9 projects will change Fort Collins’ skyline in 2017 – The Exchange

9 projects will change Fort Collins’ skyline in 2017

Billions of dollars of commercial development will open or break ground in 2017 in Northern Colorado.

Pat Ferrier

Fort Collins’ skyline will change in 2017 as millions of dollars are pumped into new retail projects, restaurants and hotels.

From the Elizabeth Hotel and a handful of long-anticipated eateries in downtown Fort Collins to a transformation of formerly empty space along Harmony Road in the city’s southeastern reaches, 2017 will feature a hectic schedule of grand openings.

Here’s a look at the major commercial projects expected to open or break ground in the coming year.

Downtown Fort Collins

Elizabeth Hotel and Emporium Kitchen & Wine Market: There is likely no more celebrated project in downtown Fort Collins than the new hotel expected to open in the fall. Construction on the $11.5 million parking garage adjacent to the hotel has begun, as developers hope to open the garage a month earlier than the hotel so they can make sure everything is working properly.

For many in the development community, Old Town’s three decades of suffering through a lack of lodging is long enough. The Elizabeth is seen as complementary to the smaller Armstrong Hotel that is is popular with tourists and business travelers.

Despite previous efforts by the city and Downtown Development Authority to lure a hotel developer to Old Town, it took the failure of a Mexican restaurant and the partnership of three well-known regional entities to bring The Elizabeth Hotel to reality.

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Sage Hospitality and its restaurant arm are partnering with McWhinney, Inc., of Loveland and Bohemian Cos. of Fort Collins to build and operate the hotel at 354 Walnut St.The Emporium Kitchen & Wine Market will be the hotel’s cornerstone, a place Sage Restaurant Group co-founder Peter Karpinski told The Coloradoan in October he wants Fort Collins embraces as its own.

It will have several places to stop for coffee, grab an ice cream on a hot summer day or  dinner-to-go after work. It will offer live music, breakfast, lunch and dinner and full wine store.

The restaurant and hotel will open simultaneously, though developers have not narrowed down an opening date beyond fall.

221 E. Mountain Ave.: Property owner MAV Development of Ann Arbor, Michigan, had hoped to have its four-story office building under construction by now.

Jeff Harshe, vice president of leasing and asset management, said the company hopes to continue with the project but is looking at all possibilities. “We haven’t been able to meet our threshold of pre-leasing to kick the thing off in earnest. We have completed all our entitlements and are ready to start going. We just need to meet that leasing threshold first.”

MAVD, which also owns Harmony Technology Park, purchased the former Mountain View Tire site in 2011 with plans to build a four-story, 67,000-square-foot building.

In February, the company got nearly $1 million in financing assistance from the Downtown Development Authority but recently asked for a one-year extension, DDA Executive Director Matt Robenalt said. In general, these types of extensions are granted if construction doesn’t begin within one year of DDA approval, he said.

DINING: Restaurants rush to open by year’s end

If MAVD needs a second extension it would have to return to the DDA board to revisit the project.

MAVD principal Rob Aldrich called the site across from the Elizabeth Hotel “one of the best sites in downtown.”

Aldrich said he hoped the new office building would be set for completion about the same time as the hotel.

200 Block of North College Avenue: The Brinkman project known as The Exchange would turn a city block between Pine and Jefferson streets into a new retail plaza.

Plans show a space roughly the size of Oak Street Plaza, full of grass, trees, several seating areas, an ice cream kiosk and shipping containers turned into restaurants. It would be the first commercial container project in Fort Collins, although similar projects have popped up in Denver’s RiNo and LoHi neighborhoods.

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“The redevelopment presents a unique opportunity to rejuvenate the building facades and business offerings while extending the vibrancy one block farther on North College,” a memo from DDA projects manager Todd Dangerfield said.

Brinkman hopes to turn the area into a common consumption area that would allow visitors to take their drinks from one business to another without violating liquor laws. Brinkman brought the project to the DDA in December for review, with hopes to return in February to ask for financial support.

310 S. College Ave.: CA Ventures is expected to complete Uncommon, a six-story apartment building in the heart of Old Town, on Aug. 17. Featuring 120 apartments ranging from studios to three-bedroom units along with retail space, the building is already 30 percent leased.

Studios and three-bedroom apartments come furnished. Studios are leasing at $1,299; one bedrooms for $1,469; two bedrooms for $1,798; and three bedrooms for $2,457, slightly above Fort Collins’ market rate. Construction on the $12.6 million project has been underway since spring.

359 Linden St.: Ginger and Baker, the soon-to-be dining hub including a coffee and pie shop, small retail store and kitchen is coming along in the former Northern Colorado Feeders Supply.

Restoration and renovation has yielded few surprises as the historic structure is shored up and renovated, owner Ginger Graham said.

“Given the age of the building and its state of disrepair, we are pleased with the progress and the soundness of the old structure,” Graham said in an email to the Coloradoan.

The $10 million project named for Graham and Deb Traylor (the baker) includes cleaning the 105-year-old landmark’s molasses pit, which still held several inches of “old, gooey molasses,” Graham said. “It reminded me of a tar pit … the crew ended up wearing white suits and holding sticky tools and equipment.”

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The good news: The molasses is gone “and not a sticky spot remains.”

The first floor will be opened up to create retail space, grab-and-go food served from a side window, and a teaching kitchen and bakery in the rear. A two-story addition will house two restaurants and provide handicapped accessibility to the historic feed and grain building.

Graham said the building is on track to open late in the third quarter of 2017, barring any weather or construction issues.

210 Jefferson St.: Ryan Houdek and Ty Fulcher are keeping a tight lid on plans for their restaurant at the former Jefferson Street Park.

After a prolonged back-and-forth with the city’s Landmark Preservation Commission over design, the restaurant is expected to break ground this summer. Owners won’t say anything about the concept or name other than it will be something new to Fort Collins.

The project falls in the city’s historic district and new Poudre River District intended to draw Old Town visitors north across Jefferson Street to new businesses popping up along the river.

The DDA reviewed the project in December and is expected to vote on a financing package in February.

Midtown makes its mark

The Square: Square Beverage recently opened at the Midtown shopping center that saw Christy Sports join its retail mix earlier this year. New brewpub The Gilded Goat is expected to open in late January, joining Trader Joe’s, Sierra Trading Post, HobbyTown USA, Brown’s Shoe Fit, The Sleep Store and Little Saigon restaurant at the center just south of Foothills mall.

Realtor Debbie Tamlin is working to secure new anchor tenants before construction starts on the last phase of a multimillion-dollar renovation project.

John Hoxmeier, whose sons Alex and Joe run Square Beverage, and whose other son, Charlie, runs The Gilded Goat, said the redevelopment has created a new vibrancy in Midtown.

“There are an awful lot of restaurants and pubs creating a lot of synergy between the businesses down here,” he said. “So far, so good. It will only get better as The Square fills in.”

Foothills shopping center: The final building at the renovated Foothills is nearing completion, but that doesn’t mean we’ve seen the end of construction.

McWhinney, Inc. is just getting started on 405 apartments on the shopping center’s periphery along Stanford and Swallow Roads. Foothills owner Alberta Development Partner sold the property that it had originally intended to develop to McWhinney last year.

The Loveland-based developer plans to deliver most of the high-end units, known as Cycle Apartments, this summer. The four-story buildings will be a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom units and are expected to have the highest lease rates in the city.

Harmony Road is happening 

After years with little to no activity, Harmony Technology Park is humming. From Harmony Commons being built by Brinkman to a new medical technology office and warehouse, the 100-acre technology park is nearly fully leased.

Harmony Commons includes a coffee shop, fitness center, brewpub, restaurants and hotel on roughly 10 acres. Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Harbinger Coffee and MidiCi Neapolitan Pizza have all submitted building permit applications for the project at the southwest corner of Harmony Road and Lady Moon Drive.

The 107-room hotel operated by Spirit Hospitality won approval from the city planners in December. The four-story hotel will be located along Timberwood Drive, with the main entrance facing north toward Harmony Road.

The city’s planning and zoning board approved a 14,000 square-foot office space and 78,883 square-foot warehouse in the technology park for WilMarc Medical, which manufactures PVC-free tubing and fittings for the medical and restaurant industries.

The park will also be home to Main Street Health and Wellness, Eye Center of Northern Colorado and VistaPoint memory care.

Original article posted here.