A development team that includes the Perot family’s Hillwood Properties and auto sales giant Van Tuyl are joining forces to build a more than $1 billion development in Frisco.
The almost 250-acre project will wrap around the Dallas Cowboy’s new headquarters and retail complex under construction at the Dallas North Tollway and Warren Parkway.
Hillwood and the Van Tuyl family’s VanTrust Real Estate are partnering with the Rudman family, which has owned the site for more than 50 years.
The project marks Hillwood’s first major play in the booming Frisco market.
Their new project – called Frisco Station – is planned as a dense, urban-style development similar to the State Farm Insurance CityLine complex under construction in Richardson and the Legacy West complex that’s planned in Plano.
Frisco Station will include a combination of corporate office towers, shopping and entertainment plazas, mid-rise apartments, medical facilities and other buildings that will surround the Cowboy’s new “Star” project on three sides.
“We see this as an opportunity to take our team, which has built up a lot of expertise, and apply it to a different market,” said Hillwood president Mike Berry. “One of the most important pieces of the development will be our tollway frontage.
“We hope that would be come a major corporate center. It will certainly be the front door of the project,” Berry said.
Hillwood’s founding Perot family developed the huge Legacy business park on the tollway in Plano starting in the 1980s. And VanTrust is a partner in the huge Craig Ranch community being built in McKinney.
The 242-acre Frisco Square site stretches between Warren Parkway and Lebanon Road and is owned by the Rudman Partnership, which will be a partner in the development.
“The Rudman family has had this property since 1962,” said general manager Trey Sibley. “Back then you had to pack a lunch to get to Frisco.”
He said the Rudmans have held onto the land for decades waiting for the right time to build.
“We needed a big developer of master-planned projects and Hillwood has done that,” Sibley said. “Hillwood will be our lead partner, and VanTrust is going to be the lead developer on the office buildings.”
Both Hillwood and VanTrust are buying a stake in the development site from Rudman and plan to start work on Frisco Station next year.
The overall project will have more than 4 million square feet of office space, 2,400 apartments, shops, restaurants and civic facilities. A large greenbelt and park will cut through the middle of the community.
The property already has zoning to allow 20-story to 25-story office towers.
Frisco Station will be a designed to fit with the Cowboys’ 91-acre Star development, which includes the football team’s headquarters, practice facilities, an Omni Hotel, shopping center and entertainment venues.
The Cowboys are building their project in partnership with the City of Frisco and with Dallas-based developer Lincoln Property.
Jim Gandy, president of the Frisco Economic Development Corp., said the two projects together will ultimately employ almost 19,000 people.
“We’ve never had this kind of opportunity in Frisco before,” Gandy said. “It’s going to put us in a greater competitive position to attract corporate headquarters in the future.”
Berry said the timing is right for Hillwood to make a play in Frisco. Hillwood is best known for its 18,000-acre AllianceTexas development in North Fort Worth and the large residential communities the firm has built in North Texas.
“I think this is a pretty incredible opportunity in Frisco,” Berry said. “The market there is so hot.
“As we all have seen over the last six months, there is almost an announcement a week.”
One of the first phases of Frisco Station will include a speculative office project, Ran Holman, executive vice president with VanTrust, said.
“We will get started on a 200,000-square-foot, 6-story office building in the summer of 2015,” he said. “We are talking with a number of tenants and there are a lot of really big deals out there.”
Sibley said the developers have begun preliminary planning discussions with the City of Frisco regarding zoning modifications and construction of streets through the property.
RTKL Architects and Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. have been hired to design the project.