Asian population growth brings new specialty retail center to Frisco

A Houston-based developer is responding to Collin County’s growing Asian population with plans for a new foodie destination shopping center in Frisco.

The 110,000-square-foot specialty retail center will open in mid-2017 with a 99 Ranch Market, a Daiso Japan dollar store and an 85°C Bakery Café, which some have called the Starbucks of Taiwan.

NewQuest Properties purchased nine acres at the northeast corner of Preston Road and Warren Parkway from Lebanon Joint Venture to build the center it’s calling Frisco Ranch.

This will be the second shopping center that NewQuest will open in the area with an Asian theme. In 2015, it purchased an empty Carrollton Town Center and started filling the 150,000-square-foot center with Asian tenants, including Texas’ first Daiso, which is Japan’s largest 100 Yen store chain, and Kura, a sushi bar which operates 352 locations in Japan.   (The Plano Daiso store, located at 101 W Spring Creek Pkwy, was scheduled to open last month but was postponed due to permitting delays. It will open Sept. 23.)

“Now we know what the market is, and Frisco Ranch will benefit from that,” said Heather Nguyen, development partner at NewQuest. “We think Carrollton and Frisco will both draw people from long distances.”

She’s still recruiting food establishments for both Carrollton and Frisco from South and East Asia that are already popular on the East and West Coasts and Las Vegas.

North Texas has been an under served market for Asians who want authentic dining and grocery experiences, she said.

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Daiso Japan was sold on Frisco, Nguyen said, because it’s not far from Toyota USA’s new corporate headquarters.

The other main tenants, 99 Ranch and 85°C Bakery Café, needed some convincing and city officials helped her sell the northern suburb.

NewQuest also gathered statistics that it said supports its plan to add to Frisco’s existing 10.3 million square feet of retail and restaurants.

Frisco Mayor Maher Maso and Frisco Economic Development Corp. executive Harry Whalen courted them as part of a business attraction trip to California in June.

Why?   A large slice of Frisco’s general population — 11.4 percent — is Asian. The group represents a bigger slice, 20.9 percent, of the school population in Frisco.

Generally, Frisco draws beyond its own city limits with Stonebriar Centre, a major mall in the region, the only IKEA store in North Texas and several other big box stores and new developments including The Star, the new Dallas Cowboys headquarters and entertainment complex.

Frisco Ranch is being designed by Callaway Architecture of Dallas. NewQuest, has primarily been a developer of grocery-anchored shopping centers and has been working for years with Wal-Mart, Kroger and H-E-B. Frisco Ranch will house the third store in North Texas for both California-based 99 Ranch Market and Daiso Japan and second for 85°C Bakery Cafe, a bakery and coffee concept from Taiwan.

The authentic food, cuisine and shops are absent from Frisco, said James L. Gandy, president of Frisco Economic Development Corp.

Full Story: The Dallas Morning  News

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