By Brandi Addison (https://www.dallasnews.com/business/2020/07/16/could-the-pandemic-make-more-companies-relocate-to-frisco-the-citys-leaders-think-so/)
11:53 AM on Jul 16, 2020
Frisco’s mayor struck an upbeat tone this week, predicting that the city will emerge from the pandemic “stronger than ever,” with its low-density development proving especially attractive to corporations reevaluating their office space needs in the wake of COVID-19.
“Frisco has always been planned to be a great place to live, work and play, and people are going to value that even more,” Mayor Jeff Cheney said. “Brighter days are definitely ahead here. You can sense that optimism here in the community.”
The mayor was joined by Frisco Economic Development Corp. Vice President Jason Ford, Frisco Fire Chief Mark Piland and Visit Frisco Executive Director Marla Roe on Tuesday for a virtual “State of the City” panel hosted by the Frisco Chamber of Commerce.
Cheney said he believes the pandemic could even drive more businesses to move to the city, as Frisco’s geographic sprawl works to its advantage. Some of the things that Frisco lacks—like a robust public transportation system and high-density neighborhoods—may increasingly be seen as positives by relocating companies that want to give workers plenty of social distance.
”When you start looking at the corporations, they’re really starting to rethink the types of places they want to relocate their businesses to for the benefit of their employees,” he said. “We really think Frisco has a really unique opportunity coming out of this as far as a new level of corporate attraction here.”
Ford said that in April he spoke to a site selector for Fortune 500 companies who had similar thoughts, believing that Frisco could become a major hot spot for corporation consolidations and relocations over the next couple years.
“We’re actually seeing a healthy pipeline of prospects look in Frisco right now,” Ford said. “They’re saying by the time they identify the property, procure it, design it, get the project up and open, hopefully we’re going to be well past all of this.”
Ford said he hopes the city, already home to the Dallas Cowboys’ headquarters and FC Dallas and soon to be the home of PGA of America, can continue to bring sports organizations to Frisco.
Roe, with Visit Frisco, agreed that sports will have a major role in Frisco’s economy getting back on track. However, she said she believes the tourism industry will have a slower recovery.
She said the city’s tourism and visitors bureau will work with all hotels, museums, attractions and sports teams to assure potential visitors that Frisco is a safe place. She referred to the Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s STAR Facility Program, an initiative to accredit businesses and buildings that have taken extensive measures to clean and disinfect their premises.
“We’re not going to do a whole lot different,” Roe said. “We’re just going to keep on our core mission and try to find as much business as we can for the city.”