Why Frisco Has Site Selection Mojo
When it comes to site selection, Frisco has had a good run lately.
Late last year, Frisco beat out seven other locations to land the PGA of America HQ, which is currently in Florida. The move is arguably as big a deal to golfers as Amazon HQ2 is to techies. This month, Frisco attracted Keurig Dr Pepper to relocate from Plano.
There will be more to come, Frisco officials said.
“We're confident Frisco will continue to be the destination of choice for major corporations,” Frisco Economic Development Corp. President Ron Patterson said.
Frisco has actually been on a roll for much of this decade. The city reached critical mass in terms of site selection when Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones tapped Frisco for the team's new HQ, responding at least in part to an offer of $115M in incentives.
When it comes to being an attractive place for relocating companies, the pieces of the puzzle are in place for Frisco, including such important features as high-quality schools and a business-friendly local government (and state government, for that matter), Patterson said.
But a city or region needs more than that in a time when workers can be hard to find.
"Frisco has workforce availability now, and a community college and a four-year research university that will provide programs to prepare for future workforce needs," Patterson said.
The area's demographics support that.
Raw population growth for Frisco was in double-digit percentages back in the 2000s, and compared to that, growth has slowed during this decade. But even so, the city's population expanded more than 8.2% in 2017 compared with the year before.
Moreover, over 60% of adult Frisco residents have some sort of college education: 37.6% have a bachelor's degree, 22.6% a graduate degree.
Office and other development has been brisk in Frisco in recent years, which gives the city an edge when it comes to attracting new businesses: an increasing amount of office space and urban-like amenities to go with it. There are spec options and build-to-suit opportunities, all within mixed-use environments, Patterson said.
The Frisco-Legacy submarket is already one of DFW's largest, with 24.8M SF, according to Cushman & Wakefield. Only Las Colinas and Richardson are larger.
Frisco is also still growing. As of the end of 2018, 730K SF of new office projects were under construction. The only submarket with more is Las Colinas (1.6M SF underway).
Also, the Frisco-Legacy office market is relatively tight, but not so tight that new businesses can't find space. The area's vacancy rate is 14.9%, compared with suburban Dallas' rate of 18% and the Dallas CBD's rate of 26.1%, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
But it isn't enough just to have a ample supply of office space. An attractive office market needs the kinds of space and amenities that help keep millennial workers happy — shared office space, for example. A number of shared office operations are up and running in Frisco —Worksuites, Yaeger Office Suites, CityCentral — and more are on the way.
This month, Venture X inked a lease for 30K SF at Stonebrook Business Park, just off the Dallas North Tollway.
“We continue to survey the market for the very best coworking locations for Venture X, and Stonebrook Business Park and Frisco fit that criteria entirely,” Cushman & Wakefield's Ryan Hoopes said.
Hoopes and colleague Tom Sutherland represented Venture X. JLL’s Chris Doggett and Ashley Curry represented the landlord, Goveia Commercial Real Estate.
Frisco is also making forays into the experiential economy. There is going to be more entertainment there than there used to be, which is increasingly important as experience-minded millennial talent migrates from urban cores into suburbs.
Stillwater Capital, DSF Capital and Stephen Summers agreed to develop a 250-acre mixed-use entertainment center in Frisco, adjacent to the recently announced 650-acre, golf-focused destination anchored by PGA of America’s HQ. Located near the Omni Frisco Resort Hotel and Conference Center, the development will offer a blend of uses, including retail, residential, office, medical and hospitality.
“This will be the only mixed-use development site that overlooks a golf course specifically designed to host multiple Major PGA championships," Stillwater Capital partner Robert Elliott said. "We see phenomenal development opportunities for these 250 acres for years to come, with local and national brands establishing a presence for residents and businesses alike.”