Looking to expand downtown Prescott, sending developer requests
As Prescott continues to grow, the face of downtown may be seeing a few upgrades.
The Prescott Parks and Public Properties Committee held a meeting June 4 to discuss potential future development projects and allow citizens and business owners to give initial input.
Amongst the many ideas floating around during the meeting, Cedar Corporation presented a draft plan of a deck parking lot which could be implemented on Dakota Street North behind Freedom Valu Center.
The parking project estimate would cost upwards of $3.5 million. Currently downtown has access to approximately 100 parking stalls, City Administrator Jayne Brand said.
This construction may require widening the street to accommodate for the residential parking and the new building as people would enter into the lot through Dakota Street North.
As there was some opposition to the parking project which included blocking nearby residents' view of the river, others spoke about affordable housing and retail opportunities or expanding art and tourist culture including a hotel.
"We really don't know what our downtown needs. We don't have the money as a city to go out and be able to put together a large project. The Steamboat Inn has been trying to put together projects forever. We've been watching what other communities are doing, and what they're doing are putting together public/private projects," Brand said. "What you do is put together a request for information about the city. We're sending it to the Twin City market, the Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago markets. I'm getting calls from the Twin Cities already on the projects."
There was some concern how the bigger cities would know the needs of the Prescott community, but Brand said they do this all over.
Brand said the request for information will be sent out once it's completed. It will be presented at the July city council meeting and be sent out to developers for 60-90 days. The planning commission or city council will review the requests and schedule meetings with developers. A public presentation will be given once the city council has established ideas based on their decisions.
"If something doesn't fit with us then we won't have anything and then we'll have to go back to the drawing board and figure out how we're going to move forward and do something different," Brand said.
Two local developers from the Twin Cities have already contacted Brand who are interested in the community.
The city staff is looking to get estimates for reconstruction and repairs on the Heritage Center building, which is deemed historical.
Repairs needed include windows, tuck pointing, roof work, paint removal and sandblasting and concrete block repairs.
"We're struggling to find contractors willing to work on a historical building," Brand said.
The building is subleased from the Welcome Heritage Center by the Historical Society.