Frisco residents are one step closer to the pedestrian plaza promised to them in 2018.

The Frisco City Council approved a contract with Mesa Design Associates to begin designing the final plans for the 4th Street Plaza redevelopment at a Feb. 21 meeting.

The project is part of a larger plan first proposed in 2018 to fully redevelop the Rail District in downtown Frisco. Creation of a “possible pedestrian area” on 4th Street was also mentioned in the city’s 2015 comprehensive plan, a five-year plan for future city development that typically takes 20 people and two years to complete.

Conceptual plans for the pedestrian plaza have been consistent since the project was first officially proposed in 2018, according to Feb. 21 meeting documents.

Zig-zagging between buildings on 4th Street and Oak Street, the plaza will focus on being a pedestrian-friendly destination with features, such as seating areas, shade elements, restrooms, water features and updated landscaping, according to meeting documents.

An overhead stage structure and gateway elements will also be added to the redevelopment, according to meeting documents.

City officials gave an update on the Rail District redesigns at a town hall meeting Feb. 27.

“Some of the main, major visions for downtown is concentrating on making the downtown people-centric,” Development Services Director John Lettelleir said.

Plans include widening the sidewalks around the plaza to foster outdoor seating for restaurants and more room for pedestrians. Constructing a nearby parking garage was recommended by the city’s bond committee for the upcoming election and included in the downtown master plan as a way to compensate for the lack of street parking.

“At the end of the day people still drive; they’re going to have to have a place to park,” Lettelleir said. “We don't want to encourage surface parking lots, because that takes away from the pedestrian feel.”

The Fourth Street contract with Mesa Design Associates allocates $2,265,700 for the company to create the final designs. Once they are approved, Mesa Design Associates will also prepare them for contract bidding on the project, according to meeting documents.

No official start date for the project has been announced but council staff from June 7, 2022, stated it would take approximately 18 months to two years to complete the plaza.