Big changes are coming to Parker, Colorado! With its unique restaurants, cafes, shops, and events and its commitment to the arts and lifelong learning, the Parker downtown has long been the heart of culture and community in Douglas County. The Parker Comprehensive Planning Division has a vision of continued growth and development for the Parker downtown and a mission to ensure current and future Parker residents have the spaces they need to grow, connect, and share experiences as a community. Following the Parker Mainstreet Master Plan, here’s a taste of what’s in store for Parker’s Mainstreet!
Character, Culture, and Community: What’s Up Next for Parker’s Mainstreet
If you’re a Parker resident, chances are you’ve spent a lot of time on Mainstreet. It has the PACE center, the flower market, the general store, O’Brien Park, Mainstreet Marketplace, the farmers market, community events, and a whole host of cafes and eateries like Fika Coffee House, India’s Kitchen, Nomelie Cupcakes, English Tealeaves, and much, much more. Mainstreet is the center of social and cultural life here in Parker, and the Parker Comprehensive Planning Division has come out with a long-term plan to continue to improve and grow this important community space.
The committee hopes to integrate the West End and Old Town to create one large and comprehensive downtown. They hope to create a more vibrant space that focuses on local businesses and a special arts and entertainment center that will showcase what makes Parker unique and foster creativity and community engagement.
Here are a few of the committee’s overall ideas:
- Build a gateway to Parker’s downtown at the intersection of Parker Road and Mainstreet.
- Open more independent shops with a local flavor and a focus on first-floor retail and eye-catching and colorful display windows.
- Make space for outdoor dining so that residents can enjoy the famous Coloradan sunshine during their meal.
- Plan more full-day events with exciting, family-friendly activities.
- Focus on side streets and how to extend the downtown area from Mainstreet to encompass a bigger space filled with more to do and see.
- Make way for alternative transportation that encourages using walking, biking, and public transit over cars.
- Promote small business owners and boost the local economy by creating jobs and encouraging entrepreneurship.
- Enact building and design guidelines that will set standards for aesthetics.
The West End will focus on walkability and a “hometown feel” that will draw more residents, businesses, and tourists. It will be a modern development that will include office, dining, entertainment, and resident spaces. Unique landscaping, public art, authentic materials, lighting, as well as a potential future Bus Rapid Transit or shuttle will help to revitalize the district.
In contrast, Old Town will maintain its historic atmosphere as well as its creative district, which promotes lifelong learning, the arts, and community events. The plan for this unique sector will retain and build on its historic feel and architecture, possibly with the addition of an interconnected network of roads and more parking that make transportation easier.
The Parker downtown of the future will be less suburb, more city–residents of Parker, you’re in for a treat in the coming years!