After scooping up nearly 400 acres of pricey ground to use, in part, for sports fields, Frisco is set to accommodate more young athletes.
The city closed Feb. 5 on land it bought from Brinkmann Ranch, parks and recreation director Shannon Keleher says.
“It was about $61 million,” she says. “The money came from three places.”
Keleher says the property, which sits along the southwest corner of Panther Creek Parkway and Preston Road, was chosen for its location and availabiltiy.
According to a press release, The Frisco Community Development Corp. planned to use $23 million in fund reserves to buy 100 of the 390 acres, and the city planned to use general obligation bonds to purchase about 240 acres. Keleher says the Frisco Economic Development Corp. also agreed to buy 50 acres.
“That's fantastic,” someone commented on Reddit. “The area could definitely use more people-accessible and usable green space.”
Another commenter worried that the green space could become overshadowed by the 100 acres of planned commercial space.
“Nothing like going for a walk behind Walmart and McDonald’s,” the person wrote.
Douglas Box grew up nearby on what was then Box Ranch. He shared news of the land sale on Facebook, evoking memories from friends familiar with the area. Box says he hopes Frisco will keep doing the right things to further the city’s impressive growth.
Frisco already owns more than 1,600 acres of dedicated park space, including 900 developed acres, according to the release. The addition of the Brinkmann Ranch property will push the city’s total dedicated park space to about 1,840 acres.
“It is a large enough tract to help work towards fulfillment of our master plan,” Keleher says.
Frisco has more than 170,000 residents, and 375,000 are expected to call Frisco home by 2035. The master plan estimates that more than 400 acres will be needed for baseball, softball, football, soccer, cricket and practice fields. The city manages about 40 parks, including a dog park, a skate park, batting cages, spray parks, community parks and special purpose parks.
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Before becoming parks and recreation director for Frisco about six months ago, Keleher worked as a recreation manager in Gainesville, Florida, for about 12 years.
“I came [to Frisco] for the unique opportunity that exists here for growth professionally and recreationally,” she says. “My team and I will be lucky enough to develop the recently purchased property and more.”
Making an impact on people’s quality of life is exciting, Keleher say. The new park will include public art projects, and although the timeline and planning process are not complete, the facility is destined to be well-rounded.
“[The park] will have sports fields but also natural areas,” she says. “As a park, it will be protected as a resource the community can enjoy for years to come. Had we not purchased it, it could potentially have been developed otherwise one day.”