Maso Comments on Planned Growth: City’s ready for sizable development

Frisco: Officials say they’ve planned for growth, see no trouble

By Bill Lodge, The Dallas Morning News

The big residential development announced last week for western Frisco is expected to draw about 10,000 residents – about 10 percent of the city’s projected population for late 2007.

But city and school officials said this week that Phillips Creek Ranch was not expected to pose any significant problems for the emerging metropolis north of Dallas and Plano.

“There’s no problem,” Richard Wilkinson, Frisco school district’s assistant superintendent for facilities and finance, said Tuesday. “We just have to prepare for the growth.

“We’ve got two elementary school sites in there to handle the additional [residential] units,” he said.

In May, voters approved the sale of $798 million in bonds for construction of 19 schools and other education improvements.

Last week, the Frisco City Council approved a request by Michigan-based developer Crosswinds Communities Inc. for construction of 3,228 residential units on 943 acres along the east side of FM423, from Newman Road on the north to just below Lebanon Road on the south.

The tract known as Phillips Creek Ranch features a rolling series of pastures dotted by an occasional home or stock pond and a few horses grazing beneath a smattering of small oaks.

Some of that pastoral setting will be retained, Crosswinds officials said last week. They said 140 acres would be devoted to parks and the development would feature ponds, waterfalls, landscaped boulevards and bronze sculptures of horses.

Phillips Creek Ranch is not the largest residential development in Frisco’s history, Mayor Pro Tem Maher Maso said. “But it’s one of the largest,” he said.

In 1990, Frisco’s population was 6,138. Today, it is approaching 90,000.

Mr. Maso said some of that growth had been fueled by the city’s successful efforts to attract major league soccer team FC Dallas, a practice facility for the Dallas Stars hockey team and a minor league baseball team, the Rough Riders.

Large retailers, such as IKEA, and a regional mall, Stonebriar Centre, also have drawn new residents, he said.

“Frisco is where everyone wants to be,” Mr. Maso said. “We don’t expect that to change anytime soon.”

City planners estimate that Frisco’s population will reach 120,000 by 2010 and jump to 275,000 by 2020. “You can get it all here,” Mr. Maso said. “The developers recognize that, and they’re bringing some good projects here.”


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