Frisco's historic silos could be transformed to dining, entertainment spaces

The historic grain silos at John Elliott Drive and Main Street could see new life again as dining and entertainment spaces.

Frisco City Council members at a May 6 meeting approved moving forward with a lease process of the property to a developer who has interest in turning the top of the white silos into a roof-top restaurant/lounge and the metal silos into a multi-purpose facility for hosting weddings, reunions, parties and other similar events.

"The council has talked a lot over the past couple of years about bringing unique and destination dining and venues to Frisco," Councilman Will Sowell said. "I think this really sets a very high bar—no pun intended—of what we would want to do moving forward. It's well done."

The restaurant and venues are not yet a done deal, however. The lease partner, MDS Capital LLC, will be responsible for funding engineering studies to determine the safety and instructional integrity of the silos as well as their feasibility for the intended use.

City staff members said in late 2013 that while the white silos are thought to be structurally sound, the metal silos may not be.

If MDS Capital determines the silos are suitable, the rental agreement will be put in place. Detailed plans of the architectural and structural work to the silos will go before the City Council for approval before construction begins.

MDS Capital has taken on other similar projects in Plano, and city staff and council members said the businesses are nice and "flourishing" and that MDS Capital respected the "vintage feel" of the locations.

The initial lease period is for 20 years with an option to extend it for another 10 years. The annual base rent for the first five years is $56,400. That rate would continue to rise until years 16–20 at $65,292 in annual base rate.

The land has been home to grain silos since the 1900s, although the current silos are thought to have been constructed in the 1940s or 1950s by Continental Grain.

Fire, a common fate for grain silos in the early 1900s, is thought to be responsible for destroying several silos on the property throughout the years, including one bought by Emmett Dillard Roach in 1915 that burned in 1922.

The land on the west side of the railroad tracks used to serve as an agricultural hub for the city's flour mills, cotton gins and grain storage operations.

Councilman Jeff Cheney said he is hoping to see the silos be a part of preserving the heritage of the area while revitalizing it and tying it to the surrounding areas.

"I think this will be a great bookend for what will be the future of Frisco Junction—a good complement to Babe's, which is already down in this area," Cheney said. "Hopefully we will start creating some energy down in that part of town to serve the ultimate vision, which is to tie in the work that's done at Frisco Square with the old, historic downtown and really start merging those areas together, which is our long-term goal. This is a very big component of the grand vision of the entire Main Street."

By Krista Wadsworth
Krista Wadsworth is the managing editor for Community Impact Newspaper’s DFW editions. After serving as a reporter and then managing editor for a daily newspaper in Northeast Texas, she moved to the DFW area and joined CI as an editor for the Frisco edition, which she helped to launch. Krista was named the DFW managing editor in 2015 and oversees the editorial content for the Frisco, Plano, McKinney, Grapevine|Colleyville|Southlake and Lewisville|Flower Mound|Highland Village editions.


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