Frisco council focuses on phase two of Marina Park improvements |

Frisco council focuses on phase two of Marina Park improvements

The Frisco Bay Marina is pictured Wednesday, Jan. 22.
Liz Copan /

FRISCO — The Frisco Town Council has turned its attention back to the marina as the town moves forward with the second phase of the Frisco Marina Park Master Plan.

In August, the town officially cut the ribbon on the “Big Dig” project — a grand reopening of the marina park following the excavation of 85,000 cubic yards of dirt from the lakebed, lowering the floor by as much as 13 feet in some areas and creating about four new acres of land for future improvements.

Now, with spring approaching, officials and staff with the town are beginning to focus in on what’s next.

At the Frisco Town Council meeting last week, Matt Stais of Frisco-based Stais Architecture & Interiors and Elena Scott of Norris Design provided councilors with a presentation on preliminary design options for the phase two site improvements outlined in the master plan, which was adopted in 2018. The designs touch on a number of coming upgrades, including parking, the main entrance, walkways, lawn space, and a new fuel system and lift station, among others.  

But the biggest pieces of the project are likely the new guest service and office building set for construction later this year and the potential repurposing of the Lund House and food and beverage spaces on-site.

“We’re on to phase two improvements, which we’re hoping will include a new marina office building, repurposing of the Lund House, the Island Grill and baths,” Stais said. “The infrastructure is also very important for the phase two area: water, sewer, electric and gas. … Basically, we are hoping to build onto the Big Dig from phase one, address immediate needs and allow for future growth.”

During the presentation, Stais proposed placing a new single-story, 2,290-square-foot office building along the south side of the park, to the east of the existing Island Grill location. The structure is expected to be considerably smaller than the initial design (4,846 square feet), though staff is hopeful the new concept can provide a cheaper option that would still offer plenty of new office space for marina staff in addition to expanded retail space. While smaller than expected, Stais noted the design would remain flexible to allow for expansion as operations at the marina continue to grow.

“The key to phase two is not putting things in the wrong place,” Stais said. “We want to make sure the work we do, whether it’s with utilities or buildings, will allow for future flexibility. We’re talking about another 10, 20, 30, 40 years — there’s a lot of connections going out to Summit Boulevard and to Main Street, and from Main Street to the mountains. We want to make sure we put things in the right location and allow for that future growth.”

One of the concepts presented by Stais Architecture & Interiors in cooperation with Norris Design features a new office building on the south side of the park along with a “Great Lawn” divided by walkways to the waterfront.

The proposal also calls for the redesign of existing structures on-site, namely bringing together the Island Grill and the Lund House into a new food and beverage building. The idea was met with some pushback from council members, primarily citing cost and landscaping concerns.

The town has $3.3 million budgeted for the project, including $300,000 for the potential Lund House repurposing, $1.5 million for the new office building and $1.5 million for infrastructure costs, including the new fuel system, lift station and utilities. Not included in the budget is the price tag for proposed pathways and landscaping on one of two “Great Lawn” concepts outlined in the presentation, expected to cost between $500,000 and $700,000.

“I am a bit skeptical of just $300,000 to do this fairly ambitious bar repurposing,” council member Dan Fallon said. “I don’t know, that to accomplish what we really want to do with the Island Grill and the Lund House (food and beverage) concept, if something this ambitious is even necessary. … And if we’re going with the actual phase two budget, we’re still left with a big patch of dirt.”

Ultimately the council was largely supportive of how phase two designs were coming along but asked to revisit the Lund House discussion among other topics in future work sessions. Assuming a plan is agreed on, staff expects construction would kick off later this year and be completed in 2021.

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