Early concept for Frisco’s Northwest Community Park includes large biking tower for ‘gravity riding’

A park directly south of the upcoming PGA Frisco headquarters could soon feature several new fixtures for cyclists, among them being a roughly 40-foot-tall gravity riding tower. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
A park directly south of the upcoming PGA Frisco headquarters could soon feature several new fixtures for cyclists, among them being a roughly 40-foot-tall gravity riding tower. (Courtesy city of Frisco)

A park directly south of the upcoming PGA Frisco headquarters could soon feature several new fixtures for cyclists, among them being a roughly 40-foot-tall gravity riding tower. (Courtesy city of Frisco)

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A cycling tower would allow cyclists to scale it at various heights and build enough speed to feed into “gravity trails,” according to the city. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
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Amenities planned for Northwest Community Park include space for food trucks, splash and standard playgrounds, and a dog park. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
A park directly south of the upcoming PGA Frisco headquarters could soon feature several new fixtures for cyclists, among them being a roughly 40-foot-tall “gravity riding” tower.

In an Oct. 19 work session, Frisco City Council heard a presentation from Frisco Parks and Recreation Director Shannon Coates on construction plans for the 164-acre Northwest Community Park east of Teel Parkway.

City Council on Oct. 5 approved a contract with Design Workshop Inc. to design and bid out plans for Northwest Community Park. The construction cost for several future amenities in the park is estimated to be $24.5 million, according to the presentation.

Renderings of the conceptual tower were shown depicting a roughly 100-foot tower, but Coates said the intent is to build a smaller tower. The renderings, she said, are meant to “give the impact” of the original idea for the tower. A total of $2.43 million was given as an estimated cost for a 100-foot gravity tower, but presenters said the cost would scale down with a smaller tower.

The tower would allow cyclists to scale it at various heights and build enough speed to feed into “gravity trails,” according to Coates. In total, the park is planned to have 9.5 miles of trails.


“You would build up enough speed to feed into these trails to be able to have that very advanced riding experience,” Coates said. “It will become a facility where you, as a beginner—or child as a beginner—could go out there and learn to bike, and then progressively continue to move throughout the park and throughout the system as you get better and better at it.”

Coates said roughly 1,400 community surveys for the upcoming park indicated desires for a trail system, pedestrian and bike connections, and a commitment to “protect, enhance and celebrate nature.” Other amenities planned for the park include space for food trucks, splash and standard playgrounds, and a dog park. According to the presentation, a planned total of 85% of the park is reserved for trails and open space.

Council Member Shona Huffman said she loved the design of the park, but mentioned a need to maintain existing parks. She said yearly maintenance for a nearly $25 million park needs to be a focus.

“The parts where I feel like we're totally missing real needs are the maintaining of the assets that we have,” Huffman said. “We go build another really cool park, but then we don't take care of the ones that really have.”

Mayor Pro Tem Bill Woodard said a volunteer network throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex helps maintain area parks. Woodard said the plan should still account for volunteers helping with “day-to-day” maintenance.

More refined schematics for the park should come around March, according to the city. A final design is projected to come by the end of 2022, with construction soon following.
By Matt Payne
Matt Payne reports on Frisco City Hall and its committees, Collin County Commissioners and McKinney business. His experience includes serving as online content editor at Fort Worth Magazine and city editor at the Killeen Daily Herald. He is a 2017 graduate of the Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas in Denton.


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