Frisco to save $80M in incentives with new agreements for The Gate development

Frisco recently approved new incentive agreements and a master development agreement for The Gate development. (Rendering courtesy Invest Group Overseas)
Frisco recently approved new incentive agreements and a master development agreement for The Gate development. (Rendering courtesy Invest Group Overseas)

Frisco recently approved new incentive agreements and a master development agreement for The Gate development. (Rendering courtesy Invest Group Overseas)

New agreements for The Gate development along the Dallas North Tollway will save Frisco nearly $80 million in incentive grants compared to previous contracts approved in 2016.

Amended performance agreements and a master development agreement were approved by Frisco Community Development Corp. on Oct. 15, Frisco City Council on Oct. 20 and Frisco Economic Development Corp. on Oct. 21. The new master development agreement reduces the total capped grants of $103 million from the 2016 contracts to an estimated $19.4 million over 25 years. A separate Chapter 380 agreement would provide a capped grant of $3.8 million for the developer of a mixed-use facility currently under construction as part of the project.

The Gate development at John Hickman Road and the Dallas North Tollway is owned by the Dubai-based Invest Group Overseas. The $1 billion development is slated to include several townhome, condominium, apartment, office and hotel projects. The first project to break ground was the multifamily Domain At The Gate complex, which opened in February 2019. In addition to other urban living units planned for the area, Dallas-based JMJ Development announced a 28-story building containing a luxury hotel and condos that will be the "tallest building in Frisco."

Since the original agreements were approved, IGO sold one lot in the development to John Hickman LLC. That company is currently constructing a 30,600-square-foot restaurant/retail facility that will be two stories and include an underground parking garage. As part of the Chapter 380 agreement approved by the city, John Hickman LLC is expected to complete construction on the project by May 2022.

Frisco EDC President Ron Patterson told council Oct. 20 the city’s 2016 agreements with IGO were set to expire at the end of this year and that there were various provisions from the agreements that had not been met. When IGO asked to amend those agreements, Frisco proposed changes, Patterson said.

“We feel like that because of the fact that certain marks weren't quite met yet, that [when IGO] came to us and wanted to ask for some changes, that it was reasonable that we both have some give on this,” Patterson said.

Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney said the 2016 incentives were put in place before the city adopted its phasing strategy.

“One of the things that council did a couple years ago is to try to correct issues like this, where you have a planned development that includes residential components in it,” Cheney said. “We were getting frustration from our residents that the residential [development] would be built, and then the other things wouldn't follow. And this was kind of Exhibit A.”

While the 2016 agreements for The Gate offered incentives on the entire project, Cheney explained the new agreements are in line with Frisco’s current approach of not giving incentives to residential developments.

“By being creative in this approach to parcel [incentives] out, I think it's a clearer and faster path to building out the desired uses that we want to see here,” Cheney said. “[It also sends] the message that when we do negotiate with developers [on] incentive packages that we expect them to deliver on time, and if you don't, that there are economic consequences to that.”

Patterson also confirmed for council that no incentives have been paid out under the 2016 agreements.
By William C. Wadsack
William C. Wadsack is editor of the Frisco edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as managing editor of several daily and weekly publications in North Texas and his native state of Louisiana before joining Community Impact Newspaper in 2019.


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