Frisco Residents Speak to Universal Reps


Frisco residents attended the meeting at Collin College | Image by Barbara Baker/Pinterest

On a cool Saturday morning, Frisco residents gathered at the Collin College Frisco Campus for a meet and greet with city officials and representatives from Universal Parks and Resorts to listen to how the proposed theme park will affect their community.

The growing concern that the majority of Frisco residents have about the proposed development is an increase in crime and whether the park will benefit local businesses and the community.

The Dallas Express traveled to Frisco to speak to residents and city officials to understand if this is a city divided or united on the proposed development.

“The studio was a big surprise,” said David DeMattia speaking to The Dallas Express.

DeMattia has lived in Frisco for over 30 years and has raised all of his kids in Frisco.

“I think everybody here is surprised that all of a sudden this just came on the radar screen as a project. I’ve not heard of anybody against it, it’s just nobody knew it was happening until all of a sudden it was happening. I think that’s why the majority of people are here,” said DeMattia.

DeMattia explained to The Dallas Express that he understands that demographics have changed in Frisco. Frisco has become a progressive fast-growing city.

He added that Frisco has brought colleges and the University of North Texas. Other businesses have also arrived that have not harmed the community.

Frisco is growing in size, and the addition of a Universal park attracts new and younger families such as the Smiths.

“The project has a large influence on where we are looking to buy,” said Steve Smith speaking to The Dallas Express.

“We have young kids, and I’m going to probably bring them to the park regularly. We’re just excited to see what they are going to bring to Frisco.”

Pastor Dono Pelham of Life Changing Faith Church in Frisco spoke to The Dallas Express and said while he doesn’t think it will be perfect, he believes the project is good for the city.

“I think there’s an opportunity for local businesses to partner with Universal because they’re going to have to do business locally, and that’s going to mean economic impact because they’re not here today gone tomorrow. I think potential impact perhaps outweighs the potential downfall,” said Pelham.

“I’m not surprised at the opportunities that we get in Frisco; we’re well run, the land use has been wisely slated, and it makes sense that something of this caliber would be interested in a place like this,” said Pelham, who is originally from Florida.

Pelham’s wife Angelia, who is Deputy Mayor Pro Tem and City Councilmember Place 3, explained to that while Frisco is experiencing economic growth, it is one of the safest cities to raise a family.

“People focus on the fact that we’re the fastest-growing city. The offshoot of that is we’re the safest city, so we’re not compromising safety for growth. We’re balancing both of those, and we’re strategic about that,” Angelia told The Dallas Express.

One of the concerns discussed in the meeting is the increase in potential crime coming to the city and to the proposed park.

Senior Vice President of External Affairs for Universal Parks and Resorts John McReynolds addressed Frisco residents and assured them that Universal does not tolerate crime and will be working with local authorities.

The Dallas Express also spoke with Assistant Police Chief Darren Stevens, who attended the meeting out of uniform.

He said the importance of community policing and partnership with local businesses allows FPD to maintain good relationships and keep Frisco safe.

Deputy Chief of Police Mike Hagan, who is the focal point for the Frisco Police Department for the proposed development, spoke about possibly working with Universal.

“From a security standpoint, we’re going to be working with Universal,” said Hagan. “When this comes in a few years, we’ll be ready.”

“The community here is great and supportive and with that partnership with Universal I think it’s a win-win situation,” said Hagan.

The economic boost that Frisco will receive from Universal has Mayor Jeff Cheney excited about all of the possibilities and opportunities for the residents of the city.

“It’s been pretty incredible here in the city of Frisco,” said Cheney.

“We talked about Stonebriar Mall being kind of our first major economic development project and that kind of led to the whole engine that started from you know getting Toyota Stadium from Rough Riders Ball Park to the Star. We’re going to be opening PGA Frisco in just a couple of months and then just another announcement of Universal … It has been a huge economic win for not just Frisco but the entire region,” said Cheney.

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1 month ago

If I were a home owner in Frisco I would ask Mark Woodbury about his newly constructed theme park in China. Do you folks in Frisco want a WOKE theme park like Disney in your city? Do you want the garbage that would come with a park like this.As a land owner in Collin County I can say I would vote a resounding NO!!!

Michael P Hammer
Michael P Hammer
1 month ago

Traffic, congestion, crime. It’s not worth it for the low paying theme park jobs.