The design concept of the proposed Whole Foods Market was met with criticism from the Frisco Planning Commission during Thursday's meeting.
"This is just my own bias and the way the design hit me when I saw it," said Bob Bloch, Frisco planning commissioner. "It just reminds me of a string of cheap motels."
The multi-building retail center will be anchored by a Whole Foods Market and offer space to potential businesses.
The proposal consists of five buildings configured around a shared parking lot. Whole Foods would be accompanied by other retail outlets, possible office spaces and buildings with studio-size space intended for yoga, pilates or dance companies.
The total area of the five buildings proposed, including the Whole Foods Market, in-line and outdoor retail space, a wellness building and gateway building, make up some 105,000 square feet including a 15,000-square-foot area for future expansion.
David O'Neil, the applicant proposing the Whole Foods Market and shopping center, last met with the planning commission July 8 to present the primary sketch plan, which also met with some criticism from the commission.
The development project's proposed location is Lot 2A at the Summit Stage Transit Center Subdivision on 120 Lusher Ct. near Safeway. The building would be visible from Interstate 70 and Highway 6.
Feedback from commissioners included considering a more traditional mountain town architecture with peaked roof tops.
"I'm not sure if this is a timeless design. It looks good now but I'm not sure it will still look very good in 10 to 15 years," said Melissa Sherburne, planning commissioner. "I miss the barn design from the primary sketch; I thought that was a little more classic."
During citizen comments, Frisco resident Tom Castrigno said he too was not a fan of the design.
"The flat roofs are not a good idea," he said. "We are a mountain town, let's go with timeless mountain architecture and peak roof tops. Steep peaks really give a sense of place and the flat roofs will not be compatible with the character of our town or be able to support all of the snow that could gather there."
O'Neil, on behalf of Brynn Grey X, LLC and the Whole Foods proposal, will return before the planning commission at a later date with the final design. No final decisions were made or prompted by the planning commission, but feedback on the design was given.
"There are certainly risks associated with this design, but we're working to make it fit into the character of the town while being timeless and aesthetically pleasing," O'Neil said. "This design certainly needs to be well executed in the details."
The planning commission will schedule a final design plan hearing with O'Neil for the shopping center proposal at a later date.
"We are close now to a development application," O'Neil said. "We have to nail down the details on the design but we are eager to move forward and bring what we think will be a major asset to Frisco."