In 1993, the citizens of Chanhassen were asked to participate in a planning effort to help determine a vision for growth and development for downtown Chanhassen. The Chanhassen Vision 2002, a focus on the downtown, was the product of that planning exercise and has helped guide development and redevelopment decisions for the district for over the last 25 years. Key initiatives then included creating a compact, walk-able downtown district, leveraging unique aspects such as the Chanhassen Dinner Theater to expand entertainment options, create a central park for the community and better connect the surrounding neighborhoods to downtown. This study relied heavily on community feedback and input throughout the planning process. Improved visibility and access from Highway 5, an enhanced pedestrian network of sidewalks and trails, the desire to increase evening entertainment and dining options, additional housing options, and improved public facilities were key initiatives. The community participation in the study led to significant investments in the downtown including development of the library and central park, multiple new restaurants, entertainment options including the movie theater, significant commercial and office developments, a senior center and the new Carver County License Center.
Fast-forward to today, the City of Chanhassen has completed the Downtown Vision plan. Consultants have conducted a high-level scan of market conditions for the downtown to better understand the future market potential for commercial, residential and office uses.
There have also been meetings with property owners in the downtown district to understand issues and concerns, as well as an open house to gain additional feedback on the future direction for the downtown from residents and business owners. The study provides guiding principles for the downtown and next steps.