Urban Redevelopment

Prescott Sixth Street Redevelopment

The Ecosa Institute students have been asked by a council member of the City of Prescott to create a vibrant new “urban” component in the downtown area of Prescott that will enhance the visitor experience and bring a new economic hub into the core of the city. In broad terms, the client’s vision is:

  1. To create an area near downtown Prescott that will act as a hub for a variety of outdoor activities including biking and hiking, and help develop awareness of the outdoor opportunities available in Prescott.
  2. To enhance Granite creek that bisects the site and explore possibilities for an interface between commercial, housing, retail spaces, and nature.
  3. To create a walkable neighborhood with multi-modal transit throughout.
  4. To explore planning strategies to create a lively area that can complement the downtown and bring additional revenues into the city.
  5. To anchor the development with small retail stores and avoid any “big box” retail in the area.

The client hopes to create an identifiable neighborhood that potentially includes a main street/corridor for mixed uses, including small retail with residential and/or commercial above. The City of Prescott is repositioning its marketing program to emphasize the natural resources in the area, such as walking and biking trails and the natural beauty surrounding the area. This redevelopment project should tie into this aspect of Prescott and make the Granite Creek area the hub for biking and walking to other areas in the trail system.

Site Assessment

6thSt_OverlaysLocated in the heart of Prescott, Arizona, this project is approximately 140 acres in extent. It is bounded by North Montezuma Street on the West, the Yavapai tribal lands on the East and East Merritt Street on the North. The southern boundary is the property line of businesses that are accessed from EZ Street or from North Mount Vernon Street. The Albertsons shopping center and the Springhill suites define the South East corner.

Currently most of this area is industrial and many of these buildings are vacant and the land in the area is not well utilized. The existing infrastucture of roads was to be maintained, however, simple modifications can be made such as median strips, sidewalks and bike lanes.

Granite creek bisects this area and is a highly under utilized resource. There is a great opportunity to enhance this whole redevelopment by expanding and acknowledging the creek as a superb resource for any redevelopment.

Culture, Environment, Economy

Students researched into both the social, economic and natural systems of the area. Students developed an understanding of the whole area, not only its history and the current human impact, but also the climate flows; air, water, vegetation, fauna, people, and traffic in all parts of this area.

6th street-the heart planFor example; what are the environmental impacts to redeveloping an area taking into consideration the building process? What are the ecological benefits from expanded creek areas? What are the ecological cost/benefits of wild restoration versus park restoration? The economic potential of this project is critical to successfully presenting it as a viable possibility.

As our semester is examining regenerative and ecological design, the students needed to have familiarity with the ecology of the area and what the impacts of this development might be to the natural infrastructure of the city. The ability to quantify this as a net plus or minus is critical to ecological thinking.


6th street-eco industrial parkThe final proposal includes plans of:

  • Hotel/Conference Center
  • Retail hub
  • Streetscape renovation – including addition of bioswales and bike lanes
  • A “heart” of the district with modular housing over shops and dining
  • Riparian restoration – a no-build zone with native plantings
  • New bus stops made of repurposed materials
  • A public art walk from downtown leading to 6th street
  • A wellness center and spa
  • Medical center
  • Reviving of granite park with outdoor recreation and childrens play areas
  • Community center / gym
  • Urban food initiative in a dying industrial park
  • Artisan center for local craftsmen
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