Realtors and Frisco residents packed their questions and their curiosity Wednesday when they attended a breakfast discussion about the PGA Headquarters and what that would mean for the area.
Held at Hollyhock, a Newland community that is adjacent to the PGA site, Frisco Economic Development President Ron Patterson gave a brief history of how Frisco went from a town with no mall and few stoplights to the bustling suburb known now as “Sports City USA.”
“I can remember back when we were trying to get a mall,” Patterson told the standing room only crowd. “There was no toll road, either.”
And from that, city leaders began to plan — deliberately, he said.
“It was intentional, we thought about what is it we can do to set ourselves apart,” he said. “Sports came in to play.”
In those days, city hall was a much smaller building, and that discussion eventually spilled onto a whiteboard — with a baseball diamond drawn on it.
“That was the genesis for the Roughriders coming here,” Patterson said.
Nowadays, the pitch is about Frisco’s ability to put businesses and citizens within a days drive of many major hubs, thanks to its central location.
“You can pretty much get anywhere in a day trip,” he said.
And while the vast majority of Frisco’s residents drive out of town for work, the EDC is continuing to bring jobs to Frisco so eventually, they may not have to.
And Sports City USA can boast eight professional sports organizations: the Dallas Cowboys, the Texas Legends, the Dallas Stars, the Texas Revolution, FC Dallas, Dallas Rattlers, Frisco Roughriders, and the PGA.
The latter will be completely up and running by 2022, and will be the work of Omni Stillwater Woods (OSW), a joint venture led by Omni Hotels & Resorts with Stillwater Capital and Woods Capital; the City of Frisco, as well as its Economic and Community Development Corporations; and the Frisco Independent School District.
“The original conversation about the PGA was about working with a developer to create a PGA-championship golf course, and then it evolved,” Patterson said. The city is currently home or will be home to five golf courses.
But then it was discovered that the PGA was feeling a bit hamstrung by its current location, and might be open to a new site. Frisco was considered to be ideal because of how centrally located it was.
“Anytime you have a corporate relocation, it’s a positive,” Patterson said. “And with the PGA development, everything around it is going to win.”
Competition to be in the retail, restaurant, and entertainment portions of the mixed-use development is already fierce, he said, but who is vying for those spots is confidential.
The organization will move from Palm Beach County, Florida, to anchor a 600-acre mixed-use development with an initial investment worth more than half a billion dollars. It will include two 18-hole championship courses, and one nine-hole executive course.
An upscale development will go in at Rockhill Parkway and Legacy Drive, with those 600 acres situated mostly within the 2,500 acres being master planned by Hunt Realty Investments.
All told, the project will have an initial estimated public-private investment of about $520 million. The PGA will invest $30 million to build its 100,000 square-foot headquarters and education facility, and OSW will invest the rest to purchase land and construct a hotel, conference center, retail space, parking, and golf courses. The golf courses, clubhouse, practice areas and other public facilities will be owned by the city.
The goal, Patterson said, was to complete the hotel, convention center and golf course at roughly the same time, but cautioned that just because the course would be declared done wouldn’t mean it is ready for play.
“You have to let it grow,” he explained.
And that move to Frisco won’t just mean jobs and development — it will also be a boon to Frisco ISD.
“The PGA is really leaning in on trying to rebuild interest in golf,” Patterson said. More than 300 FISD high school golfers will be able to practice at the facility each week, giving them access to facilities that will make golf on par with the strong youth sports offerings that attracted the PGA to Frisco.
Students will also be able to learn more of the science behind golf, and the health and wellness aspects that keep golfers healthy, as well as the business side of golf.
The courses will also be open to the public, too, and will feature plenty of open space, parks, and several miles of trails.
At the initial announcement, the organization said it will initially create at least 100 jobs (Patterson told the crowd Wednesday that he ultimately expects “a couple hundred” will work there, with some relocating from Florida). The agreement also guarantees two PGA championships, two KPMG Women’s PGA championships, and possibly a Ryder Cup.
To see the entire presentation, click here.