Jun. 15--Plans to replace a 51-year-old central Boulder hotel with a four-story office and retail building have widened in scope after the owner of a neighboring building, home to Eads News & Smoke and Eldora Mountain Sports, agreed to come on board.
Denver-based Urban Frontier LLC, developer of projects including Preble Creek and Palisade Park in Broomfield, along with local developer Lou DellaCava recently submitted a concept site plan to redevelop the northwest corner of 28th Street and Canyon Boulevard. The plans consist of two, four-story mixed-use buildings totaling 309,500 square feet that would sit on top of two levels of underground parking.
The timing is right for a project of this size, said Steve Moyski, a partner of Urban Frontier, which is under contract to purchase the Golden Buff Lodge and restaurant.
"We think the ground floor retail takes advantage of the development of Twenty Ninth Street" and a heavily trafficked intersection, Moyski said.
From an office space standpoint, the demand is there, he said, noting how some Boulder employers have elected to move their operations down the U.S. 36 corridor to take advantage of newer offices there. Boulder's business community would benefit from having more office space that is "Class A" -- space considered to be of the highest caliber.
"We do think we'll end up with larger tenants who want to take advantage of being in one location," he said.
The intention is to design a space that will accommodate smaller employers as well, he said.
If negotiations and the planning process go smoothly, construction could start in early 2008, with a slated completion in 2009, Moyski said.
DellaCava said he anticipates that date to be a little later.
"I'd say, it's at least a year off that dirt would turn there," he said.
The newly submitted plans come months after Urban Frontier approached the city with the project. At that time, senior planner Brent Bean said the project was larger than the city was comfortable with for the hotel site, and he encouraged the company to work with DellaCava to make his building part of the development.
DellaCava said this week he was never interested in selling, but decided to go along with the project as a co-developer after he was approached by Urban Frontier. DellaCava's portion would account for 40,000 square feet of retail and office in a four-story building whose levels "step back like wedding cake."
The market has improved for office space, said DellaCava, who teamed up with Stephen Tebo to build the Canyon Gate Plaza on the southwest corner of the same intersection in 2002. The retail spaces in that shopping center filled up immediately, he said, but it took more than a year to finally get the office space leased.
"Office demand has stabilized and strengthened some," he said.
DellaCava said he has talked with his two tenants about relocating to a different location for the duration of the project and then come back when construction is complete.
"They're very much the personality of Boulder, and it would be a credit to the neighborhood to have them back in the redeveloped building," he said.
Eldora Ski Resort has worked closely with DellaCava over the fate of its Boulder ski shop, said marketing director Rob Linde. No decisions have been made on whether the shop would return to a new building.
"We have through next spring to make a decision," Linde said.
If the plans were approved, the 94-year-old Eads would move to a temporary location, and then come back, said co-owner Kim Yankee. The new building would be quite fitting for when the business' centennial rolls around, he said.
"I've been in Boulder for 30 years; I've seen lots of changes, mostly for the better," he said. "This is another phase of it."