Foote’s Rest Hotel returns to town council, aims for August groundbreaking
Almost three years after the project first emerged into the public light, construction on the proposed Foote’s Rest Hotel in Frisco finally may be in sight.
The project kicked off in earnest in 2016 with the sale of the historic Staley House to developer Kelly Foote, who decided to construct a new hotel on the property while preserving the historic structures on-site. The Frisco Town Council approved a development agreement on the project in March 2017 and an amendment to the agreement in January 2018. Now, Foote is hoping the council approves a final amendment to the project this month, with plans to break ground on the hotel in August.
“We’ve been working on this project for so long, and we’re excited to get it built for the community,” said Foote, who owns the Foote’s Rest Sweet Shoppe next door and whose family has been rooted on the property since the 1940s. “I think it’s going to be very positive for the community. We’re bringing in things Frisco doesn’t have.”
The project — initially beset with concerns from former council members with regard to parking and noise — seemed to have fallen stagnant over the past couple of years. Foote cited rising construction costs as the reason for the hotel’s slow development.
“We were going to break ground in June last year, but the construction costs just skyrocketed,” Foote said.
Construction estimates rose more than $10 million from January to September last year, he said, a considerable bump for the $75 million project. Now, with a new contractor and construction costs returning back to earth, Foote and his team are ready to push forward.
Foote detailed the project again for the Frisco Town Council at its regular workshop last month, outlining a number of minor changes to the agreement. The hotel — to be located between Fifth and Sixth avenues on Main Street — was originally slated for 65 rooms, including six employee-housing units. The new agreement would increase the number of rooms to 75 and move employee housing to another location down the road on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Teller Street Alley. The new employee-housing plan also should increase the number of employee units, reserving a primary house with seven bedrooms and a single-family cabin on the lot.
Notably, the dimensions of the structure won’t be changing from what previously had been approved. Foote said the additional 10 rooms were added in part from the six units previously set aside for employees along with four units identified as “lock-off” rooms inside suites that can be booked separately. In addition to the 75 hotel rooms, Foote said he’s also planning to rent a pair of cabins on the west side of the property — with their own courtyard area — bringing the total number of rentable rooms on the property to 80.
On top of the cabins, a number of other historic structures on the land will be getting a facelift. The Staley House will be relocated to the west side of the property, the Blacksmith shop will be rebuilt into the Blacksmith Saloon, and the greenhouse is being donated to Frisco Elementary School. The hotel will take up the east portion of the block, on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Main Street.
While the hotel is obviously the main feature of the structure, Foote said his team designed the building to serve as an amenity for community members in the area.
“Foote’s Rest, since my grandparents owned it, has always been a community gathering place,” Foote said. “When we opened the sweet shop, we wanted to continue that legacy. I want to continue that now but expand it with even more options and more amenities and things for the community to do.”
The hotel will include an entertainment venue with a bowling alley, arcade and shuffleboard. There also will be a restaurant and bar, a rooftop pool and deck, a banquet facility and more. The development will include 71 spaces of on-site parking, five more than required by the town’s code.
“All the amenities we have on our property will be open to the community,” Foote said. “We’re keeping it a community gathering place, and we’re going to have all the fun stuff for families and visitors to do that doesn’t exist here yet.”
The finalized development agreement is expected to head to the Frisco Town Council for first reading June 11. If the council decides to approve the updated plans, Foote said he hopes to have the hotel open by summer 2021.
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