Final designs of the years-in-the-making Grand Park project in Frisco could wrap up before the end of 2024, officials said.

Frisco City Council and city staff heard a breakdown of next steps needed for the city to see a fully realized Grand Park during a Jan. 18-19 winter work session.

City officials and consultants have a few more months of visioning left to complete before final designs wrap up in the next seven to nine months, said Conners Ladner, a principal with Design Workshop Inc. hired for the project.

Once designs are finished, early phases of park construction could potentially begin sometime in 2025 and finish in early 2029, according to a meeting presentation.

“We’re making progress,” Parks and Recreation Director Shannon Coates said.

The overview

Altogether, Grand Park is a more than 1,000-acre piece of property stretching from Frisco’s former Exide Plant property to Lewisville Lake. The main piece is the community hub, a 320-acre portion beneath the Dallas North Tollway city officials hope to develop in multiple ways, including:
  • Trails
  • Skate parks
  • Picnic areas
  • Festival lawns
  • Playgrounds
  • Nature center

Council members had approved a vision statement and guiding principles for designing the park earlier in the week during a Jan. 16 meeting.

Approving the vision statement will set the groundwork to make Grand Park a reality, said Clair Hempel, a principal with Design Workshop Inc.

“These [ideas] are going to be evident in every single square foot of Grand Park,” Hempel said.

Design Workshop Inc. was hired in October to conduct the site analysis and framework studies. Now that they have finished, council’s next steps include choosing a layout of the park’s community hub from either a district, greenway, urban gradient or blend of the three formats.

“Typically what happens is we will bring three frameworks forward, and what we end up with is a combination of two of them,” Coates said. “You're right on track.”

How we got here

The first major step toward bringing the park online was when Big Bluestem Trail opened in November 2022, Coates said. Since then, city officials have partnered with design teams Ideo and Design Workshop Inc. to brainstorm what the park could be.

Coates said one comment she hears frequently is how awful it is that Grand Park has not been built yet. However, because of the changing demographics in Frisco, it could be seen as a positive, she said.

“The best thing that could have ever happened is that Grand Park hasn't been built yet,” Coates said.

Quote of note

Council member Laura Rummel said she remembers people telling her about the incoming Grand Park project when she bought her first Frisco house in 2005.

“I feel like for once we’re actually making meaningful progress,” Rummel said.