Plans show more residential and commercial development in Frisco Square

Bill Gietema of Arcadia Realty Corp. makes a presentation about new plans at Frisco Square. Bill Gietema of Arcadia Realty Corp. makes presentation about new plans at Frisco Square.[/caption]

The Frisco Planning and Zoning Commission approved an updated master plan for the southern portion of Frisco Square at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

The southern portion of Frisco Square was originally envisioned to be a more residential area with smaller pedestrian blocks, senior planner Anthony Satarino said. However, multiple property owners want to keep the residential character but have requested to do it in a different way.

Bill Gietema of Arcadia Realty Corp, the land developers, showed plans for urban living units in a wrapped format that would hide the view of the parking garage to give the street frontage more residential character.

Gietema also proposed a large open space for community gatherings. Plans proposed residential and commercial buildings along Church Street from Burnham Street to Cotton Gin Road.

This flexibility, Gietema said, would allow flexibility to have small offices, retail establishments, artisans’ workshops or other similar uses on the ground floor of residential buildings. Gietema also said this would create a neighborhood environment with unique amenities.

Overall, commissioners said they like the plans, especially the walkability of the whole area, which adds to the Frisco Square environment.

However, there were a few concerns specifically about parking. Commissioner Rick Williamson said he had concerns for commercial parking.

He said he felt there was enough residential parking but the plans lacked sufficient parking for patrons.

Gietema assured Williamson that there would adequate parking and they would accommodate as the project developed. For commercial parking it would most likely be street parking.

Still, Williamson, who said he still had too many questions and concerns, did not vote in favor of the plan.

John Lettelleir, Frisco director of development services, said the updated plans will add bring in more people and businesses into Frisco Square.

Because the developers want to keep office space small, Gietema said each office space would be 1,000 square feet.

Commissioner Kevin Hodes said 80 percent of small businesses go under in their first year.  He said those are the businesses that would most likely take over the office space. He asked Gietema if this was a concern and how would he prevent the office areas from being empty.

Gietema said the leases for the office space would be short and that spaces like these are reliable for many small business owners.

Hodes also asked if 1,000 square feet was adequate space if the business were to grow.

Gietema said he would hope the businesses would grow but that the space would be more for the small business owner.

Hodes said he appreciated that concept but he isn’t sure it would work in Frisco.

Commissioner Chair Bill Woodard said he thinks it can. He said places like Frisco Bridges that have similar plans have proven to be successful.
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.


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