Two projects will begin to transform the west side of Legacy Drive from south of Cotton Gin Road north to Main Street in 2016.
Although Grand Park, the city’s nearby future 350-acre centerpiece park, is still waiting on lake permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before construction can start, the 152-acre The Canals at Grand Park and 34-acre Park West
The projects are both designed around open space and water features.
The developments will also provide a mix of housing types, including multifamily apartments, flats,
townhomes, small and large single-family homes, and a senior living component.
“I think [The Canals at Grand Park and Park West] is going to be a successful project, and once it’s done I think people are going to say, ‘Hey, I want to replicate that,’” Frisco Development Services Director John Lettelleir said.
The Canals at Grand Park
The Canals at Grand Park, a primarily residential development, is moving deeper into the first phase of development after breaking ground about a year and half ago.
The more than $300 million project is a master-planned, multigenerational community by Arcadia Realty Corp. and Charter Properties, Arcadia President John Hodge said.
The community is designed around canals and includes open space and a carefully crafted blend of architectural types, Hodge said.
The first phase includes about 250 single-family homes, a senior living community and some of the development’s planned townhomes.
The senior living community, Watermere at Frisco, is under construction, along with the multifamily units. Both components are expected to be complete sometime in 2016.
Builders will begin construction on single-family model homes sometime in June with model homes expected to be complete in the fall. The first project phase is expected to take two to three years to buildout, Hodge said.
The second phase will include an additional 140 single-family homes, along with additional multifamily townhomes and flats, Hodge said. He said the timeline for finishing depends on market conditions.
Arcadia originally bought 62 of the 152 acres of property in 2010 before development picked back up after the economic downturn of 2008-09, Hodge said.
“We were intrigued by the idea of Grand Park down the street,”
After talking to city staff and City Council members about the project, Hodge said Arcadia realized it needed more property and subsequently partnered with Charter Properties to form a larger community.
Hodge said Arcadia came up with the idea of incorporating housing for multiple generations in one development—something that is lacking
Hodge said townhomes and flats will appeal to younger single people and couples, while the smaller garden homes on small lots will appeal to empty nesters and those looking to downsize their home.
Larger homes on larger lots are aimed at families, and the senior living component, Watermere at Frisco, will allow families relocating to the area to bring an aging relative with them, Hodge said.
“Frisco needs a multigenerational community that no matter what your stage of life is, you can find a home.”
Originally the plan for the Park West property was like that of many other shopping centers in Frisco, with a grocery store chain for the anchor store and other various retail and fast-food chains, Wilco Partners developer Dave Wilcox said.
However, he said knowing what was happening directly south of Park West with the Canals at The Grand Park made him rethink the project.
“What I wanted to do was take [The Canals at Grand Park] principles and move them forward to Main Street,” Wilcox said. “I wanted to get rid of the retail block and build something that makes sense here.”
Wilcox worked with city staff, the City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission to get the property rezoned to provide for structured parking, a 320-unit apartment community and 115 dense, single-family detached homes.
But the centerpiece of the development will be a generously sized water feature and specialty restaurants with specially designed patios built backing to the water.
“The response to that has been incredible,” Wilcox said. “There are some things that are in [the development]that are a little unusual. We are taking a natural feature and making a lake out of it, making an amenity out of it. In so doing, we’ve increased the value of the land significantly.”
John St. Clair, senior vice president at Novus Realty Advisors, said although Novus has had quite a bit of interest in the 30,000-square-feet of restaurant space, the company is waiting for the right type of eatery to come along.
“Nothing against the Chili’s of the worlds and the Fuddruckers of the world, but our goal is to have the very unique, one-of-a-kind, entrepreneurial sort of purveyor of food and beverage,” St. Clair said.
The excavation of the lake is slated to begin sometime in June,
Some homes could be constructed as early as the third quarter of 2016, and the apartment complex should be complete in early 2017.
St. Clair said the dining space will come after some of the homes and the apartments are in place and the development starts to take shape.