Local Parker Business Leaders on My Mainstreet Project

O'Brien Park Gazebo in Downtown Parker

Today we continue with part two of Parker is My Town podcast with three local Parker, Colorado business leaders (see Why Parker? Three Local Business Leaders Share Their Stories) to get their thoughts on the My Mainstreet Project. With how important this project is for Parker, gaining insight into how this development is viewed by local leaders is paramount to success.

Local Parker, Colorado Business Owners

Josh Rivero on My Mainstreet Project

Josh Rivero is the owner of Fika Coffee House and is long-time Parker Town Council member. While his belief in the project started before he founded his local business, the dream of a more integrated and thriving Downtown Parker began decades ago with the Downtown Development Council and was started by the local land owners.
As a local business owner, he is excited by the development and what that means for Parker. Currently as the only coffee shop in downtown, he benefits from a monopoly but understands that as the project culminates that competition will come. While competition will breed better business and growth, he is focused on how the project will benefit Parker as a whole and that Parker takes care of its own. Downtown Parker businesses work together with a community mentality, rather different from just a bunch of businesses in a branded strip mall.
Where the sum can be greater than its parts, Parker is striving to be the destination and excite its citizens and greater community to shop and be local.
My Mainstreet Project is about Parker and what’s best for the people, close to home, and their downtown.

Dawn Danner on My Mainstreet Project

Being a new business on Mainstreet, Dawn Danner, the owner of The Nest Salon and Boutique, had the unique opportunity to talk with the community about the My Mainstreet Project where people didn’t see her as having a stance on the project. Much of the community wants to keep Parker a small town and Dawn believes that no one wants to lose that feature.
Just spending a few minutes on Mainstreet, one can understand how magical it is. When opening up The Nest, Dawn experienced the generosity and willingness to help that the other business owners maintain for one another. Parker is a big little town, and no one is going to let that magic go. While there will be bumps along the way and growing pains, My Mainstreet Project is going to make things more magical.

Susan Bertocchi on My Mainstreet Project

As the owner of Kilwins Parker, Susan knows that competition is coming. To maintain the culture of the business owners in Downtown Parker, Susan is ready to welcome them because that is the type of people we are in Parker. Even before fully opening Kilwins Parker, Susan felt very welcomed and was asked to join the Downtown Business Alliance. That camaraderie is something she is ready to share.
Susan doesn’t see challenges in filling the new open spaces and opportunities that the My Mainstreet Project presents with more small businesses. This project provides the chance for owners to make that dream happen of opening their business on Mainstreet in Downtown Parker.
While construction will be challenging, Susan hopes to welcome more people to the community of business owners in Downtown Parker.

Anne Barrington’s Final Thoughts

Anne is very excited about the project and the opportunities it presents. Since Downtown Parker has zero vacancies, the development provides the opportunity to achieve business ownership on Mainstreet in Parker.
You can find my weekly Parker is My Town episodes on my YouTube Channel or on my real estate blog.

Why Parker? Three Local Business Leaders Share Their Stories

Gazebo at O'Brien Park in Parker, Colorado
Three local business owners in Parker, Colorado gather with Anne Barrington of Barrington Group Real Estate and Town Council Member. Let’s hear why they chose Parker, Colorado as the place to live, raise families, and open local businesses.

Local Parker, Colorado Business Owners

Susan Bertocchi - Kilwins Parker

Now long-term Parker resident having relocated from Queens, New York with her husband Mike, Susan started in the medical industry and now owns and operates her third small business.
Kilwins’ Parker is located just across the street from the O’Brien Park gazebo in Downtown Parker after waiting for three years for the perfect spot.
Promising to serve you with love, Kilwins provides the very best confections and ice cream. Featuring an open kitchen, you get to see the variety of chocolate, corns, brittles, and caramel treats that are made fresh daily.

Dawn Danner of Nest Salon and Boutique

Having lived in and loved Parker since 2006, Dawn coveted the spot where she founded Nest Salon and Boutique on Mainstreet in Downtown Parker.
Dawn has been in nail tech industry for over 25 years and enjoys employing her snarky sense of humor when curating the boutique products that walk that fine line between appropriate and “did she just really say that?”
As a store for people with personality, Dawn found refuge in humor and her business when processing grief in the loss of a loved one. Everyone needs to laugh in life and find joy in the little things.

Josh Rivero of Fika Coffee House

Long-time Parker resident, Josh came to the coffee industry by way of the restaurant and bar business. Having returned to Parker from Stockholm, Sweden where is wife Anna is from, they looked to start a family and local business.
Fika Coffee House opened in 2008 and is located on Mainstreet in the heart of Downtown Parker, which brings the Swedish custom of “fika” to the Centennial State. Fika is a Swedish verb that loosely translates “to meet over coffee.”
Josh is a proud Parker Town Council Member and has served the community in this capacity since 2012.
You can find my weekly Parker is My Town episodes on my YouTube Channel or on my real estate blog.

My Mainstreet Project in Parker, Colorado

Mainstreet, Downtown Parker, Colorado
You thought the town of Parker was already amazing? Well, you were right, but listen to this, we are finally moving forward with what’s known as the My Mainstreet Project!

My Mainstreet Project Approved

On November 7th, the Parker Town Council, along with The P3 Board approved a $275 million dollar development. The agreement is with confluence companies. This is a public/private investment, and it is the largest economic development in Downtown Parker’s history.

Project History

Let’s back up a bit. Did you know that Parker has what’s called an Urban Renewal Agency? Well, we do! It’s called Partnering for Parker’s Progress, which is kind of a mouthful, so we call it P3 instead. P3 is an organization that works to enhance Parker and we do it through collaboration and investment in the community. It brings together developers, residents, and local government to encourage projects that improve the community.
There are six publicly owned land parcels in the downtown area, and they’ve been sitting vacant for what seems like forever, and this is for several different reasons. Not all progress is popular with some residents and there was some controversy about keeping these sites vacant or developing some of them as parks or open space.
P3 and the Town of Parker originally purchased these sites for future commercial development as they were hoping to eliminate what we call “blight” and accelerate re-development of the underutilized and vacant parcels in the core of Downtown Parker. The hope was also to promote development that would expand Downtown Parker and would continue “the right growth” as a vibrant and active downtown, for years to come.

Project Research and Working Together – Parker’s Near Future

Very specific research was conducted because these lots are so special and critical to the future of Parker. This is why it’s such a big deal for our town! It’s been in the works for decades.
The Town of Parker and P3 will be working closely with confluence companies to create a new future for Downtown Parker. Each My Mainstreet Project parcel will have a unique design that continues Parker’s vision of a more vibrant and walkable downtown. The different designs will promote an energy on Mainstreet with a commitment to making the area a destination, not only for residents, but for people who work here, the surrounding areas, and tourists.
Some of the new amenities we’re hoping for in the coming years are more restaurants, retail and residential options, as well as office space. Do you know, as of today at least, historic Downtown Parker has zero vacancies, so if you want office space on Mainstreet, you may have to wait until this is developed.

My Mainstreet Project Development History

A lot of people think this project was approved overnight. That just isn’t true and here’s a high-level view of a timeline for this project:
  • In June of 2012, Town Council approved a Master Plan for the Town of Parker
  • In 2014, the Master Plan was adopted as a policy document
  • In 2015, the Mainstreet Master Plan was included in the town’s Master Plan
  • In March of 2018, the My Mainstreet Project was initiated
  • In December of 2018, the Master Plan was updated
As you can see, this project has been in the works for years. There’s also been some talk that it all happened behind closed doors, in a vacuum without any public input, well, that isn’t true either. There were in person sessions, community events and online engagement-through Let’s Talk Parker, which lasted for almost a year.
Planning this project didn’t happen overnight, and unfortunately, the continuing development will take some time as the project will be completed in phases. I’ll be sure to keep you up to date on this exciting development as more information is available.

Moving Forward

For details on both the results of your input from the surveys and future plans for the project, please visit P3’s website.
Beginning Tuesday, February 7th, I invite you to tune in for a two-part conversation with three prominent Parker business owners. You can learn more about their businesses and also hear some of their thoughts on My Mainstreet Project.
You can find my weekly Parker is My Town episodes on my YouTube Channel or on my real estate blog.
I’ll look forward to seeing you next week on Parker is My Town!