Frisco Station’s first phase is opening
Frisco project faces trouble over millions in unpaid bills
Frisco Station, a $1.5 billion project that has been in the works for three years, is opening its first phase on the Dallas North Tollway.
Abig chunk of Frisco’s famous $5 billion mile has hit a bump in the road. It’s been more than three years since ground was broken for the $2 billion Wade Park project on the Dallas North Tollway.
The 175-acre complex at the southeast corner of the tollway and Lebanon Road is the largest of several big mixed-use developments in the works along that stretch. Wade Park has also been the slowest of these Frisco developments to get going.
Work recently stopped altogether, with two uncompleted retail buildings — and a huge hole in the ground — being all there is to show for the ambitious deal.
Now, construction companies that have worked on the project are taking legal action over unpaid bills. Contractors and suppliers are seeking more than $7 million in unrecovered costs, Collin County records show.
The construction firms have attached liens to the property and could force the development into bankruptcy.
Started in 2014
In early 2014, Atlantabased Thomas Land & Development purchased the Wade Park site from a longtime Frisco family.
In June of the same year, Thomas Land broke ground on the project, which was planned with a Whole Foods Market, other retail space, an entertainment venue and high-rise office, hotel and residential buildings.
The developer did site work for months, dug a massive pit along the tollway and began work on the Whole Foods and a Starbucks coffee outlet along the south side of Lebanon Road. An ipic Theatre, Pinstripes bowling center, Hotel Zaza and a Langham Hotel & Resort were also announced.
About a year ago, the developers said that the project — which originally had been supposed to begin opening in the spring of 2015 — had been delayed.
Wade Park’s first phase was then set to open in the spring of 2018, developer Stan Thomas said. But construction has halted on Wade Park in recent months.
The Whole Foods and Starbucks are partially built shells. Whole Foods representatives say they still want to have a store in Wade Park, but no opening date has been announced.
Officials with Thomas Land did not respond to phone calls seeking an update about the development.
Companies that have filed claims against the project say they are still trying to get paid.
“We’ve done everything we could to help them get over the hump but haven’t been able to resolve this,” said Wade Andres with Andres Construction Co.
Officials with the concrete contractor Capform said they also hadn’t been paid. “The liens are still valid and active against the owners of Wade Park,” said Capform’s attorney Jeremy Spiegel. “We plan on enforcing them.”
Other construction companies and suppliers that are seeking payments include Redi Mix Concrete, Wright Construction, Vilhauer Enterprises, Dambra Construction, AB Glass & Glazing and S&K Plumbing, Collin County records show.
Millions in incentives
If Wade Park falters, it will be a big letdown for Frisco, which has touted its $5 billion mile project in national ads and videos.
The city of Frisco in 2015 agreed to provide up to $122 million in economic incentives to Wade Park’s developers.
“We spoke to the developer a few weeks ago and were advised the developer was close to completing the financing necessary to move forward with the project,” said Dana Baird, Frisco’s director of communications. “Any Frisco Economic Development Corp. incentives are performance-based and would only be paid once performance deadlines are met and delivered.
“To date, no FEDC incentive payments have been made to Wade Park,” she said. “At this time in the process, the city of Frisco is responsible for ensuring the construction site is secure; city inspectors have worked with the developer to make sure site maintenance measures are in place.”
While Wade Park has languished, the other big pieces of Frisco’s $5 billion mile have moved ahead.
The first phase of the $1.5 billion Frisco Station — a new office building — is opening just south of Wade Park.
And the Dallas Cowboys’ huge Star development, with its playing field, retail, hotel and office building, has been a success.
Developers of the nearby $700 million Gate project on the tollway are building apartments and working on office buildings.
All of these Frisco developments are just north of the $3 billion Legacy West complex — the hugely successful mixed-use project that includes Toyota’s new headquarters and office campuses for Jpmorgan Chase, Fedex office and Liberty Mutual Insurance.
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