FRISCO (CBS11) – Thanks to term limits Frisco has a new mayor for the first time in nine years.
Jeff Cheney took office within days after voters elected him at a critical time in the history of America’s second-fastest growing city.
Within a few years parts of Frisco could be unrecognizable as more than $5 billion worth of development transforms the city.
That’s why its new mayor tells CBS11 he’s taking the reigns at the moment when key decisions will determine what Frisco becomes.
Frisco won’t stop growing, but how it grows over the next few years will fall in large part to the city’s new leader.
“Former mayors were the right mayor at the right time, and I think at this stage in Frisco’s history probably the most important skill set is understanding the balance between financial and development,” Mayor Cheney said.
Both a CPA and a real estate broker, Cheney spent nine years on city council during Frisco’s biggest expansion. Now the new mayor says city leaders have to be careful with the 40 percent of Frisco still left to develop.
“What I don’t want to see is seas of concrete and surface parking and design that’s not unique,” Cheney said.
Cheney points to the developments along Frisco’s so-called “$5 billion mile” as models of well-designed projects. Now the priority is attracting the right tenants the way Plano’s Legacy West development to the south drew Toyota, JP Morgan Chase, and other large corporations.
“We have to be a lot more aggressive in our pursuit of these Fortune 100-type employers and actually go out and actually seeking them,” Cheney said.
Maintaining Frisco’s strong schools and quality of life along with offering a blank canvas of open space to develop is what Cheney insists will draw the right kind of economic activity.
“Understanding how to design that and plan that is ultimately going to dictate what this city finally becomes,” Cheney said.
The mayor says when Frisco bid for deals like Toyota and JP Morgan Chase, the city actually offered more financial incentives than Plano.
That’s why he says the city has to be able to deliver a total package to attract the top employers.