THE FRISCO EFFECT
In 1996, Frisco, TX was a quiet suburban town in the far-north Dallas Metro, boasting a population of approximately 10,000. There was no Dallas North Tollway to get folks quickly in to – or out of – town. At one point, when a Frisco resident approached Kroger Inc. about possibly opening a store there, she was told there weren’t enough rooftops to justify doing so.
What a difference 20 years makes.
Frisco today is located along North Texas’ so-called “Golden Corridor,” an area approximately 10 miles north of downtown Dallas containing affluent neighborhoods and huge commercial growth. As of September 2016, Frisco’s estimated population was 157,860, with the city’s government projecting that number to end up anywhere from 179,906-209,351 by 20211. Also growing are the job numbers and houses sold.
And Kroger has not one, but three stores in the city.
Needless to say, Frisco didn’t become a highly-populated, bustling city with expanding rooftops overnight. But one of the main reasons for Frisco’s growth boils down to the Dallas North Tollway’s extension through the city. Once the tollway traveled north, so did the people, households, businesses . . . and Krogers.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Frisco contained 43,491 households from 2010-20142. Just 10 years earlier, Frisco households numbered 12,085. In terms of individual, Frisco’s 1990 population was 6,138. By 2010 (the last official Census count) it stood at 116,989.
The largest population percentage jump took place between 1990-2000. During that time, the Dallas North Tollway began its northward march, and ground broke on Stonebriar Mall, a mega-regional mall that spurred even more retail development on SH 121 and nearby Preston Road.
The U.S. Census bureau also shows us that the number of housing units increased drastically from 1990 through the latest decennial count of 2010. As of 2010, Frisco boasted 42,306 housing units. Housing units are defined as places where people live and can include houses, apartments and even mobile homes.
On the sales side, 266 houses were sold in August 2016, versus the 240 sold in August 2015. At the same time, housing inventory stood at 3.2 months; the year before, monthly inventory stood at 2.4. While the inventory did increase year over year, housing market in equilibrium has 4-6 months of inventory.
Even so, the number of permits for single-family housing dropped from 214 (August 2016) to 188 (August 2016). As mentioned in previous blogs, the reasons or the decline range from cost of land to zoning restrictions. Despite the drivers, however, fewer permits mean housing reductions – leading to higher prices when the houses do come on the market.
There is little doubt that the Dallas North Tollway was the catalyst for a northward migration of everything from population, to retail, to offices. In the early 1990s, Hall Financial Group broke ground on its Hall Office Park in Frisco. These days, the 162-acre business park is close to being built out and completed. Other developers and corporations also moved north including T-Mobile, Amerisource, Confer Health Solutions – and the Dallas Cowboys, with its massive, mixed-use Frisco Star.
Employers clearly like Frisco and its amenities. Job growth stood at 4.3% in August 2016, an increase from the 3.4% the year before.
More of the Same?
What will life be like in Frisco by 2026? This is somewhat difficult to answer, though the city of Frisco does have a master plan to build out its population to 375,000, which is about as far as it can be built out without annexing more land. As corporate growth continues in Frisco and nearby Plano and The Colony, the chances are pretty good that the population goal will be met sooner, rather than later.
 City of Frisco (September, 2016). Retrieved from http://www.ci.frisco.tx.us/578/Population-Estimates-Projections
 Quick Facts, Frisco City, TX (2016). Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/4827684#flag-js-X.