New trails, a pavilion and a community park are among the priority projects for the Allen Community Development Corporation (CDC) in 2017. Allen CDC President George Chrisman previewed the projects during the city council meeting on Jan. 24.
The largest is Watters Branch Community Park. Located at the corner of Bray Central and Ridgeview Drive, this 75-acre park will feature four, lighted softball fields with artificial turf; restroom and concession facilities; a large playground and a nature trail. Allen CDC is contributing $3.6 million toward the $7.8 million construction budget. Work is slated to begin in March; the fields are expected to be ready for play by spring 2018.
Allen CDC will also fund 3.8 miles of new trails, including a .16 segment that will connect the new Watters Branch Community Park to the popular shopping and dining destination Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm.
The organization also plans to fund a pavilion at the recently-updated Allen Heritage Village. Two historic homes at the village were restored in 2016 with funding from Allen CDC.
These projects are the latest in a long run of community enhancements. In 2016, Allen CDC contributed to the construction of Orchards Neighborhood Park, the Cottonwood Creek Trail and bridge, and the historic Water Station Trail loop. The trail offers visitors a look at the founding of Allen and its legacy as a railroad town.
“It’s where it all started,” said Chrisman.
Allen CDC also helped fund the reconstruction of Ford Pool, which will open to the public on Memorial Day Weekend.
The Allen Community Development Corporation was approved in 1986. It receives funding from a half-cent sales tax on goods purchased in Allen. Since its inception, the organization has received $90 million to invest in community enhancements such as parks, trails and other community facilities.