On Sept. 21, Frisco City Council approved a more than $19 million land sale to Alterra Capital Management. Alterra acquired Pennant Park, 14.6 acres just south of Dr Pepper Ballpark and is required to redevelop the area.
Alterra must design and construct a 320,000-square-foot office building and a parking garage with a minimum of 1,200 spaces. The company will also have to build a food and entertainment center on 1.25 acres that includes 23,000 square feet of air-conditioned space and an additional 21,000 square feet of open activity space. Diamond Drive will be removed as part of the project.
The contract only requires one office building and entertainment center. However, the city also anticipates Alterra to enter a Phase 2, which will eventually add two more high-rise office buildings totaling more than 500,000 square feet, supplementary dining and retail, and a business-class hotel.
Mayor Jeff Cheney said the city waited years to sell the land since acquiring it in 2013 for $6.5 million. Other proposals for Pennant Park redevelopment have been turned down by the city, according to council members.
Alterra, which helped develop The Domain office and entertainment district in northwest Austin, proved to offer the most attractive plan, according to the mayor.
“That has always been the vision for this property, and quite frankly, we as a city were not going to sell it until we found the right partner that we felt could deliver that,” Cheney said. “We wanted to take the model that we learned from The Star and what we're building at the PGA currently as far as how we can actually activate an area around the stadium.”
Alterra is required to submit a site plan within 90 days of the sale, according to the contract. If one is not submitted, the contract allows Frisco to terminate the deal. Within 30 months, the company must start construction on Phase 1, with completion set for 48 months.
“Opportunity for activation” is how Council Member John Keating described the endeavor. Keating said Frisco City Council was impressed with Alterra’s previous track record and its willingness to align with a speedy timeline.
“This is a bit of a diamond in the rough where we've seen other proposals come before us that just didn't quite fit I think what we were looking for here,” Keating said. “I think when we saw what Alterra had done and knew they were well financed and had a big vision...I think we all kind of thought, ‘We're finally going to make the magic happen.’”