Largest Master-Planned Community in Frisco Prepares for Rapid Growth

By Jeff Cheney | On

I worked hand in hand for a few years with the developer to help get this project off the ground.  Very proud to be a part of this project and to serve on the Realtor Advisory Committee! -Jeff Cheney

Houses are currently being built in the Sheridan and Weston portions of Phillip Creek Ranch during the master-planned community's first phase. Photo by Anthony Tosie.

Houses are currently being built in the Sheridan and Weston portions of Phillip Creek Ranch during the master-planned community’s first phase. Photo by Anthony Tosie.

At 957 acres, Phillips Creek Ranch boasts the title of largest master-planned community in Frisco, and development is just getting started.

Republic Property Group, the Dallas-based developer of the master-planned community, hosted a grand opening ceremony Saturday, though in reality only about 10 percent of the mammoth community has lots available for purchase. When the development reaches capacity, it’s planned to include about 2,500 homes and 12,000 residents.

By comparison, more than 85 percent of towns and cities in Texas have lower populations.

Homes are currently available in the Sheridan portion of Phillips Creek Ranch. More than 110 homes have been sold since Jan. 1, according to the master-planned community's developer. Photo by Anthony Tosie.

Homes are currently available in the Sheridan portion of Phillips Creek Ranch. More than 110 homes have been sold since Jan. 1, according to the master-planned community’s developer. Photo by Anthony Tosie.

The community’s first phase, which is already open, will eventually include 547 houses built by eight different developers, some of which have long ties to the area, such as Darling Homes and Standard Pacific Homes. Houses are currently advertized beginning at about $340,000 and topping out at $700,000.

Tony Ruggeri, co-president of RPG, said the development will likely grow at a faster pace than previously predicted, thanks in large part to the allure of Frisco.

“Initially, we were thinking it’d be a seven-year build-out, but with the market as hot as it is, it’s probably going to be much quicker than that — possibly about five years — but that has yet to be determined,” he said. “I can tell you we’ve sold more than 110 homes since Jan. 1. We have 314 homes in our first phase in Sheridan with eight builders, and then we also have Standard Pacific building on 235 lots north of Stonebrook — all those models are up currently.”

Along with the houses come a plethora of amenities. RPG has developed 12-foot-wide concrete walking and biking trails, for instance, that span about 11 miles throughout the community. Additionally, retail development is in the works, with a Tom Thumb and the city’s first H-E-B providing groceries within walking distance for residents when completed.

Other features include two fitness centers, one of which is already built. The city purchased land in the community to create a park, though no timetable for its construction has been set.

RPG has familiarity with the suburban Metroplex area, as it opened Lantana, an award-winning master-planned community located between Flower Mound and Argyle, in 2001.

Developing Phillips Creek Ranch has been much easier than developing Lantana, Ruggeri said, since much of the infrastructure already existed. Lantana is still in development as RPG had to install its own utilities and infrastructure.

“Lantana is 1,700 acres, so it’s a larger project. It’s in unincorporated Denton County, so the growth pattern has been a little different,” Ruggeri said. “We’re just now developing retail in Lantana, and Lantana is a 12-year-old community. We already have retail under development and opening this year in Phillips Creek Ranch. The power of the city of Frisco has meant the infrastructure is already there. This project’s going to develop a lot faster than Lantana.”

Phillips Creek Ranch’s rapid development should have a substantial impact on Frisco Independent School District, which has seen its growth slow slightly in recent years. In a September interview with The Frisco Enterprise, Richard Wilkinson, the district’s deputy superintendent for business and operations, said the development has played a major role in planning.

“We actually had purchased some sites in [Phillips Creek Ranch] at that previous development [before the original developer went bankrupt],” he said. “Thankfully, the new developers came in and have been great to work with. They moved those sites around to fit in the neighborhood better.”

The district’s current zoning will send Phillips Creek Ranch children to three elementary schools (Calvin Bledsoe, Nichols and Izetta Sparks), Pioneer Heritage Middle School and Frisco High School. When it opens in 2015, Rick Reedy High School, which is about a mile from Phillips Creek Ranch, will serve the community’s families.

Frisco ISD also has two sites in the development for a future elementary school and a future middle school.

Ruggeri said the school district and city have been easy to work with, which has made RPG’s development of the land easy since it took over the project in June 2008. The city’s ease to work with is one of the reasons for Frisco’s growth, he said.

“Frisco is one of the best markets, not only in the Dallas area or the state of Texas, but in the country,” Ruggeri said. “What we really enjoy about Frisco is the attention to all the elements that make a city into a community — such as the professional team and retail development. Frisco’s had the thoughtfulness to include elements that some other cities overlook. It’s really become a destination in the Metroplex. That’s a large reason why the homes are under such demand here.”

Source: Frisco Enterprise
By Anthony Tosie,
Published: Thursday, May 16, 2013 3:37 PM CDT

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