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Kristi Reinertsen


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The Star to kickstart more development, attract business to city

by Kristi Reinertsen


Four years ago, a plot of land sat vacant at the northwest corner of Warren Parkway and the Dallas North Tollway, waiting to be claimed.

In 2013, the city made an announcement that would change not only the face of that 91-acre plot of land but also the city as a whole: the Dallas Cowboys were coming to Frisco in a public-private partnership between the NFL team, the city and Frisco ISD.

At the time, the city did not know that the Cowboys development—later dubbed The Star in Frisco—would be the beginning of what is now known as the $5 Billion Mile, a mile-long stretch of four developments along the DNT that total more than $5 billion in investment.

Today, that vacant plot of land is now unrecognizable with a 12,000-seat event center and practice facility, a corporate headquarters/office building, Omni Hotel and numerous other retail buildings under construction. Since its kickoff event Aug. 27, the Cowboys have announced new corporate tenants, retail tenants and the first few major events to be held at The Ford Center at The Star.

When the Cowboys began planning for The Star, the only certainty was moving the team’s headquarters and practice facility to Frisco, said Chad Estis, the Cowboys executive vice president for business operations. The rest was a blank canvas, he said.

“As we sat in a room and started talking about what we wanted that to be, one of the things that became clear to us was that we wanted The Star to also be a destination for our fans and really to provide our fans with a way to interact with our brand like they can’t in any other way,” Estis said.

This idea of giving fans a “behind the scenes” look at the Dallas Cowboys shaped the retail and entertainment component of The Star, Estis said.

Knowing the influence a brand like the Cowboys’ could have on a city, Frisco leaders said the opening of the first portion of The Star helps put Frisco on the map for developers, businesses, events and more.

Spurring development

Not long after The Star was announced, the other $5 Billion Mile developments followed suit. Wade Park announced its 175-acre development in early 2014 at the southeast corner of Lebanon Road and the DNT. The Gate, a 43-acre development just south of the Shops at Starwood, was announced next. Finally, Frisco station announced its 242-acre development that would wrap around The Star.

With the first portion of its development now open, The Star has helped facilitate development across the city, especially within the $5 Billion Mile, Frisco’s Development Services Director John Lettelleir said.

“It is a huge draw, and people are going to want to be adjacent to The Star,” he said. “You’re going to see developments saying, ‘We’re close to The Star or the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters.’”

The Star’s success so far is also attracting other developers to the city, Frisco Mayor Maher Maso said.

The Star to kickstart more development, attract business to city“There’s at least one major developer right there that’s talking about doing a $3 billion additional development because of the synergy that’s been created,” he said. “I would say positively there’s no question that additional development is coming or has come, and some planned development has been expedited because of The Star.”

These developments are helping draw in more of what Frisco residents want, including more restaurants and recreation, Lettelleir said.

Business impact

Even before The Star’s kickoff event in 2016, The Frisco Economic Development Corp. has received numerous inquiries from businesses interested in moving to Frisco, FEDC President Jim Gandy said.

“Businesses call up and ask for information about locating their company, and it’s not unusual for them to say, ‘We want to be a part of the $5 Billion Mile,’” Gandy said.

The added office space at The Star is creating potential jobs for Frisco’s educated workforce, Maso said.

In 2016, Bank of America, FM Global, McCathern PLLC and PlainsCapital Bank committed to space within the nearly 400,000 square feet of Class A office space at The Star.

Another 22 retail tenants—mostly restaurants—have also committed to commercial retail space, and more are expected to be announced soon, said Charlotte Jones Anderson, Cowboys executive vice president and chief brand officer.

With The Star’s proximity to Stonebriar Centre’s shopping district, Estis said the Cowboys wanted the development to be more of an entertainment district, which is why so many restaurants have leased space.

Because of the prestige of the Cowboys brand, The Star has contributed to increasing real estate costs, which may lead to some businesses being unable to afford moving to or staying in Frisco, Gandy said.

“We’re always wanting to do everything that we can to retain the businesses that are here and help them to stay and grow and be as successful as possible,” Gandy said. “Unfortunately, that doesn’t work in every case because every business has its own primary needs, and they have to determine for themselves where’s the best place where they can be most profitable.”

The Star to kickstart more development, attract business to cityTourism Magnent

In the few months that The Ford Center has been open, the multiuse facility has already drawn a few events. In December, the center hosted a high school football state championship series. In February, the center will host the 2017 Indoor Track & Field Classic and a boxing match between Miguel Cotto and James Kirkland.

The Omni Hotel and the restaurants and retail stores within a walkable environment will also be a draw to tourists, said Marla Roe, Frisco Convention & Visitors Bureau executive director.

“I think [a walkable environment is] one thing that’s been lacking a little bit in Frisco,” she said. “Between that and what Frisco Station has, that’s all going to start creating kind of that atmosphere that you see at Shops at Legacy [in Plano], which is so popular.”

At 557,881 square feet, The Ford Center has the largest indoor event space in Frisco. The Omni Hotel being built next to the center will have a 43,000-square-foot conference center. The two will be conjoined by a walkway, creating a combined event space of more than 600,000 square feet. This large amount of space could have the potential to draw events to the city that have not previously been hosted here, Roe said.

The hope with drawing big events to The Ford Center is that first-time visitors to Frisco would return and thereby generate more sales tax revenue, Roe said.

An economic impact study released in 2013 showed that the development is projected to generate $1.26 billion in tax revenue in a 30-year period, including $187 million for the city of Frisco and nearly $295 million for the school district.

“Originally when we made the deal, we thought it would have a significant impact, and we were wrong; it’s a much more significant impact,” Maso said. “It has accomplished what we thought it would, but on a much larger scale.”

This story is one update from The January Issue. View the full list of 10 things to look for in 2017 here.



Dallas Cowboys Postseason Kickoff: The Dallas Cowboys and Fans United will host a free event at The Star in Frisco from noon to 4 p.m. ahead of the Cowboys first playoff game on Sunday. Cowboys fans of all ages are invited to enjoy family-friendly activities on the Tostitos Championship Plaza as the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and Hall of Famer Charles Haley sign autographs inside the newly opened Fans United store.

There will be giveaways every 30 minutes that will include autographed footballs, jerseys and even playoff tickets. Those in attendance can also purchase tickets on-site for a tour of The Star as well as memberships for Cowboy Fit, the Dallas Cowboys new fitness center at The Star, 9 Cowboys Way, Frisco.

Saturday and Sunday

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration: This event includes a breakfast and a business and information expo at Collin College’s Spring Creek campus. Also included is a unity night walk at North Dallas Community Bible Fellowship as well as a unity walk beginning in the Hobby Lobby parking lot at 900 W. 15th St., Plano, and ending at McCall Plaza in downtown Plano. Saturday and Sunday. Various times and locations. Free. 214-785-1536.

Butchering and curing workshop: Learn the basics of butchering and curing hogs during this two-day workshop at Grapevine’s Nash Farm, a working farm and historic landmark that teaches history through exhibits, programs and touchable displays. Attendees will also see how the smokehouse was used in preserving pork. Registration is required and all participants must be age 16 or older. Participants must register for both days if they plan on attending both days. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. $30 (per person, per day), $50 (per person for both days). Nash Farm, 626 Ball St., Grapevine. 817-410-3185.

How to Declutter Before Moving: Have You Tossed Out the Right Stuff?

by Kristi Reinertsen

The Renovations That Will Pay Off the Most for Your Home in 2017

by Kristi Reinertsen

Celina - The New Boom Town in North Texas

by Kristi Reinertsen

~~Celina, Texas
The Newest Boom Town in North Texas
On January 1, 2010 – 6,028 Residnets
On January 1, 2016 – 12,000 Residents
By January 1, 2020 – 30,000 Residents
By January 1, 2030 – 100,000 Residents
By January 1, 2050 – 345,000 Residents
- Projections by the Celina Economic Development Corporation, January 29, 2016

The New Celina Subdivisions Keep Coming
Along Frontier Parkway, along the Dallas North Tollway extension, along the Collin and Denton county lines, numerous subdivisions are underway.   These new master-planned communities have recently been announced:
• The Lakes at Mustang Ranch will have 1,850 homes.   (Frontier Parkway, near Parvin Road.)
• Wells South by Hillwood Communities (Ross Perot, Jr) will have 1,350 homes.   (Frontier Parkway, near Parvin Road.)
• Creeks of Legacy will have 1,030 homes.   (Western side of Dallas North Tollway.)
• Sutton Field will have 2,290 homes.    (Along the Collin/Denton county line.)
Both the Celina ISD and Prosper ISD are feverishly planning and building schools for the future growth.  Voters have approved school bonds and the boom is on.
- Projections by the Celina Economic Development Corporations, January 29, 2016

Wells South Community, Celina                                                    Sutton Field Development, Celina

Light Farms, the 2,700 Home Master-Planned Community, Celina                     The Lakes of Mustang Ranch, Celina

Light Farms – The 2,700 Home Master Planned Celina Community
The $1.2 billion 806-acre Light Farms community now has several hundred families, and more arrive each week.   The community will eventually have 8,700 residents, said Jake Wagner, executive vice-president of Republic Property Group, the development corporation for Light Farms.    The development will benefit with the extension of the Dallas North Tollway to the Grayson County line.  Currently the community is along the service roads for the tollway.   Light Farms has a farmlike, agrarian-themed element throughout.   The $5 million amenity and welcome center at Light Farms was built using historic, old growth wood from two barns built in the 1830s in upstate New York.   The amenity and welcome center is tied to the property’s $13 million greenbelt, which will eventually include a waterway, hike and bike trails and parks.


2016 Best School Districts in Texas

by Kristi Reinertsen

2016 Best School Districts in Texas

The best school districts in your area are based on statistics, student and parent reviews, and expert insights. Ranking factors include state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, student and parent reviews, and more.   This review is done annually by Niche, a research organization.  The 2016 Best School Districts ranking provides a comprehensive assessment of the overall experience of a school district.  This grade also takes into account key factors such as the strength of academics, school resources, the quality of student life, in an attempt to measure the overall excellence of the district.  At the time of calculation, our database contained records for 12,153 school districts. School districts were not included in the ranking process if they did not have sufficient data. The final ranking results in 10,563 school districts receiving a grade, with 10,488 of those also receiving a numerical ranking.   The top 10 school districts in Texas are:

1. Eanes ISD, Austin
2. Highland Park ISD, Dallas
3. Carroll ISD, Dallas Ft Worth
4. South Texas ISD, South Texas area – magnet schools
5. Plano ISD, Dallas
6. Coppell ISD, Dallas
7. Dripping Springs ISD, Austin
8. Lake Travis ISD, Austin
9. Westlake Academy – Dallas Ft Worth
10. Alamo Heights ISD, San Antonio
- Niche Corporation 2015

Frisco's "5 Billion Mile"

by Kristi Reinertsen

~~Breaking Down Frisco’s “$5 Billion Mile”
The Star, a new 91-acre complex anchored by a training facility and headquarters for the Dallas Cowboys, isn’t the only big development underway in Frisco. According to the city’s mayor, Maher Maso, three other nearby projects have created a “$5 Billion Mile” along the Dallas North Tollway from Warren Parkway north to Lebanon Road.  “That’s how much development is taking place in that mile, and it was all instigated by the announcement of (the Cowboys) project,” Maso said. “They created that synergy, to where there are multiple things going on.”  The new Cowboys complex already has gotten worldwide exposure, the mayor said, and is helping the city attract investors from around the globe.

Here’s a look at projects in Frisco’s “$5 Billion Mile.” (the development value actually adds up to $5.4 billion.)


Wade Park
Wade Park ($2 billion): 175-acre mixed-use project from Thomas Land Development.
Slated to include 600,000 square feet of retail space, up to 6 million square feet of office
space, more than 500 hotel rooms, 1,300 residential units. Ground-breaking for the project
took place in August. Whole Foods, iPic Theatre, and Pinstripes have already signed on as tenants.
The Star
The Star ($1 billion): 91 acres, Dallas Cowboys world headquarters, 12,000-seat events
center and training facility.  Size: 1.7 million square feet, plus two hotels totaling 480 rooms.
Potential job creation at buildout: 4,500.
Frisco Station
Frisco Station ($1.7 billion): 242-acre mixed-use development. Land owner: Rudman Partnership.
Plan for office, retail, restaurant, and industrial space. Land use plan is currently being revised,
with adjacent Dallas Cowboys project.
The Gate
The Gate ($700 million): Developed by Invest Group Overseas, the project could ultimately
include 4 million square feet of office space, 250 hotel rooms, 2,400 multifamily units, 73
single-family homes, nearly 200,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, plus 415,000
square feet of medical office space.


Frisco Ranked as City with “Healthiest Housing Market” in US

by Kristi Reinertsen

~~Frisco Ranked as City with “Healthiest Housing Market” in US
A total of seven North Texas cities made the top 25 of a list of cities with the “Healthiest Housing Market” developed by WalletHub.  The rankings, which compared 300 U.S. cities across 14 key metrics including median home-price appreciation and  home price as a percentage of income to job growth, listed Frisco as the city with the healthiest housing market in the country.  In the top 25 Cities with the Healthiest Housing Market Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is represented by 7 of its cities: Frisco, Allen, Plano, Carrollton, McKinney, Richardson and Denton.  Frisco ranked as a top city in several metrics including the top job market, second-best median home-price appreciation and the third-best ranking in percentage of mortgage holders in delinquency.  Other North Texas cities that landed in the top 100 cities included Irving (39th), Fort Worth (46th), Grand Prairie (58th), Arlington (67th), Garland (79th) and Dallas (99th). Mesquite was ranked at No. 130.  In all 21 Texas cities made the ranking of 300 U.S. cities.
- Dallas Morning News, August 25, 2015

Dallas #2 Hottest Market According to

by Kristi Reinertsen

Dallas #2 Hottest Market According to Jonathan Smoke’, chief economist for has ranked the country’s 300 largest markets in terms of housing supply (measured by days on market) and demand (measured by listing views on our site) to come up with the top 20 hottest markets in the U.S. for this month. “Sellers in these markets continue to see listings move much more quickly than the rest of the country in September, and the seasonal slowdown is not as strong in these markets,” Smoke said. California continues to dominate the list, with 11 markets again this month; Texas and Michigan also continue to feature multiple markets. Fort Wayne entered the list for the first time. The cities typically include satellite metros—for example, the San Francisco market also includes Oakland and Hayward. Hottest U.S. Markets in September 2015 1. San Francisco, CA 2. Dallas, TX 3. Denver, CO 4. Vallejo, CA 5. San Jose, CA 6. San Diego, CA 7. Santa Rosa, CA 8. Sacramento, CA 9. Santa Cruz, CA 10. Yuba City, CA 11. Midland, TX 12. Stockton, CA 13. Los Angeles, CA 14. Columbus, OH 15. Nashville, TN 16. Detroit, MI 17. Ann Arbor, MI 18. Modesto, CA 19. Austin, TX 20. Fort Wayne, IN -, September 29, 2015

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 15