Frisco: Hotel/Convention Center Project Accelerates Planning Around Dr. Pepper Ballpark
Feature Photo (above): Entrance to Dr. Pepper Ballpark, intersection of Diamond Drive and Roughriders Trail. Image: Google Streets.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Frisco (Collin County) — A developer’s insistence on proceeding with a six-story hotel/convention center has accelerating city planning on how to transform the south parking lot of Dr. Pepper Ballpark into a mixed-use commercial center with retail and office development.
City staff presented and the Planning & Zoning Commission consented during a late January session to remove a cap on the number of hotel rooms to be allowed within the planned development district (PD-169) that has been anchored by the ballpark. Two existing hotels have filled most of the 600-room cap and it was generally agreed that the cap made no sense.
The hotel developer, who was not identified, submitted an application to construct a Sutton Place Hotel on 4.3 acres of the southwest corner of the property, the corner of Dallas Parkway and Ikea Drive.
Cutaway section of the site plan showing the Sutton Place Hotel and parking structure. Courtesy: City of Frisco.
The land is owned by the Frisco Community Development Corporation and the developer’s plan does not conform with their master plan. Consequently, city staff tried to convince the developer to move the hotel to a more internal location where it would be adjacent to a planned central open space feature.
The FCDC concept for future development of the ballpark’s south parking lot. Courtesy: City of Frisco.
“The hotel developer was unwilling to move the hotel as they have a strong desire to sit on the hard corner, adjacent Dallas Parkway,” the staff report said. “In an effort to work with the hotel and maintain the hard corner, further attempts were made to reorient the hotel restaurant to sit on the open space, which would allow for outdoor dining opportunities and guests the chance to have views into the open space and across towards the ballpark.
“The hotel (sic) chose to move forward with the site layout as presented. Therefore, Staff planned the remainder of the 14.0± acre tract around the hotel. Due to the lack of interaction the hotel has with the remainder of the property, Staff worked to provide a pedestrian connection into the remainder of the property on the north side of the hotel.”
The Sutton Place Hotel is expected to develop before any of the other retail, restaurant, office or entertainment uses that FCDC is proposing for the property.
As development proceeds on the tract, referred to as Area B in the planned development, parking garages will have to be constructed to replace the lost surface parking that is currently used by the ballpark, as well as to accommodate patrons of the new mixed-use development.
The proposed hotel is located in the southwest corner of Area B, currently a surface parking lot within the FCDC planned development. Courtesy: City of Frisco.
“The City will work through the details of the contract to ensure the construction of the required parking spaces to serve the Ballpark with the remainder of the development south of Roughriders Trail. This will ensure adequate parking is provided to serve the ballpark and replace the displaced parking,” the staff report said.
The new development will also force a reconfiguration of the public streets, including Diamond Drive, which is the gateway to the ballpark.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.