Glenwood council to review redevelopment site proposals
A series of Glenwood Springs City Council work sessions today will provide a look into the future of downtown Glenwood Springs on either side of the new Grand Avenue Bridge.
Earlier this year, the city sent out a request for proposals to develop two recently acquired properties, including the former north bridge landing and a small “alley lot” on the south side of the bridge.
The alley parcel is located in the 700 block of Grand Avenue adjacent to where a walkway beneath the new bridge will connect the alleys on both sides of Grand. It was acquired by the Downtown Development Authority recently as a prime redevelopment site, after previous plans to develop the parcel with a new commercial building didn’t pan out.
Just one proposal was received by the city for that site from Riviera Supper Club owner Jonathan Gorst. It would create a “community outdoor space with a stage,” according to a city and DDA staff report before council for today’s 4:45 p.m. work session.
A much bigger future project involves the so-called “north landing site,” where the old Grand Avenue Bridge used to land, and which became city property as part of the new bridge construction.
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Glenwood’s Sixth Street Master Plan has envisioned that area as a public park or plaza of some sort, possibly with some type of commercial development. However, the city decided to put it out to private developers or other entities for some ideas.
Three proposals for the site were received by the late February deadline.
One, also submitted by Gorst, would involve outdoor seating, concessions, restroom facilities and an outdoor amphitheater for up to 250 people.
Another, submitted by a team of designers working with the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, would entail a privately developed, “multi-functional, outdoor destination space,” according to the staff report. It includes both a short- and long-term vision for the site.
A third proposal, submitted by a team of architects including David Brown and Doug Pratte, would create a public plaza, opera house, museum, farmers market, roof top restaurant, residential and office on the upper levels, and some underground parking, according to staff’s outline of the proposals.
“During the pre-proposal process, it became evident that existing parking requirements are a significant deterrent to optimum development on the north downtown landing site,” staff also noted.
Council members are being asked to evaluate the various proposals ahead of this evening’s City Council and DDA board work session.
Council could also reject the proposals and start over, or hold out until new parking requirements are in place as part of the city’s new development code rewrite, which is also still underway.
Also before council in separate work sessions today are preliminary plans to provide temporary public restroom facilities downtown this summer, and some temporary improvements along Sixth Street.
According to Assistant City Manager Jenn Ooton, the city received a proposal from Mountain Waste and Recycling for placement and service of a temporary restroom trailer to be placed at a convenient location somewhere in the downtown core.
In February, several downtown business owners expressed concern that a permanent bathroom is not part of the 2018 construction plan for Seventh Street.
The city is looking at an 18-month agreement for the restroom trailer and regular servicing for $2,500 per month. However, it could take 12 weeks for the unit to arrive.
DDA Executive Director Leslie Bethel and City Engineer Terri Partch are also scheduled to present plans for some interim improvements on Sixth Street between Laurel and Pine, which has been in a perpetual state of post-construction since the new bridge opened last November.
“The goal is to provide modest improvements to assist businesses in this block for the interim period prior to private redevelopment and more permanent improvements,” according to their staff report.
Tentative plans include festival lighting, a new alignment for vehicle travel lanes, bike paths and parking, and possibly some banners.
“The intent is to use this as a pilot project for future improvements,” according to the report.
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Aspen Glen residents and other speakers at a public hearing lobbied the Garfield County commissioners to keep a protective buffer in place on about 25 acres of the golf club to protect wildlife. No decision was reached.