Kaleidoscope Park aims to bring an innovative and inclusive green space to Frisco
By PIA Admin
Our team is always on the lookout for interesting stories that spotlight innovative happenings around our great State of Texas. This week we are sharing a story recently featured in Community Impact News.
A new community park slated to open in 2023 aims to bring an innovative and inclusive green space to Frisco.
Communities Foundation of Texas, a Dallas-based charity with a county office in Frisco, announced a new name and park foundation in September for Kaleidoscope Park, a 5.7-acre green space located near the intersection of the Dallas North Tollway and Warren Parkway at the Hall Park development in Frisco. Construction on Kaleidoscope Park started in fall 2021 as part of a $7 billion plan to redevelop Hall Park, Frisco’s first office park, over the next 20 years.
Kaleidoscope Park will feature free year-round public programming, including weekly films, concerts, fitness and well-being activities, and performances, according to a Communities Foundation news release. Its design includes amenities, such as a performance pavilion, a children’s play area, a dog park, gardens, water features and public art.
Construction officially started Sept. 6, said Scott Stewart, executive director of the Kaleidoscope Park Foundation. Crews are completing excavation, installing basic utilities and pouring some foundations in preparation for the next phase, which is planned to start in December, he said.
Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney said he was most excited about the public programming, which would offer a variety of experiences every day for both the average passerby and the Hall Park employee. Guests can go see live music one day and bring their children to play in the children’s play area the next day, he said. He compared it to the programming hosted at Klyde Warren Park in Dallas.
“These types of developments will continue to be the future of Frisco,” Cheney said. “This is going to become the new normal for park development in Frisco.”
The Kaleidoscope Park Foundation, a nonprofit partner of Communities Foundation of Texas, will oversee the park’s construction, programming, operations and maintenance.
The foundation’s board of directors includes Frisco City Manager Wes Pierson as well as Hall Group representatives; Florence Shapiro, former Texas senator and Plano resident; and others, according to the news release.
Partners with a plan
Kaleidoscope Park is the result of a public-private partnership between the city of Frisco and Hall Group, according to a Communities Foundation of Texas news release.
Hall Group broke ground on the $7 billion redevelopment project in 2021. The first phase is estimated to cost $500 million and will encompass about 1 million square feet of space. The community park was included with plans for the first phase of construction along with an office tower, a 154-room hotel and a 19-story luxury residential tower. All these components are slated to open in 2023.
Frisco City Council members amended the city’s master plan agreement with Hall Group in February to include terms and conditions for the planned park, according to council documents.
The new agreement stipulated Hall Group to donate about 5 acres to Communities Foundation of Texas, which will then oversee construction before donating the land to Frisco after construction is completed. The agreement specifically compared its vision for the park to Klyde Warren Park, a “highly programmed” park located in Dallas.
A total of $30 million is being invested into the project, split evenly between the city and Hall Group, according to the master-plan document. The city’s $15 million is accounted for in its capital projects funds budget.
The Kaleidoscope Park project fits with Frisco City Council’s vision for the city, Cheney said. “We really view our commercial developments as an extension of our parks and [recreation] system,” he said.
He referenced an ordinance passed in 2017 that required nonresidential developments to dedicate more acreage to open green space. The ordinance also increased the minimum number of required amenities from five to eight.
“It’s actually led to more creative developments,” Cheney said.
Stewart had previously worked at Millenium Park in Chicago for nearly 10 years. He played a role in maintaining a public space built on a foundation of arts and culture, free and open programming, and equitable representation in that programming, he said.
Stewart said he is focused on park construction, funding and envisioning how the park will operate once it is opened. The park’s operations budget, which funds things such as maintenance, programming and park enhancements, will be funded by private donors, Stewart said.
The foundation will offer naming rights to private donors for park features, such as the children’s play area and dog park, he said. In addition to the naming rights, corporations will have opportunities to be involved by sponsoring or partnering with park programs.
“Kaleidoscope Park will thoughtfully engage the diverse and rapidly growing communities across North Texas,” Stewart said. Once the park opens, it will feature a “regular cadence” of programming, Stewart said. Foundation staff are working on specific schedules, but the big picture involves highlighting specific events on specific nights.
“We’ll have a regular weekly series of events so that Monday nights, maybe those become local music night,” he said. “Wednesday nights, maybe that becomes film night.”
Future of workspaces
As the world moves past COVID-19, Cheney said he believes more cities will move toward adding more open space to nonresidential developments. Open space is now in demand for office and retail users, he said.
“Companies more now than ever are looking at how their employees are taken care of when they’re making relocation decisions,” he said. “By having Kaleidoscope Park, it’s really going to answer a lot of those types of things.”The project signifies Frisco leaning into the future of workspace, said Gloria Salinas, vice president of the Frisco Economic Development Corp.
Outdoor amenities are not only attractive to companies when looking for new office space, they are also attractive to the talent working in those companies, Salinas said. Green spaces provide opportunities for creativity while offering a chance to network outdoors.
“I think the worker today and the workforce today, the younger generations, really appreciate the [walkability], the amenities, the green space,” she said. “There’s a component of talent that’s really driving wellness at work.”Craig Hall, founder and chair of Hall Group, opened Hall Park in 1998, and Hall Group has been a longtime partner with the city.
Public-private partnerships with businesses and companies, such as Hall Group, the Professional Golfers’ Association of America, Blue Star Frisco and FC Dallas, have laid a foundation for success in Frisco, Salinas said. “All of these truly innovative developments are public-private partnerships,” Salinas said. “We really lean into designing and building a community with the developer that has not only the resident, but the workforce in mind.”
City leaders say the park will create a new “experiential” green space that will serve as an engaging and inclusive gathering place for the Frisco community.
“[Residents are] going to be wowed by the fact that it’s going to have kind of this new generation of park concepts, which is an accumulation of different [experiences],” Cheney said.