Commercial nodes on FM 423 to serve local neighborhoods

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After four years of constant construction on FM 423 the roadway widening from SH 121 to US 380 is now complete. With the completion of the roadway newer businesses have begun to appear in new retail centers at the major intersections along the roadway.

Although experts say FM 423 is not expected to become a major thoroughfare with destination commercial projects, business owners, local officials and commercial real estate experts say the completion of the roadway should instead garner the attention of neighborhood-oriented retailers.

Several retail shopping centers have popped up with new businesses now open and many more coming soon. A new Walmart opened at the southeast corner of FM 423 and Stonebrook Parkway in December in Frisco, and a new Flix Brewhouse in Little Elm is finishing construction on the corner of King Road and FM 423.

Frisco Development Services Director John Lettelleir said there would be primarily residential along FM 423, and retail and restaurants would be located on the hard corners of the roadway.

Rex Real Estate owner Rex Glendenning, who helped broker the deal to build The Star in Frisco, said he sees FM 423 providing services geared toward the residents who live in the area.

“FM 423 is going to serve as the western spine thoroughfare of Frisco and the eastern spine for Little Elm, and both of those communities are growing by leaps and bounds,” Glendenning said. “So I think that there will be more neighborhood-oriented retail instead of destination-type retailers that you see along Preston Road and [the Dallas North Tollway].”

Fred Gibbs, Little Elm development services director, said the town is excited to finally see the roadway
completed.

“With FM 423 now complete we’re going to see more traffic flowing through, and we’re really going to start seeing more commercial along the FM 423 corridor,” Gibbs said.

Attraction to FM 423

Lettelleir said zoning along FM 423 for Frisco was always meant to be residential. Currently there are single-family homes under construction along FM 423 at Somerset Park near US 380 and Phillips Creek Ranch just south of Stonebrook. There are also apartments under construction at FM 423 and Lebanon Road.

Any commercial developments along FM 423 will be market-driven, and the success of those developments will depend on how many residential rooftops there are, Lettelleir said.

When Stephen Williamson Jr. decided to develop Shoppes at Westside Market on the southeast corner of FM 423 and Lebanon, he said he saw it as an investment.

“The accessibility and the visibility were fantastic because you’re along FM 423, a major artery, so you have a ton of traffic and proximity to many neighborhoods,” Williamson said.

In the past year several new businesses opened at Shoppes at Westside Market. These businesses include Barney’s Brunch House, Annie’s Sweets & Treats, Run Texas and Del Pietro’s Italian Restaurant.

Williamson said the Tom Thumb adjacent to his development, which was completed in 2016, has really helped his tenants and surrounding businesses because of the nearby residents visiting the grocery store.

“What I’ve tried to do is have a good mix of tenants for these nearby neighborhoods because there aren’t many options for restaurants or shops for them to go to unless they went all the way to Legacy Drive or even beyond that,” Williamson said.

Another retail center on the Frisco side broke ground recently called Main Street Crossing at the southeast corner of FM 423 and Main Street. The retail center is expected to be complete in June. There are no confirmed tenants.

Little Elm’s side of FM 423 is almost built out, and most of the development is residential with the exception of retail on the hard corners, Gibbs said. However, at the northwest corner of King Road and FM 423, a shopping center known as Main Marketplace is under construction as well as a
Flix Brewhouse, an upscale movie theater and microbrewery.

While the development along FM 423 will be more neighborhood-oriented, Glendenning said bigger commercial developers will most likely be attracted further north along US 380.

For example, in early 2016 Frisco City Council approved the rezoning for an 83-acre mixed-use development known as Frisco Crossing at the southwest corner of US 380 and FM 423. The development had plans to include a big-box retailer, restaurants, multifamily and some single-family homes with green space. San Antonio-based H-E-B Grocery Co. owns the land, but the company has not confirmed if it would be building a store on the site.

Glendenning said the intersection of FM 423 and US 380 will become a “very dynamic neighborhood shopping mecca.”

While the developer has yet to submit site plans for the development, Glendenning said it is sign of the
type of development to come to northern Frisco.

Next major corridor

Lettelleir said US 380 will be a crucial thoroughfare because it is the only road network traveling east to west from I-35 to US 75, giving access to drivers to major cities along US 380.

“You have to have a network to move people around, and because Lake Lewisville is a geographical constraint, US 380 is the only network providing that north, south, east and west traffic flow,” Lettelleir said. “And that could cause a lot of traffic congestion
problems.”

It was also for that reason that TxDOT decided to widen FM 423. FM 423 is the only north-south corridor between I-35 and the DNT that provides a straight access from US 380 to SH 121.

“That area, like all of North Texas, is growing rapidly,” TxDOT spokesperson  Ryan Lafontaine said. “The work we’ve done on FM 423 is intended to help increase capacity and safety for added traffic that comes with such growth.”

The same can be said for US 380.

Construction continues to widen US 380 to six lanes with overpasses at Preston Road and the DNT.

Currently TxDOT is conducting a feasibility study to analyze roadway alternatives, including the existing alignment and new alignments,
for US 380 through Collin County from the Denton County line to the Hunt County line.

According to TxDOT the study will help determine if the project should move onto more advanced phases of project development, such as more in-depth environmental analysis, public involvement, schematic design and right of way mapping.

Glendenning said US 380 will be a major corridor for attracting more destination projects.

“I think more nationally recognized development projects are going to gravitate towards the intersections of Preston Road and the DNT along US 380,” Glendenning said. “You will see more of that mixed-use neighborhood that incorporates live, work and play. US 380 will have to serve as a major east-west conduit for that growing market.”

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