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Carefree Village Center discussed at community workshop

Staff Report~ 10/29/2014

CAREFREE – The Carefree Village Center is going to be getting some updates. The community is being asked to give input on the revitalization of the Center and what development they would like to see join the shops, businesses, and restaurants currently located there. The borders of the roughly triangular town center are Tom Darlington Drive and Cave Creek and Bloody Basin Roads (pictured in the aerial map).

“You all are the experts,” Kevin Kugler, Director of Planning for one of the firms studying the area, said to an assembled group at a Carefree Village Master Plan workshop on Oct. 22.

The bistro-style community workshop took place at the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion in the heart of Carefree. Attendees moved from table to table in 15-minute increments, focusing on individual aspects of the project at each setting. A PowerPoint highlighting aspects of the project was shown and printed and handed out. Results of a survey regarding the Center were discussed and analyzed.

Kugler referred to the planning as a “multi-faceted process,” noting that the area takes in about 40 acres and 176 businesses. Kugler noted that the plan is to “help attract customers and additional businesses” to the Carefree Village Center.

“Investment begets investment,” Kugler added.

Survey results indicated that more restaurants would be a welcome addition to the Center. Currently, tax records indicate that Carefree residents frequently leave the town when they go out to eat. Part of the Master Plan’s aim is to reduce the “trade leakage” in Carefree, meaning that more residents would utilize businesses in the town instead of heading elsewhere for their shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Kugler noted that the preliminary survey findings indicated that the Center is “only capturing a portion of what it could.” He also noted that Carefree’s current development has the town “well ahead of the curve.”

The next community meeting about the Carefree Village Center is tentatively planned for this December. Further meeting dates will be published when they are finalized.