Gary Carley Gary Carley speaks about projects the CDC helped bring to Frisco.[/caption]

During his time with the Frisco Community Development Corp. Gary Carley along with the rest of the board has been instrumental in bringing and promoting business development in Frisco.

Now with his move to the Frisco Economic Development Corp. he said he plans to do the same and more.

Before moving to Frisco in 2006, Carley said he worked on more than 20 boards and commissions within cities and organizations in Carrollton and Farmers Branch.

In 2008 is when he applied to the CDC board in Frisco. His last meeting was Sept. 17.

“With seven years of seat time on the CDC board, I’ve received exceptional insight, and it just seemed like a natural carryover to go to the EDC board,” Carley said. “It’s a logical progression for me.”

Carley said he can look back on the past seven years and feel proud to have been part of the decision-making process and an integral part of the business growth in Frisco.

Carley said his desire to serve on a board or in an organization stems from his desire to be more involved in the community in which he lives.

“With seven years of seat time on the CDC board, I’ve received exceptional insight and it just seemed like a natural carryover to go to the EDC board.”

—Gary Carley, former Community
Development Corp. president

“[Boards and commissions are] a great environment to be in and even though you’re a volunteer and there are a number of hours, there is a lot of camaraderie amongst the members of the boards and commissions,” Carley said. “You get to meet some really, really wonderful people that you get to work with.”

During his time on the Frisco CDC, Carley said he has had more than 100 meetings with the board. Meetings are held the third Thursday of every month in a conference room on the third floor of City Hall.

“[I had] a lot of seat time up on the third floor,” he said. “We laugh about this, but we’re probably the most unrecognized entity in the overall scheme of things [in Frisco].”

The CDC board receives funding from half of the 1 cent sales tax revenue in Frisco. Just like the EDC, the CDC serves as a funding source for the city.

Although the EDC’s task is solely for business recruitment and retention in Frisco, the CDC uses its funds to make public improvements, including upgrading buildings, equipment, programs and parks, as well as promoting and developing businesses.

Carley said the majority of the projects the CDC works on come from city staffers who receive calls from builders and developers who express an interest in coming to Frisco.

With its funding the CDC purchased the Beal Aerospace Building, which is now the Frisco Discovery Center, and brought improvements to sports facilities such as Dr Pepper Ballpark and Toyota Stadium.

Other big projects Carley worked on as a CDC board member were Grand Park, the Museum of the American Railroad, and Northwest and Northeast community parks.

The most recent project the CDC was instrumental in bringing to Frisco is The Ford Center at The Star, an indoor events center, sports training facility and the Dallas Cowboys’ world headquarters.

“That was a really huge undertaking, and it was such a great process to work with the city, the school district and the EDC,” Carley said.

Carley said a lot of the projects the CDC has helped bring have given Frisco a lot of media attention not just in the state but nationally and internationally.

Carley said he now looks forward to being part of the EDC board and working with a new group to help bring new developments to completion.

“For the $5 Billion Mile there are still a lot of Lego pieces to be plugged in,” he said. “There are a lot of projects that are still in the concept stage; some are big-ticket items like Wade Park. So I look forward to working on those projects.”

Carley said it is fun to drive down the Dallas North Tollway and Preston Road and look at the different developments he has been involved with.

“As we grow our retail sector, our revenue income stream to both the EDC and the CDC will increase, which will give us some more purchasing power,” Carley said.

Two important issues the CDC will continue to work on will be starting development at Grand Park and eventually developing the Exide Technologies property, Carley said.

Now that his time with the CDC is over, Carley said he would mostly miss the relationships with city staff, board members and entities served.

“We never had a bad day,” Carley said. “We worked well together because we all shared the same common goal and philosophy of how we leverage those sales tax dollars to bring unique aspects to Frisco.