The “long and winding road” for the arts in Frisco is leading to a new home.
Tuesday proved eventful for Frisco as the Frisco ISD Board of Trustees approved a multi-million-dollar master development agreement that will result in a performing arts center in the city. Hours later, the city’s Community Development Corporation and the Frisco City Council approved the same agreement, sealing the deal on a public-private partnership with developer Craig Hall that will create an epicenter for the arts in Frisco.
The final agreement marked a milestone that multiple people agreed had been a long time coming for Frisco.
“What I’m most excited about is the opportunity that it’s going to give our students here in Frisco, Texas,” Mayor Jeff Cheney said Tuesday, “and one of the things we speak about, and I speak about all the time, is that the ceiling of this community is always going to be defined by what our school district does, because that is why people move here, that’s why people continue to invest in this community.”
Tuesday’s approvals come after the city approved a similar agreement June 1 that was never executed. Deputy City Manager Ron Patterson told council members that the agreement approved on Tuesday included minor modifications.
The agreement includes the construction of a $100 million performing arts center in Frisco-based Hall Park that will include a 1,250- to 1,500-seat main venue owned by Frisco ISD as well as an extra community venue slated to seat 250 to 350 and owned by the city. The project will include an 1,100-space parking garage and a $30 million five-acre “Klyde Warren-ish” park bringing the total project value to $130 million, not including the value of land provided by Hall for development.
“We’re the city that has mastered the art of public-private partnerships,” Cheney said. “There’s no one in the country that does it better than Frisco, Texas, and today we’re celebrating just another great partnership along those lines.”
Frisco ISD, which will foot $43 million in voter-approved bonds toward the performing arts center, approved the agreement Tuesday morning at a special board meeting.
“From campus musical performances to UIL evaluations to our elementary honor choir and district visual show exhibitions, this will become home to the Frisco ISD fine arts experience for all staff and students,” said Preston Hazzard, Frisco ISD’s managing fine arts director.
The city of Frisco will provide $14 million toward the community venue, and the city or the CDC will put in $33 million toward the parking garage. The city is also set to provide $15 million for the park.
As part of the approved agreement, Hall will gift the park land to a forthcoming foundation, which would then gift the park to the city after construction. Hall will also provide $15 million for park development and a tentative $10 million toward the performing arts center. Hall is also donating about five acres of land for the center and garage.
“The final outcome, in my opinion, is going to be a project unrivaled as far as having a facility like this in a commercial development such as Hall Park attached to The Star and the Ford Center and really truly blending sports with art where two venues will look across an incredible boardwalk and park space and $30 million facility,” Cheney said.
The design process for the performing arts center is scheduled to begin in January 2022, the city said in a press release.