Redevelopment is changing Frisco
FRISCO Even the most casual observer on a stroll down Granite Street can tell things are changing in Frisco. Construction dust covers the greenery, cranes swing stacks of two-by-fours high above new foundations, and yards of utility pipe lie along the streets shoulder.All this activity is occurring in an area of town that was pretty much built-out 15 years ago. Older, more modest buildings are being demolished to make way for new edifices, as redevelopment becomes the focus of Friscos growth.The Granite Street redevelopments, as well as nearby projects such as the upcoming transformation of 2nd Avenues Sky Vue Motel into12 high-end duplexes, are partly the result of local geography. According to town numbers, Friscos area is roughly 1,100 acres and at the end of 2005, only about 45 acres, or 4 per cent, remained undeveloped. Subtracting the towns controversial 9.4-acre parcel leaves only 35 acres for new development.All the easy stuff has been developed, Friscos community development director Mark Gage said. What youre seeing is smaller, older properties that are changing hands, and all youll see now is redevelopment.Impact on the communityFor Julie Huyler, a 15-year resident of the area near 2nd Avenue and Teller Street, as for many long-term locals, all this development is working out well for her family. She considers herself lucky that she and her husband were able to buy their townhome before prices started to skyrocket.Whats working against so many other people is working in our favor, she said. The equity we have on our townhouse has enabled us to buy a lot outright in Bills Ranch. Huyler acknowledged that housing is much more difficult for newcomers.If you got here in the last five years, theres no way, she said. Housing prices have risen steadily all across the U.S. during the last five years, and the town of Frisco is no exception. The 30.5 percent increase in median housing prices in Frisco during that period is close to the national average. Frisco housing costs, however, started the millennium at a higher level than the rest of the country.Median home price is the midpoint of housing costs, and signifies a locations affordability. In 2001, the national median home price was $151,100, which meant an equal number of homes sold for less as sold for more than that amount. In Frisco, the 2001 median price was $249,000 nearly $100,000 more than the national median. Although percentage increases are similar, Friscos 2005 median was $325,000, as compared to the national figure of $217,000.Because area median income increases have not kept pace, market-priced housing is becoming less affordable for full-time residents. Coupled with a booming economy in certain national sectors and increased numbers of baby boomers nearing retirement, the high-end developments are attracting more and more second homeowners. In 1990, half of Friscos housing was owned by people who didnt live in town. By 2005, Gage estimates the number is closer to 65 percent, and continuing to climb.Median sale price of homes in Frisco*20012005 Change Single family$499,750$658,00031.7%Townhome$242,500$327,50035.1%Condominium$229,500$275,00019.8%Total$249,000$325,00030.5%*excludes sales of employee housing unitssource: 2005 Assessor Sales Data; RRC Associates, Inc.Area median income20012005ChangeSingle person$47,200$54,80016.1%Family of two$53,900$62,70016.3%source: Summit Housing AuthorityHarriet Hamilton can be reached at (970) 668-4628, or at email@example.com.
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