Frisco economic development chief who helped propel city’s rapid growth is retiring

Vernon Bryant
Frisco EDC President Jim Gandy

Jim Gandy, president of the Frisco Economic Development Corp. for 21 years, will serve as a special adviser until March 31 while the city seaches for his successor. Assistant City Manager Ron Patterson will take over in the interim.

Gandy is part of a trio dubbed "Team Frisco," a unique blend of city leaders who set Frisco on course to become one of America’s fastest-growing cities. When Gandy joined the development team in 1996, Frisco’s population was about 16,500. Today, it’s nearly 170,000.

The Frisco Economic Development Corp. was established in 1991 when voters approved a half-cent sales tax to support efforts to attract investment in the community that straddles Collin and Denton counties.

Working closely with City Manager George Purefoy and now-retired Frisco ISD Superintendent Rick Reedy, Gandy’s tenure included the city’s emergence as a sports mecca, shopping and business hub and residential hot spot. Frisco is now home to the Dallas Cowboys’ new headquarters and training center, the Ford Center at The Star, as well as venues for the FC Dallas professional soccer team and a minor league baseball team.

"His successes range from the pivotal role he played in the development of Stonebriar Centre to the recruitment of the Dallas Cowboys," Purefoy said in a statement.

Th city recently commissioned a study to gauge the impact of Gandy’s agency on Frisco.

The report by Insight Research Corp. credited the agency with boosting the city’s economy by $31 billion by attracting 345 development projects over 25 years. Those expansions, relocations and new development helped Frisco’s tax base grow from $654.7 million in 1991 to $25 billion in 2015.

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