Carbondale development pitched for west Main Street |

Carbondale development pitched for west Main Street

Ryan Summerlin
Conceptual plans for a possible development on west Main in Carbondale envision a mix of residential and commercial buildings in a 5.3-acre section just south of the proposed City Market.

A vision of a new development just south of the proposed City Market in Carbondale is being put to residents for feedback.

This project, sitting on a 5.3-acre lot on west Main Street, is in the beginning of its design process. A Tuesday open house was the first time the developer has invited the public to take a look. The developer has envisioned a complex of apartments, mixed-use buildings and open space for the property, which would be bordered by the new City Market to the north, Main Street to the south, an extended Hendrick Drive to the east and a newly constructed Shorty Pabst Way on the west.

However, these plans are still conceptual, said Bob Schultz, a planner on this project.

Initial drawings show three apartment buildings on the north side of the lot, serving as a buffer between the new City Market and the development’s large, central open space. “Pocket parks” and playgrounds are also planned. A set of three-story townhouses would face Main Street at the southwest corner.

Straddling the intersection at Main Street and what would be a newly extended Hendrick Drive would be a pair of two-story “flex buildings.” One of those could be used with a state program that supports live/work space for creative professionals.

Schultz said the developer hopes to work with Colorado Creative Industries — which last year designated Carbondale an official Colorado Creative District — on its Space to Create program.

Planners wanted to anchor the Hendrick Drive and Main Street intersection with mixed use buildings, so why not plan for a Space to Create building there, he said.

Those buildings are also envisioned as potentially housing both commercial and residential space. A final two-story building on the west side of Hendrick Drive is drawn up to offer commercial space.

The section on west Main Street is planned as an extension of the existing design of Carbondale’s Main Street, said Schultz.

Transportation and parking are also big concerns, with parking spaces drawn in among the buildings and along Hendrick Drive and Shorty Pabst Way.

“Parking rules the world,” as Schultz put it. “The project has to meet parking needs, though we try to meet people’s needs first,” he said.

Per the town’s code, the developer will be required to make at least 20 percent of the residential units deed-restricted. And recent changes to the town’s affordable housing requirement will allow rentals to be counted toward that affordable-housing requirement.

Some of the public comments the planners heard were requests for the residential units to be pet friendly, for affordable housing in the $1,400 to $1,500 range, and support for Space to Create. Others were concerned about losing potential space for commercial developments on Main Street.

This is on one lot of an overall 23-acre property, whereas a new, and often delayed, City Market has been proposed directly to the north.

The grocery store project — highly anticipated by the town council as City Market is already Carbondale’s biggest tax revenue driver — has received five extensions over the last year to record the final plat. Construction cannot begin and the deal isn’t final until that step is taken.

However, Schultz said this project is not dependent upon the City Market proposal coming through, unlike a nearby First Bank proposal, which is contingent upon City Market purchasing this land and moving on the project.

The open house aimed to gauge the public’s interest in this project, “to see if we’re fishing in the right pond,” said Schultz. The developer will have lots of options on how to proceed with this project once comments from the open house are collected, so he wasn’t sure how soon a proposal might be brought to the town government.

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