Penny favors retail on Frisco parcel | SummitDaily.com
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Penny favors retail on Frisco parcel

Summit Daily/Brad OdekirkFrisco town staff came out Friday with a recommendation to allow retail development at the "10-acre parcel" - 9.4 acres of town-owned land behind the Summit Stage transfer center.
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FRISCO – The masses will likely gather in town hall on Mardi Gras, but they won’t be throwing beads or chugging hurricanes.The town council is scheduled to cast a vote on the fate of the storied “10-acre parcel” – 9.4 acres of town-owned land behind the Frisco Station shopping center.And should the council members follow the recommendation of town manager Michael Penny, the parcel will someday be home to retail development.

“Retail is a natural and intended use on this site,” Penny wrote in a Feb. 4 memo to the council. “(Adjacency) to retail, easy access off Interstate 70, a natural wetlands buffer to the neighborhood to the south and (visibility) from I-70 are all characteristics which lend themselves to putting retail on this site.”The recommendation was disappointing to several Friscoites who have organized against retail development in favor of leaving the parcel as-is or pursuing other development options such as recreational amenities or community facilities.”We’re disappointed, but we’re not dead,” said Stephanie Curtis, vocal opponent of retail development.

Curtis would rather see a Colorado Mountain College (CMC) campus on the site.”If the college were to go there, that would be fabulous. We were really excited about something that had a life, not just quick dollars,” Curtis added.Penny’s memo states, “(Staff) analysis and discussions with CMC staff led town staff to believe that there were other locations within the town better suited … to the learning and campus environment desired by CMC.”



Penny asserted that allocating the parcel for retail development would provide necessary sales tax revenues to create the “best long-term economic picture for Frisco,” by helping pay for amenities and infrastructure.The long-term economic picture was a big factor in Penny’s recommendation. He and his staff studied several future financial scenarios for the town and concluded that the town will have to make significant cuts to services if it doesn’t develop new revenue sources.”There are easily over $45 million in projects in the next 10 to 20 years. The vast majority are wants and needs identified by the public process and adopted by the town council. Plans we have for historic preservation, economic development, the housing action plan, the parks and rec plan all have components the community has said they want to see and it costs money to provide,” Penny said.


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