Plans in the works for vacant 714 Grand lot
A major property owner in the 700 block of Grand Avenue is pushing forward with plans for a new building on the now-vacant lot that most recently housed the Glenwood Shoe Repair shop, hoping to get ahead of the planned Grand Avenue bridge construction.
Architect Raul Gawrys presented conceptual designs to Glenwood Springs City Council Feb. 19 for the planned two-story building on the 2,500-square-foot lot that sits along the south side of the alley running between the Grand Avenue wing street and Cooper.
A formal development application is anticipated this spring, and property owner Cushman King would like to start construction this summer, well ahead of the bridge replacement work that state highway officials expect to start next year.
The building would include a total of 5,500 square feet of space, including a 500-square-foot basement area, and would be laid out to accommodate multiple users, similar to the nearby King Mall, which Cushman also owns, Gawrys said.
The ground floor alone would entail 1,700 square feet of retail or restaurant uses, he said, while the upstairs would have three two-bedroom apartments.
“The building facade will be brick along with ornamental precast,” Gawrys indicated in a letter to City Council explaining the design concept. “Traditional masonry detailing will be incorporated to be compatible with the historical downtown area.”
The developer would also like to make use of the alley on the north side of the property for pedestrian uses and possibly more outdoor dining, similar to the alley on the west side of Grand Avenue next to the new Smoke Modern Barbecue restaurant, he said.
Doing so would likely require working with the Downtown Development Authority on the design, and with the city to install a snowmelt system under the alley and sidewalk area, Gawrys also indicated.
The bridge construction schedule and any disruptions that might affect the building plans would need to be taken into consideration, he said.
“We don’t want to have to do anything twice,” Gawrys said.
Council was generally supportive of King’s plans for the site, and applauded he and Gawrys for taking the leap to redevelop the site despite concerns about the new bridge and its impacts.
Cushman indicated in a 2012 interview with the Post Independent when he announced plans to raze the historic building that used to sit on the site that he looked forward to being part of the downtown revitalization that has been planned with the new bridge in mind.
The former wood-frame building, which was constructed on a cedar foundation in 1886, was believed to be one of the oldest buildings in downtown. King had explored ways to preserve the structure, but ultimately decided to demolish it because it would have been too expensive to restore.
That building had most recently housed the shoe shop and the Kings and Queens Barbering Salon. It originally housed the Mirror Saloon, according to Frontier Historical Society records, and was also occupied through the years by a pool hall, gambling parlor, furniture store, restaurant, bargain shop, liquor store, pet shop and various other retail establishments.
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