The Dallas Morning News

How Frisco’s $10 billion Fields project is raising the game four years after its launch

Steve Brown

In addition to newly announced Universal Parks and Resorts theme park, the 2,500-acre Frisco community will include thousands of homes, businesses, entertainment and retail.

Four years after it was announced, Frisco’s $10 billion Fields community is entering a new phase in its evolution into one of the region’s hottest developments.

The first residents should be living in the 2,500-acre mega-project at the Dallas North Tollway and Panther Creek Parkway by the end of this year.

And companies are eyeing nearby building sites for future employment centers, retail and entertainment.

The just-announced 97-acre Universal Parks and Resorts theme park on the tollway is one of the largest additions so far to the project that also includes the PGA of America’s new golfing resort.

“For the next 10 to 20 years, Fields will be an amazing project to watch happen,” said Plano-based builder John Landon.

His Landon Homes just bought land to build 1,200 houses in the community — Fields’ largest single-family property purchase yet.

The project, which stretches between Preston Road and U.S. Highway 380, is planned to include as many as 14,000 homes and apartments plus commercial space.

Landon said he began talking to the Fields developers four years ago.

“I think it’s going to be one of the top master-planned communities in the U.S.,” he said.

That was the plan from the beginning. The project started in 2018 when Hunt Realty and Karahan Cos. teamed up to acquire the largest remaining vacant property in Frisco from the estate of the late Dallas businessman Bert Fields. Investors Chief Partners and Crosstie Capital partnered on the massive property.

Just a few months after the land sold, PGA of America said it would move its headquarters from Florida to the Fields project and build two golf courses, a resort and a headquarters building. The headquarters opened last August, and the Omni PGA Frisco Resort is scheduled to open in May overlooking the 660-acre PGA campus. The golf courses are to open this spring.

“The pace of activity at Fields has far exceeded that of our original expectations,” said Chris Kleinert, CEO and president of Hunt Investment Holdings, which oversees Hunt Realty.

Kleinert said when the property was purchased in 2018, he expected it to be a multi-decade development.

“Today, a little over four years since the acquisition, roads are being built, home sites are being prepared, demand for locating at Fields is high amongst office, retail and restaurant users, and there are several more exciting things we will be bringing to Fields once details are finalized,” he said. “We have always intended Fields to be a thoughtfully designed, integrated live, work and recreate destination, and these plans are coming together much faster than we could have possibly imagined.”

Along with the homes and commercial space, Fields has set aside more than 250 acres for parks and open spaces, including 25 miles of trails.

During the last four years, there’s been a steady stream of project announcements at Fields, including two new mixed-use commercial developments on the tollway and U.S. Highway 380.

Developer Fehmi Karahan said the project success so far is even greater than he envisioned.

“It’s incredible what’s happening, and I’m shocked at how much interest we have,” Karahan said. “This is 10 times bigger than Legacy West,” his last very successful development about seven miles south in Plano.

Karahan said multiple businesses are talking with developer KDC about planned offices in the 180-acre Fields West mixed-use project along the tollway.

“Retailers are saying they want to be part of this development,” Karahan said.

At the north end of the community at U.S. 380 and Legacy Drive, construction is set to begin in March on the area’s first apartment community, Karahan said.

AC and Element hotels are also planned in the North Fields project between PGA Parkway and U.S. 380.

Karahan said as the developers have planned the community, designs have been refined. “We are elevating everything to a higher standard,” he said.

Universal executives who visited North Texas looking for a site for their new kids-themed attraction were driving through Frisco on the tollway when they saw the huge “Fields” signs lining the highway, Mayor Jeff Cheney said. The Orlando-based company then made inquiries about the project.

“It certainly wouldn’t happen without the Fields development,” Cheney said. The Fields developers “have already been great partners bringing the PGA.”

Taylor-Morrison Homes is almost ready to start building the first of hundreds of houses it plans on the north side of Panther Creek Parkway. Construction crews are finishing up streets and utilities to support the new neighborhood.

Taylor-Morrison execs declined to comment on the status of their community. But the builders’ website said the first homes will be started in early 2023.

Housing analyst Ted Wilson said he isn’t surprised that Taylor-Morrision and Landon Homes took large positions at Fields.

“Finding future home lots in Frisco is vanishing — there is not much land left there,” said Wilson, principal with Dallas-based Residential Strategies. “It’s going to be a really top-notch development. And the PGA golf course not only has local importance but is recognized nationally, especially for relocation buyers coming to this area.”


View Source Article