During a Nov. 7 public hearing, business owners, real estate professionals and residents voiced a variety of opinions and concerns with Parker's now-approved development agreement.
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During a Nov. 7 public hearing, business owners, real estate professionals and residents voiced a variety of opinions and concerns with the now-approved agreement to allow Confluence Companies to develop downtown Parker.
In a 5-1 vote, the Parker Town Council approved a development agreement with Confluence Companies to buy six parcels of land downtown, which will be turned into a variety of mixed-use development projects, including up to 520 residential units, office space, restaurants and retail options.
T.J. Sullivan, president of the Parker Chamber of Commerce, said in representing about 450 official members, the chamber supports the project.
Sullivan said downtown Parker needs more private commercial businesses and residential development on the parcels currently sitting vacant.
“We need a dynamic, daytime economy,” Sullivan said. “Right now we have nowhere for our businesses to go and grow. We have a town full of entrepreneurs and they need a place to allow their dreams to take shape.”
Other business owners said increased daytime traffic is vital to survival and Confluence Companies can make that happen.
In the agreement with Confluence, the town agreed to sell six parcels along the downtown corridor.
While business owners expressed support, many citizens spoke against the process of approving the agreement and how much traffic the major revitalization project could add.
One resident, particularly angry about the Pine Curve portion of the development, asked when construction on that parcel would start, stating by then she would put her home up for sale and leave town.
In the past, residents fought against development on the 24-acre lot known as Pine Curve. To address past resident concerns, town officials said Confluence will be required to install a buffer.
Plans for Pine Curve, according to the development agreement, include a variety of two- and four-story buildings that could include up to 154 apartment and residential units and up to 34,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.
Albert Thompson, a 28-year resident, said he doesn’t like the plan being approved before any traffic studies, especially if more apartments and residential units are included in the plan.
Thompson and other residents also voiced concern with the amount of information provided to the public ahead of the Nov. 7 approval meeting. According to Councilmember Cheryl Poage, the council learned about the $57 million in public investment required for the agreement on Oct. 31. The information was made available to the public on Nov. 3.
Longtime resident Joy Overbeck said there is a lot she likes about the project, but disagreed with paying the development a lot of money in incentives to make sure they reach a 17% return on investment.
“This is not a sale contract,” she said. “This is just a giveaway.”
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