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FRISCO, TX-It’s not always the size of the deal that turns heads. A 1,000-sf retail lease is putting Frisco Square onto television screens across North Texas as NBC5 and Telemundo 39 prep to open a third broadcast site in the metroplex.

“In terms of the exposure of the city and its street life, it’s irreplaceable,” says Brant Bryan, managing partner of Frisco Square and point man for the direct deal. He tells GlobeSt.com that the storefront spot at 8843 Coleman Blvd. will be retooled for a two-person set by one of NBC’s top designers from New York City.

Bryan says he believes Frisco Square won the corporate team’s nod for the five-year lease because the city is more centrally located than its Collin County competitor, McKinney. Plus, the four-story building’s backdrop carried significant weight with decisionmakers because it’s across the street from the six-story city hall and Pizza Hut Park, one of the world’s largest soccer complexes and home to FC Dallas.

Bryan says the keys turn in mid-September to one of the first two buildings that went up in Frisco Square, originally designed by David M. Schwarz of Washington, DC and recently re-designed by RTKL Associates Inc.’s Dallas team. The four-story twins each have 15,000 sf of street-level retail and 57 apartments on upper floors. The 85%-leased retail mix consists of restaurants and neighborhood services. The quoted retail rent is $22 per sf to $24 per sf, triple net.

Bryan’s Frisco Square team took over the project about 18 months ago from a local developer. “We’re trying to be patient with this,” Bryan says. “We think we have a chance for this to become a major entertainment destination so people will think of this as a Victory or Sundance Square.” The 147-acre Downtown project will total 4.4 million sf at build-out, with 1.5 million sf of office, 500,000 sf of retail, 1,400 apartments, 500 townhouses and 144,000 sf of municipal space. Frisco has long been ranked as one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, adding roughly 10,000 residents per year for several years running. The city’s population count is projected to top 92,000 by the end of 2007.

Bryan says he had heard NBC5/KXAS-TV was searching for a Collin County site from local officials. “We just jumped all over,” he says. “The location gave us a unique advantage.” And, he says, the deal closed without any city perks being laid on the table.

“Collin County is an important part of our audience,” Susan Tully, NBC5 vice president of content development, says in a press release about the sidewalk studio, “and with Frisco’s rapidly growing population, it makes sense for us to be closer to our community and Frisco Square allows us the perfect location to do that.”

The sidewalk studio, which will include an NBC Weather Plus center, complements broadcast hubs in Fort Worth and Dallas. NBC5 is the top-ranked 10 p.m. newscast in North Texas, with 275,000 viewers nightly, according to Nielsen Media Research’s May numbers.

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