Downtown Frisco growth spurs more parking needs

The Patios at the Rail is a new development that will include two commercial buildings with rooftop patios, a rooftop park, a reception hall, retail stores and restaurants.

The Patios at the Rail is a new development that will include two commercial buildings with rooftop patios, a rooftop park, a reception hall, retail stores and restaurants.

Downtown Frisco growth spurs more parking needsThe concern over adequate parking on Main Street through historic downtown has increased along with a bevy of new businesses and development announcements in the area.


In the past year, downtown has gained businesses, including Summer Moon Coffee, Countdown 2 Escape, The Heritage Table and Frisco Rail Yard.


A larger project planned for downtown is Patios at The Rail, a three-story building that will include two rooftop patios, a rooftop park, restaurants and an event center, as well as retail and office space. The project will include a parking garage.


Downtown Frisco growth spurs more parking needs“We want to make historical downtown a destination and we are looking for different areas where parking would be appropriate for the project and the public,” said Donny Churchman, president of Nack Development, which is developing Patios at the Rail. “The goal is to create a pedestrian experience, where people can find a place to park and spend all day [in downtown Frisco].”


Nack Development also plans to present another downtown project, called The Tower at The Rail, to the Frisco Planning and Zoning Commission this summer. Churchman said he is planning a two-story building with retail on the bottom floor and restaurants on the top floor. The project also calls for eight luxury town houses that would surround the building and share open space with it.


“Downtown Frisco has grown the 100-plus years that it has been here, and we’ve had a parking problem in general,” said Mark Piper, president of the Downtown Merchants Association. “We have grown here recently very rapidly with the addition of [new businesses] so we’re bringing in a lot more people into downtown. As a result, we have conflicts with the residential neighbors.”



Parking issues


Piper, who owns Patti Ann’s Flowers on Main Street, said the main problem with parking is that people who are visiting the businesses and restaurants downtown are parking in front of residential homes on side streets rather than in designated city parking lots.


Piper said many people do not know where the public parking lots are and want to park as close as possible to the restaurants and businesses.


Matt Calloway, a local real estate agent who lives downtown and focuses his business in the downtown area, said he understands the parking issues from a resident and business perspective.


“The issue is that there’s no curb [along some of the residential streets], so people are parking up in [residents’] front yards or even parking on both sides of the streets that are already narrow, making it difficult for any car to pass through,” Calloway said.


Frisco Development Services Director John said the issue is not a lack of parking; rather it is getting people to realize where the public parking is.


He said though signage is available to direct drivers to parking lots, the signs are hard to see—an issue the city is working to improve.


“We need to work on being able to direct people where public parking is located, because once you start steering people in the right direction, it can solve the issue,” Lettelleir said. “As downtown develops, the city will work with developers to plan for parking so there is no parking shortage as new businesses come in.”



Solutions in Progress


Main Street business owners and city officials have been working on initiatives to help guide people to parking lots and provide additional parking.


Lettelleir said the city has already improved parking throughout the years, such as paving areas to provide more parking lots.


The city also keeps track of how much public parking is needed as new businesses move in, he said.


The city has developed a map and distributed it to business owners to inform customers about available parking.


Jessica Knoblock, eight|11 place owner, said she has discussed parking issues with the city, but she needed to solve the issue immediately for her customers and residents surrounding the restaurant.


Her solution was to have eight|11 place offer complimentary valet for its customers.


“[The valet parking] really has made a drastic difference in the parking situation as far as having happier residents near us,” Knoblock said.


Knoblock’s restaurant leases out the parking lot at Patti Ann’s for overflow parking.


“[As we’ve become] a booming business in downtown Frisco, we did realize that there is a major need for parking down here,” Knoblock said.



Education and Dialogue


Calloway, who also sits on the city’s downtown advisory board, said businesses, developers and the city will have to work together to solve the parking issue as downtown continues to grow.


“We have all this great stuff happening and so many more people want to come down here to experience the restaurants, and now the residents are going to be experiencing some growing pains,” Calloway said. “We can manage that now by educating people to park in city lots, working with business owners and having an open dialogue with the neighbors.”


One of the City Council’s top 10 goals for this year is to update the downtown master plan, which includes addressing parking, Lettelleir said.


“We want to make sure to put parking in the right space to maximize its use,” Lettelleir said. “We also want to make sure that parking is in a convenient location where people feel comfortable using it.”


Parking garages will likely be the best method for parking to enhance walkability in downtown, Lettelleir said. Parking garages offer the most parking and take up less space than surface parking. Lettelleir said the garages would have to meet certain standards to be built in downtown Frisco.


“It’s very important to have [the garages] blend in architecturally, and there’s a lot of good designs that have been done in other cities that most people wouldn’t know it was a parking garage,” Lettelleir said.


Calloway said he hopes future plans can show off the historic architecture while providing parking solutions.


“It’s important for us to find parking solutions as  we continue to grow, because this growth is not going to stop anytime soon,” Calloway said.

By Nicole Luna
Nicole Luna is the Senior Reporter for Frisco. She covers development, transportation, education, business and city government. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Spanish from The University of Texas at Arlington and has been with Community Impact Newspaper since June 2015.


MOST RECENT

Vial of COVID-19 vaccine
Frisco vaccine site pulling from Collin County waitlist

The city of Frisco’s COVID-19 vaccine site at Stonebriar Centre mall has begun pulling from the Collin County vaccine waitlist for appointments.

A crew breaking ground on a construction site.
Medical City Frisco breaks ground on new patient tower

Work has officially begun on a new patient tower at Medical City Frisco.

Scooter's Coffee is now open at 1451 E. Buckingham Road in Richardson. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
Scooter's Coffee opens in Richardson; Hawaiian Bros restaurant coming to Fort Worth and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Harvest Hall officially opened Feb. 6 in Grapevine as part of the Grapevine Main development. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harvest Hall now open in Grapevine, new dining options in Fort Worth and more DFW news from February

Here are some of the top stories from the past month from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

digital rendering of virus
Collin County Judge Chris Hill rescinds COVID-19 disaster declaration

Collin County’s declaration of local disaster in response to COVID-19 was rescinded Feb. 26 by Judge Chris Hill.

At its peak of power loss, the city had roughly 50,000 homes with interrupted power, many of which had prolonged outages, Plano City Manager Mark Israelson said. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plano faces long-term impacts from storm; Collin County vaccine hubs resume service and more DFW-area news

Read the top business and community news from this week from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Snow covers I-45 in Houston during a winter storm that hit Texas the night of Feb. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Legislators probe energy officials over power failures, lack of preparation heading into winter storm

The Texas Legislature held hearings Feb. 25 with energy companies including Oncor Electric Delivery and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in response to last week’s historic winter storm, which left millions of Texans without electricity for days.

Justice permanently closed its Frisco location inside Stonebriar Centre in December. (File photo)
Justice clothing store permanently closes Stonebriar Centre location

Justice, a clothing and accessories store that offered merchandise for young girls and tweens, permanently closed its location at 2601 Preston Road, Ste. 1240, Frisco, in December.

IHOP is expected to open early this summer at the intersection of FM 423 and US 380. (Courtesy IHOP)
IHOP coming to northwest Frisco this summer

IHOP will open a new location early this summer at 1375 US 380, Frisco.

The North Texas Municipal Water District has lifted its request for its member cities to reduce water use. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Collin County water supplier lifts water conservation request

With water demands returning to normal levels, the North Texas Municipal Water District has lifted its request to reduce nonessential water use within its service area, which includes the cities of Frisco, McKinney, Plano and Richardson.

The coffee and wine bar offers signature drinks, such as the Honey Bear Latte, made with honey and cinnamon, as well as food options, such as breakfast tacos, charcuterie boards, baked goods and snack boxes. (Courtesy Golden Boy Coffee Co.)
Golden Boy Coffee Co. opens in Plano; Black Rock Coffee Bar coming to Southlake and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic. (Courtesy Qygen, Wikimedia Commons)
Fry's Electronics calls it quits after nearly 36 years in business

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic.