Frisco to launch Main Street planning project that would help town look to the future while preserving the past
FRISCO — A new decade is fast approaching, and the town of Frisco is taking the opportunity to plan for the future.
The town is hoping to begin early next year with ambitions of mapping out future developments and economic drivers in the core area while maintaining the character of Frisco’s Main Street. The plan, which is designed to connect the marina to the mountains via Main Street, was one of the key priorities outlined by Frisco Town Council as part of the 2019-20 Strategic Plan.
“We’re very interested in making sure that where there are opportunities, we plan for those, and then we go get what we’re looking for rather than waiting for it to happen,” Frisco Town Manger Nancy Kerry said. “We want to know clearly what the council sees as the vision by hearing from experts with all kinds of advice on economic development and the right strategies.
“Main Street is iconic; it’s our brand, and it’s what we want to build off of throughout the whole town. So if there are opportunities for redevelopment, infill or otherwise, we want to plan for it.”
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The central ambition of the plan is to provide future staff and councils with a blueprint for the core area, largely along Main Street from the intersection with Summit Boulevard on the east end to the intersection with Interstate 70 on the west end, and between Galena and Granite streets to the north and south. The plan will dive into everything from infrastructure needs, connectivity and mobility improvements, desired commercial uses and character, zoning regulations, potential infill and redevelopment opportunities, amenities and more.
With such an ambitious undertaking in the works, staff said there also would be a considerable public outreach process to make sure community members get their say in what lies ahead.
“We haven’t defined exactly what it will look like,” Frisco planner Susan Lee said. “But we know that we’ll get the business community on Main Street involved as well as the community at large to make sure we’re hearing what people think about what’s here today, finding out what they value and what the characteristics of Main Street are that they enjoy, so we can continue to promote and protect that.”
Among other key goals of the plan — such as creating a more inviting west end of Main Street to match the more vibrant east end — town staff is hopeful that the plan will allow officials to be more proactive and give residents more agency over what types of businesses and services populate the area moving forward.
“Once they can answer that question, I can go to businesses and say, ‘You provide this type of economic activity we’re looking for. How can we entice you to come to Frisco?’” Kerry said. “We want to know so we can go knock on their door. … We will be able to market ourselves to them, instead of waiting for them to market themselves to us.”
Once it kicks off in earnest, the planning process is expected to take between six and nine months to complete. The town is expected to send out a request for proposals to handle the consulting work sometime early next year. The town has set aside $100,000 for the project in the 2020 budget, though Kerry said they’re hopeful the proposal process returns some cheaper options.
And as the town looks toward the future, one of the primary goals is to protect the past. Frisco is currently searching for a site to relocate the historic Excelsior House, an important piece of the town’s mining history that’s currently out of sight in the Frisco Adventure Park’s boneyard.
In September, Town Council provided staff with a list of priorities for the house, including finding a location that would allow for a relevant adaptive use, high visibility and easy accessibility to the public as well as contribute to the overall story of Frisco, among others.
At the most recent council meeting earlier this month, staff identified three potential locations: Triangle Park, the Town Hall lawn and the West Main Street gateway. Ultimately, the council narrowed the sites down to either Triangle Park — where the house could serve as a historic anchor to the more modern east side of Main Street — or the Town Hall lawn, where it could provide a transition to the quieter west end of Main Street.
“It’s a really exciting time in Frisco, especially as we enter the new decade,” Kerry said. “It’s time to take a step back and say, ‘This is an opportunity to plan for the future you want,’ and go get it.”
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