Performing arts center

Ron Patterson, Frisco Economic Development Corporation president and assistant city manager, discusses a multi-million-dollar agreement between the city of Frisco, Frisco ISD and Craig Hall to develop a performing arts center. 

Frisco is one step closer to having its very own performing arts center.

On Tuesday night the City Council unanimously approved an agreement for an estimated $129 million project that includes the city, Frisco ISD and the Hall Group that will result in a performing arts center, park and supporting multi-story parking garage on the Hall Park development.

“As a community, it’s a great day for us to celebrate finally getting to this day of having a performing arts center in our city,” Mayor Jeff Cheney said Tuesday.

The agreement outlines overall parameters for the developments, said Ron Patterson, Frisco Economic Development Corporation president and assistant city manager.

“At the end of the day, we do know that there’s going to be changes along the way because we don’t have all the information about how exactly we’re going to deliver the project, and that will come as time happens,” Patterson said.

Currently, the performing arts center is slated to include at least 1,250 seats in a main performance hall as well as a minimum of 250 seats in a community venue. The project, combined with a 1,100-spot parking garage that would in part support the performing arts center, would amount to a $99 million development.

The agreement also includes plans for a five-acre park that Patterson said would be similar to Dallas’s Klyde Warren Park.

Patterson said Craig Hall will give five acres of land to the park as a gift, which will go to a forthcoming foundation, which will then give the park to the city post-construction.

"Mr. Hall’s plans for the park are really impactful, dare I say transformational, to the southwest corner, this business section of Frisco Station, The Star and Hall Park, and I think this really could be a very transformational, impactful endeavor that we’re undertaking,” Hall Group President Donald Braun said Tuesday. “And then we look forward to working with the city and the ISD on the performing arts center as well.”

The agreement includes that Hall will “gift” a total of 10 acres for the project. He will also give $10 million for the center and $15 million for the park.

In total Frisco ISD is slated to provide $43 million from approved bond money for the design and construction of the center’s main performance hall and common areas. The city of Frisco and Community Development Corporation are slated to provide $46 million while Hall would provide at total of $25 million, not including the value of 10 acres gifted for the development.

Cheney touted the public-private partnership, calling such partnerships Frisco’s “secret formula.”

He added that the development will be cohesive with The Star and will look across a lawn to the Ford Center, meaning sports and the arts will be looking across at each other.

“We’ve heard from our art-loving community here for many, many years that they would love to go raise private funds to help this facility, and the challenge all these years is you can never get private funds until you have a real project,” Cheney said. “No one wants to write a check until it’s real, and so tonight, this project becomes real.”

If approved, design for the performing arts center is slated to begin in January. A Frisco press release said the agreement requires approval from other public boards including Frisco ISD.

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