Prosper Town Council held a public hearing at the council meeting on April 25 to receive public feedback regarding the Prosper Old Town Area Assessment Summary Report. Although no citizens chose to voice their opinion at that time, feedback was provided from those citizens that participated in the assessment.
The Kimley Horn team was hired by the Town of Prosper to hold a public workshop that would allow them to receive feedback from residents and stakeholders in order to develop a shared vision for the future of the Prosper Old Town area. The team consisted of the Ricker Cunningham Group, Strategic Solutions and Prologue Planning who all have experience working on similar projects.
“There has long been a desire to have an in-depth evaluation into the development of old downtown,” John Webb, Prosper director of development services, said. “The Town adopted a plan four or five years ago. At the time, there were more vital town-wide issues. Focus was on accommodating growth and investments. Now we are looking back at redevelopment potential.”
One vision presented by the assessment was that citizens want to see the authentic, small-town character of Old Town maintained.
“Downtown Prosper is the heart of the Town,” Prosper Senior Planner Alex Glushko said. “We want to make sure that the Town positions ourselves so that when development does occur it is has the appropriate character that fits with the vision that the citizens established through the assessment.”
In addition to maintaining consistency and authenticity throughout Old Town, citizens voiced their desire for more activity space. Gathering places such as plazas and green spaces would allow for a more consistent flow of activity throughout downtown. Participants also wanted restaurants and performance spaces that would help facilitate a more lively atmosphere.
“There has to be a larger parking strategy,” Webb said. “The new multi-purpose Town Hall facility will be able to provide some additional parking at the outset. But as the downtown grows, off-site parking will be needed. The way that you know your downtown area is succeeding is when there is a parking problem. So we want to take action to get ahead of it.”
In addition to managing a potential parking problem, the Town’s streets and sidewalks will need to be managed to allow for easy mobility. Citizens voiced their desire for people to be able to access downtown via car, walking, or bicycle.
Director of Development John Webb explained what will be needed in order to move forward with the project.
“The most successful downtown revitalizations are those with a private sector champion,” Webb said. “The downtown needs a champion with a vested interest. We would like to gauge interest from who would like to step up from our local businesses and property owners. We are looking at economic incentives to partner with the private sector.”
The Old Town revitalization project is still in phase one and its progress likely depends on the involvement of those within the private sector.