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Hall Office Park breaks ground on new building
City representatives and Craig Hall take a ceremonial first dig at the site of Hall Office Park's 16th office building. From left: City Manager George Purefoy, Council Member John Keating, Council Member Bob Allen, Council Member Jeff Cheney, Craig Hall, Mayor Maher Maso, Council Member Scott Johnson and Frisco EDC President Jim Gandy. Photo by Anthony Tosie.
Hall Office Park officially broke ground on its 16th office building Wednesday, paving the way for much-needed new office space in the city.
With about 94 percent of office space in the area rented out, the new building comes at a time when the city could desperately use more. Hall Office Park itself is currently about 98 percent occupied.
The new eight-story-tall building will have 200,000 square feet of rentable space and be located at the front of the office park, just off of the Dallas North Tollway. Additionally, a new parking garage will be built next to the office building.
Craig Hall, owner of Hall Financial Group and the developer behind Hall Office Park, said at the groundbreaking ceremony that the complex has been possible through its collaboration with the city.
"Our first building was done at a time when people thought this was not the vibrant, fantastic place to live, work and play that it is now," he said. "We were fortunate to be on the forefront of the growth of this great city. Since then, we've built 15 buildings. None of this could have happened without the great partnership with the Frisco Economic Development Corporation and the city of Frisco."
Hall noted that, as with other buildings in the office park, the new building will heavily showcase art, as its two-story lobby will feature sculptures and other works. In terms of external appearance, the office building will feature a modern design made of glass and steel.
From 1997 to 2007, Hall Office Park broke ground on at least one new building a year. Since 2007, however, no other office buildings had been in development until now -- something Hall said was the product of a sluggish economy.
In addition to the new building and parking garage, which are scheduled to open in mid-2014, the office park's master plan calls for a similar building-and-garage pairing to be built, although no timeline has been set. That pairing would likely be similar in size to the structures in development, although they could be slightly larger.
Jim Gandy, president of the Frisco Economic Development Corporation, said the new office space will help lure companies to the city.
"We are thrilled about this particular groundbreaking and office building, as the availability of office space in Frisco is extremely limited -- the arrival of this new building can't get here fast enough," he said. "We have companies that are looking and want to come to Frisco, but we're short on available office space, so this will be a big part of our future bringing new companies to Frisco."
Mayor Maher Maso seconded Gandy's sentiments and commended Hall for his forward-thinking involvement in Frisco's development from a town of just 6,138 in 1990 to its current estimated population of 130,810.
"I cannot share with you how excited I am -- I'm giddy," he said. "I can promise you every single council member is also. We've been working really hard on this -- it's one of our focus areas. We have a visionary right here [in Craig Hall]. We are so thankful he saw this before anybody else did -- what could be when this was just a farm."