyle that is attractive to employers because there is a variety of quality housing, retail and easy access to the outdoors. This is really what employers, and the talent they are looking for, are seeking.
There’s population density along with world-class amenities, and KDC sees wonderful opportunities available to corporations and companies that want to create a culture likely to attract and retain the best talent.
The No. 1 reason Fields will be successful is the old CRE adage of location, location, location. In 2018, Frisco was voted the Best Place to Live in America by Money Magazine. Frisco’s city leaders continue to support the development boon with financial incentives.
Along with the world-class location, there is even more development and amenities all around Fields including The Star (the 91-acre campus of the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters and practice facility along the North Dallas Tollway, developed as a first-of-its-kind partnership between the City of Frisco and Frisco ISD) and the planned Universal Parks & Resorts 97-acre theme park for families with young children east of the Dallas North Tollway and north of Panther Creek Parkway.
Frisco is ground zero for demographics, quality schools, and high-quality new master-planned communities, especially for relocations from the northeast or California. The infrastructure will be there, too, with great schools and a highly educated workforce.
Residents may never have to get in a car. Homes, hospitality, 250 acres of open space parks and 25 miles of internal hike and bike trails are all in store. It’s an unrivaled quality-of-life location. And, if you do have to get in the car, it is easily accessible via the east and west sides of the Dallas North Tollway with multiple on/exit ramps and just a 30-minute drive to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport or Dallas Love Field.
QUALITY DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS
Fields could not have a higher caliber of partners working together to ensure this project will be developed to incredibly high standards. It is a huge opportunity to partner with this team. Organizations involved range from the PGA HQ to names synonymous with luxury - the Omni Frisco PGA Resort and the Ritz Carlton brand.
The University of North Texas at Frisco branch campus is scheduled to open this year with college degree programs designed for modern business. UNT is a Tier 1 research university and named one of America’s Top Colleges by Forbes for 15 consecutive years.
Among Fields’ financial backers are some big names including Ray L. Hunt, Chief Partners, and CrossTie Capital. Hunt Realty Investments serves as the centralized real estate investment and development company for the Ray L. Hunt family of companies (led by friend and former KDC colleague Colin Fitzgibbons) and has been active in the real estate development, acquisition, ownership and investment business for more than 50 years.
Having Fehmi Karahan of The Karahan Companies on the team adds tremendous value because of his excellent track record of real estate development, property management, and investment operation with a wide range of capabilities and resources through a worldwide network of investment and strategic partners. We have a great relationship with Fehmi, having teamed up on the 245-acre highly successful Legacy West. This has the potential to be an even greater team success.
THE CONCEPT ITSELF
Brand new, well-done mixed-use is hot in every market. And all indicators point to a tremendous demand for Fields. Early retail response exceeds all expectations. Much like Legacy West, consumers, residents and business leaders alike are hungry for this kind of development.
When we examine how the office component will fit into this project, we are confident it will be well received. There will be a range of office products from “relaxed” low-slung offices across from the PGA HQ to urban mid- and high-rise projects at Fields West. There is also the potential for large acreage dedicated campuses.
We’ve seen the flight-to-quality among corporate users, and it is apparent that attracting talent requires business leaders to bring their A-game to the table with amenities and incomparable spaces. It’s the chicken and the egg effect. Office space benefits from the retail and rooftop pieces in place.
All of this is stacking up well for Fields’ office component. It will be a race for businesses to be the first to grab the pieces of real estate for office. It was the same at Legacy West and that project is thriving. By the time the office comes into play, Fields will be built up and flourishing.
We anticipate tenants will be less price sensitive because they are chasing the sophisticated employee who wants a similar environment. Annual payroll is a multiple of the cost of real estate for corporations. Human resources teams are part of the site selection process today, and companies cannot attract young smart knowledge workers without the office space of the future.
We’ve already touched base on those facets that will play a supporting role in bringing the office workers – but here’s greater detail. 650,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment space is in the works: 5,000 single-family homes, 8,500 multifamily residences, and 1,000 student housing residences for the University of North Texas Frisco campus. Infrastructure work is also underway with nearly 28 miles of major roadways (Legacy/Fields/Frisco) under construction at a cost of approximately $150 million. The city of Frisco is working on 36 miles of roadways in excess of $50 million. All this road work is scheduled for completion by late 2025.
Among the many amenities include the two 18-hole championship golf courses (designed by Gil Hanse and Beau Welling) at the PGA of America’s new HQ. There is a 550-room Omni Resort including 115,000 square feet of convention meeting rooms and seven planned Marriott-branded hotels including the Ritz-Carlton, Autograph Collection, Westin, Element, AC by Marriott, JW Marriott, and Tribute Collection.
These are interesting times we live in, and I’m convinced when the economic volatility settles, this is absolutely the right place for employers to be. Fields and all of its components are going to be mind-blowing. We have these developed office sites with roads, retail and residential buildings that will be primed and ready to go as everything develops around it.