Frisco setting new standards for US 380 development

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The US 380 corridor has more than 27 million square feet of planned projects in both Frisco and Prosper, according to a preliminary market analysis.

A study on US 380 found that the corridor would have more square footage of retail, office and multifamily than several other major Dallas-Fort Worth commercial centers, such as Plano’s Legacy West and Shops at Legacy combined and uptown Dallas.

A market analysis being done by Catalyst Commercial is in its preliminary stages and is not expected to be presented to Frisco City Council until November.

For some time, the land on the south side of US 380, the Frisco side, has stayed undeveloped while businesses and neighborhoods have popped up on the Prosper side.

One of Frisco City Council’s top priorities for the past three years has been to attract development to the
US 380 corridor.

Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney said in response to making it a priority, the city has provided incentives for Cinemark Theatres to build a movie theater along the roadway and has helped fund Rockhill Parkway construction south of US 380 so that infrastructure would be in place for future development. However, Cheney said there has not been much attention paid to the US 380 corridor in prior years.

“But it’s a top priority for council this year, and I think that the time is really right now as we start to see people acquiring more property [along US 380],” Cheney said.

Three projects under development on Frisco’s side of US 380 include a Cinemark Theatres location, a mixed-use development and a commercial development that includes a Walmart Supercenter.

A fourth project, a newly proposed mall that is going through the city approval process, has brought more attention to the US 380 corridor. Known as the Lesso Mall development, the planned 77-acre shopping mall development will include retail, office, hotel and urban living—which could encompass both multifamily and townhomes.

The latest step from the city in attracting development to US 380 is working with engineering firm Halff Associates on a study that would create an overlay district to guide development standards along the south side of US 380, from just west of FM 423 to Coit Road.

The city has also created an overlay advisory committee to monitor and oversee the study.

City Planning Manager Anthony Satarino said an overlay district is a set of guidelines that help raise development standards along a specific corridor.

The city of Frisco already has overlay districts along Preston Road and the Dallas North Tollway that run from SH 121 to US 380.

“When you’re driving down US 380 we want you to know that you’re in Frisco,” Satarino said. “We want a higher design aesthetic and elevated development standards.”

Overlay district

Rick Fletcher, chairman of the overlay district advisory committee, said an overlay district can increase property values, in turn increasing tax revenue and even job opportunities.

“We want attractive and good development; we don’t want to be a mixture of uses that don’t bring in property values,” said Fletcher, who is also on the Frisco Economic Development Corp. board of directors.

Fletcher said the goal is to have connected systems, art, and architecture and to preserve the natural systems.

Christian Lentz, senior planner with Halff Associates, said the goal of the overlay district is to build development that is consistent with the future land use plan, which is a city document mapping out the types of development the city would like to see in specific areas.

According to the city’s future land use plan, Frisco’s side of US 380 is planned for urban centers, business parks, mixed-use neighborhoods and commercial nodes.

The estimated 27 million square feet of planned projects along US 380 includes 9 million square feet of retail, 8.8 million square feet of office, 2.4 million square feet of hospitality and more than 7 million square feet of multifamily.

Catalyst Commercial President Jason Claunch said these plans are conceptual, and many projects are either under development or anticipated to be active within the next three to five years. The estimate only includes tracts with proposed development plans or those that responded to an inquiry.

Fletcher said the committee cannot pick and choose which businesses are coming to US 380, but they can raise the design and building standards to bring in quality development.

US 380 potential

Claunch said though the entire US 380 corridor will be important to attract more development, the most prominent area will be the intersection of the DNT and US 380.

“Where US 380 and the DNT merge there’s a strong potential for a higher density [of commercial and office space],” Claunch said. “And certainly, when you have two major facilities coming together, it really creates a unique opportunity to leverage for future development.”

On the Prosper side of US 380 several commercial developments have already opened, including a Texas Health Medical facility, a Toyota dealership and a shopping center anchored by Kroger.

Prosper Director of Development John Webb said the city has anticipated high-intensity commercial uses along US 380.

Most of the land in Prosper along the roadway is zoned for commercial use or mixed-use.

Webb said city staff and council are in the middle of a comprehensive review of its commercial developments and design standards for the entire city for all future developments.

“[The commercial development] continues to add to our property tax base and sales tax, and we certainly want to continue to capture the sales tax from the high traffic volumes along [US] 380,” Webb said. “We’re excited that we’re not only providing services to Prosper residents, but we’re actually providing services to motorists along [US] 380 that may not live in Prosper.”

Fletcher said US 380 could do the same for Frisco. The roadway has the potential to be a prominent corridor in the Dallas-Fort Worth area similar to the DNT and the Sam Rayburn Tollway, he said.

“We know that [US 380] is the next major artery bordering Frisco because of the immense connectivity with Frisco and all the surrounding cities; it’s a very, very key piece of property,” Fletcher said.

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  1. Isn’t it a conflict of interests to have companies on the Overlay Committee also represent clients with current and future projects? Halff Associates represents Frisco Fresh Market and The Gate / Domain at the Gate and likely others. I remembered the name from reviewing MF permits and while I am not knocking the volunteer time & valuable input he will bring, won’t there also be a benefit of new business and ability to influence projects for his clients?

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