Frisco Independent School District, City of Frisco and Hall Park join public-private partnership to build Performing Arts Center
(June 22, 2021) A community dream is on its way to becoming reality with the approval of another Frisco public private partnership, lead by the Frisco Independent School District (FISD). Today, the FISD Board of Trustees, along with Frisco City Council and the Frisco Community Development Corporation (FCDC), voted to approve a master development agreement (MDA) involving Hall Park to build a $100 million performing arts center. The center will be constructed on five acres at Hall Park. The project also includes development of a garage and park, bringing the total project cost to $130 million.
“This facility will be a home for thousands of Frisco ISD students who participate in the visual and performing arts,” said Frisco ISD School Board President René Archambault. “It is yet another example of the City and school district coming together to create a unique community destination that will showcase the skills and abilities of our talented FISD students.”
Designed with a ‘students first focus’, the performing arts center will include a main performance hall with 1,250-1,500 seats and will be owned by FISD. A smaller venue, with 250-350 seats, will be community centric and owned by the City of Frisco. A multi-story, parking garage with 1,100 spaces will service both venues. There will also be a five-acre adjacent park that will be highly programmed and feature open lawn spaces, an art pavilion, a children’s playground and more.
“Frisco ISD looks forward to collaborating with the City of Frisco and Craig Hall on a development that will benefit students, the community and taxpayers at large,” said Frisco ISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mike Waldrip. “Voters entrusted the District with bond funds for a new fine arts facility in 2018, and we are eager to expand student opportunity with even more collaborative performances, events and competitions.”
The total budgeted cost of the performing arts center, garage and park project is $130 million, which includes $105 million in public funds. More specifically, FISD is contributing $43 million in voter-approved bonds for the performing arts center; the City of Frisco and its FCDC are contributing a collective $62 million towards the total project cost. Developer Craig Hall and Hall Park will provide $25 million, which includes $10 million for development of the performing arts center and $15 million for the park. Once the park construction is complete, Hall will gift the park land to the City of Frisco. Hall’s private investment does not include the land value of 10 acres provided by Hall Park for the performing arts center, garage and park.
“Today’s board approval vote is a big step forward towards making a performing arts center in Frisco a reality, and the credit really goes to the commitment and civic leadership of the City of Frisco and Frisco ISD. We are fortunate to have a school district so dedicated to investing in the arts and developing well-rounded students,” said Craig Hall, founder and chairman of HALL Group. “The performing arts center will be a game-changer for the arts in Frisco, particularly for its students, and we are excited to be involved. We look forward to working with our partners to continue this process and deliver a one-of-a-kind venue to Frisco.”
Hall Park is located just south of The Ford Center at The Star, which resulted from another public-private partnership between FISD, the City of Frisco and its development corporations, and the Dallas Cowboys. FISD students directly benefit by using The Ford Center for everything from football and soccer -- to band competitions and everything in between. Mayor Jeff Cheney says this new, public-private partnership creates a symbolic synergy where Sports City USA intersects with the arts.
“We’re excited students will have a state-of-the-art place to perform, hone their skills and grow their passion for arts,” said Mayor Jeff Cheney. “An arts facility has been a community dream in the making for more than a decade. We’re so grateful for the leadership and commitment of FISD and Craig Hall to making such a gathering place a reality.”
“Other, past efforts to build an arts facility just weren’t able to deliver for Frisco,” said Ron Patterson, Deputy City Manager. “With our most valued, longtime partner FISD in the lead and Craig Hall’s renowned reputation as a visionary, we’re confident the end result will be fantastic and we’re ecstatic the timing is right for this new public-private partnership.”
“The CDC’s responsibility is to help provide financial support for community-oriented projects like a performing arts center and we’re proud to be a partner in building one of the best,” said Mike Barber, Chair, Frisco Community Development Corporation.
The design process for the performing arts center is scheduled to begin in January 2022.
Additional development: FEDC partners with Hall Park
In another vote involving a separate performance agreement, the Frisco Economic Development Corporation (FEDC) voted to approve plans to provide $5 million in combined infrastructure and grants to support redevelopment of Hall Park. Such improvements will include construction of a 15-story AAA office building to include a hotel and a parking garage. Other improvements involve erecting a luxury, residential high-rise with 214 units.
“We’re very excited about this redevelopment opportunity as Hall Park 2.0 will transform again how people view Frisco,” said Craig Moen, Chair, Frisco Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors. “We’re eager to have Mr. Hall’s new signature Class AAA building to help meet pent-up market demand for headquarters, corporates and tech firms.”