Shopping Center Business

MAY 2017

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COVER STORY 118 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2017 THE EXPERIENCE While office tenants will make up much of the daily traffic, sports events from Frisco ISD and across the Cowboys or- ganization will also bring in people many days of the year. For that reason, much of the experience at The Star is built around those visitors coming to events at the Ford Center, or at one of Frisco's other two sports venues. Sports are a big business in Texas, and football chief among them. Along with the football teams from Frisco's eight high schools — and their competitors, who come for various games — come the cheerleaders, the bands, the coach- es and all of their families. This is not to mention other related groups that may use the facility as well, such as marching bands and cheerleading squads. Allowing Frisco ISD to use the facility saves the dis- trict $500,000 per year in operating costs and millions in capital costs, according to ESPN. "As much as this project is about a state- ment or about the Cowboys franchise, it is about hooking at the hip with high school and amateur athletics," says Jerry Jones. "It is as big as the investment and econom- ics that go with it. This area of North Tex- as is known for its amateur football — high school football. We want the Ford Center to be the example to bring the visibility and presence of professional football to the amateur level. While we have a big in- vestment here, we want to be able to have the Cowboys be role models for amateur sports. We think we can do a great job rep- resenting the NFL while enhancing what the Dallas Cowboys are about." While retail at The Star is centered around regular visitors, it also extends to the Cowboys' fan experience. Visitors will be able to shop at the Fans United store and visit the headquarters, but they'll also be able to catch a glimpse of the practice fields and training facility, and dine at restaurants while there. "Only 7 percent of our fans have ever been inside an NFL stadium," says Jerry Jones. "They haven't seen the pageantry and all that comes along with an NFL game." While the Cowboys used to take public practices to smaller venues — some even out of the Dallas area — during training season, now the team will be able to stay put and have public practices during train- ing season right next to its training facility. Stephen Jones now estimates that during training camp, all 12,000 seats at the Ford Center will be full. "We will probably hold at least six pub- lic practices during training camp this fall," he says. "We think it will be full; there is no admission cost. We want the fans to come touch The Star and the Cowboys." A little more than half of the acreage for The Star's full build-out is yet unde- veloped. At completion, the full 91-acre project will include an estimated $1.5 bil- lion of development. "We have more to come," says Stephen Jones, who foresees a luxury high-rise con- dominium or apartment building in the near future at The Star. The Star is not the Joneses' first foray into commercial real estate development. Aside from the single-family subdivision project mentioned, Blue Star Land has developed a number of properties over the years, including a power center in Springfield, Missouri. The company has continued to purchase a lot of raw land, especially in the North Dallas market. At U.S. 380 and Preston Road, Blue Star is developing a large mixed-use develop- ment called The Gates of Prosper. The project combines a power center with other uses, including single-family, office and warehouse. The company is also de- veloping 1,000 homes in a development called Star Trail as part of that project. "Real estate is not new to us," says Stephen Jones. "When we find the right blue chip piece of property that we want to have and hold, we keep it." Stephen Jones says such is the plan for The Star; there are no plans to sell once development is complete. SCB Rendering of the Ford Center at The Star. The Ford Center is already in use by the Frisco Independent School District as an athletics facility. It was important to the Joneses that The Star allow the Cowboys organization to interact with and foster amateur athletics. Rendering: Gensler

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