HKGi led the community through the schematic design process to create a streetscape and public space improvement plan for Chaska’s downtown core. The design process established a materials palette that is being used on ongoing streetscape improvements throughout downtown Chaska. A parking analysis was also conducted as an important part of this initial design process.
Following the initial schematic design process, HKGi continued to provide design services for the Design Development and Construction Documentation and Administration phases of the project. Streetscape reconstruction has been completed for east-west streets in the historic core and for Pine and Walnut Streets, which run north-south.
HKGi also led the design for streetscape reconstruction at challenging intersections along Chaska Boulevard between Chestnut and Cedar Streets. Reconstruction of Chestnut Street, which is also designated Minnesota Highway 41 and serves as downtown Chaska’s main thoroughfare, is currently underway.
Streetscape plan details pull their inspiration from Chaska’s manufacturing history, including Chaska Brick, which is used throughout downtown’s historical buildings, and iron, which reflects Chaska’s heritage as the original home of Ess Brothers Foundry. Chaska’s history is also reflected in design concepts throughout the streetscape, most notably in a new concept called the Brick City Paseo, which combines gateway markers, mid-block pedestrian connections, and alleyway paseos to link the six-block historic core to City Hall Plaza.
High volumes of traffic along Chestnut prompted creation of the Paseo concept as a way to divert pedestrian traffic from Chestnut to adjacent alleyways. Once implemented, the Paseo concept will encourage businesses to activate alleyways with outdoor seating and lighting, enhanced store entrances from the alleyways, and new public realm amenities such as plazas, benches, and other street furnishings.