Downtown Urban Design Project

Project Background

The City of Sun Prairie is excited to be partnering  with Saiki Design and MSA as they embark on an exciting journey to enhance the downtown landscape. This innovative collaboration will play a pivotal role in the creation of dynamic design plans for three distinct public spaces within the heart of the city.

The project's scope encompasses a trio of public spaces, each tailored to a unique level of detail and design development. This tailored approach ensures that every space resonates harmoniously with its surroundings, contributing to a cohesive downtown ambiance.

The project's overarching goal is to cultivate captivating, inviting, and timeless public spaces that seamlessly intertwine form and function. Embracing a multi-faceted vision, the revitalized spaces are set to be hubs of activity, catering to a spectrum of community needs and aspirations. This ambitious endeavor is underpinned by input from stakeholders, fostering a collaborative approach that creates a genuine sense of ownership within the community.

You can read below about the each section that will be impacted by this design project.

Do you want to include your input? Dive into the Future of Downtown Sun Prairie!

We need YOUR input to shape the downtown of your dreams! Back in 2019, we kicked off the Sun Prairie Stronger Plan, starting a community conversation about the heart of our city. The Bristol and Main intersection was just the beginning- we're taking brighter steps for our downtown's future! Our online survey is a direct way to share your initial thoughts on the dazzling improvements coming.

Please take the survey between August 16th and September 4th. Click here to access it!

Cannery Square Plaza Re-Visioning and Background

Cannery Square Plaza emerged in 2003 as a cornerstone of the extensive Cannery Square redevelopment project. Over the years, it has thrived as a nucleus and social haven at the heart of downtown, serving as host to a multitude of annual community gatherings and celebratory events. However, the passage of time has taken a toll on its physical components. The fountain, pavers, and planters are now showing signs of wear, necessitating heightened maintenance, while the electrical system is partially inactive.

Upon engaging with stakeholders to revitalize the plaza, the City has recognized the necessity for a comprehensive reimagining. Feedback highlighted concerns regarding the space's suitability for larger events, utility availability, and its alignment with desired activities. A fresh concept plan has become imperative, one that captures the refined vision of stakeholders for the plaza's future. This vision encompasses seamless integration with the broader downtown landscape. From this innovative concept, we will craft detailed design development plans, laying the groundwork for bid-ready specifications. Additionally, an initial cost estimation for executing the proposed plan will be presented.

In 2019, we launched the Sun Prairie Stronger Plan—a dynamic discourse that centered around our city's core. Our journey commenced at the intersection of Bristol and Main, but this was just the beginning of our downtown's transformation. 

Today, we are partnering with Saiki Design and MSA to take major steps of progress. Together, we're conjuring awe-inspiring visions for not only Cannery Square but also Main Street and its adjoining avenues. Our collaborative efforts are forging a vibrant path toward a revitalized and invigorated downtown.

Main Street Pedestrian Safety Improvements – 100 and 200 Block of Main Street 

In 2022, Community Development and Engineering staff worked with business owners, property owners, the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID), and other stakeholders to develop several options for addressing pedestrian safety issues along this two-block stretch of Main Street. Consensus coalesced around a concept plan that would alter the travel and parking lanes of Main Street in such a manner that a significant expansion of the sidewalk on the south side of the 200 block of E. Main Street would occur, as well as bump-outs at key intersections. Such changes would result in a significant amount of new ‘flex space’ that could accommodate amenities and uses such as outdoor seating areas, landscaping/planters, outdoor dining areas, outdoor sales, public art, and space for occasional special events and/or small festivals, among other options.

As a result of the positive response from stakeholders, funding for construction in 2025 was included in the City’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). In order to facilitate such a project, the existing concept plan needs to be developed so that detailed plans and specifications can be prepared for public bidding. The scope of this project involves exploring stakeholder desires regarding the use, appearance, and function of these new pedestrian spaces, and preparing design-development level plans that can be used to prepare plans and specification for bidding. A particular challenge is dealing with grades along the public sidewalk on the west side of King Street that will require careful attention.

Festival Street (W. Lane Street) Design Development

The Sun Prairie Stronger Plan, adopted in 2019, includes a concept plan for the conversion of Lane Street, west of S. Bristol Street, into a ‘festival street’. The festival street is envisioned as a shared-use street that prioritizes pedestrians and bicycles over automobiles, and that connects downtown Sun Prairie to the new Sun Prairie School District Bank of Sun Prairie Stadium to the west. The festival street is intended to be closed to vehicle traffic when desired for events and festivals. It is also along an identified route for a future bicycle connection through the downtown.

Although the Sun Prairie Stronger Plan contains a rendering showing an intended look and feel for the street, it does not include any details regarding surface materials, street furniture, landscaping components, or how specifically to implement the shared street concept within the right of way available along this corridor. In addition to a recommended plan addressing these items, a preliminary cost estimate for the implementation of the recommended alternative shall be provided, as well as preliminary recommendations for extending streetscape components of the festival street farther east along the existing Lane Street corridor.