Downtown Catalyst Project
The Downtown Catalyst Project was vital to our successful pitch in Denver, the final phase of the America’s Best Communities competition. Upon receiving funding the Partnership for Economic Development put out an RFP to architects that specialize in creating diverse platforms for community spaces. After reviewing proposals, we hired Peter Koliopoulos from Circle West Architects. In the fall of 2017 we began to work on the first conceptual design creating a dense space for both public and private use. This initial concept was incredibly ambitious in our rural space and hence had to be scaled back. After spending a year meeting with private investors to drive retail and entertainment, civic leaders working on the public opportunities within the space, and reviewing parking needs and utility limitations, it was determined that a scaled down version was more desirable.
In the latest iteration, the new conceptual plans offer a more people-driven flex space for community events to drive both residents and visitors to the downtown space, creating a true catalyst. (See attached renderings) The new concept is about 18,000 square feet of restaurant, retail, and community-driven flex space, and offers a 15x25 ft. 4k TV screen that would show everything from sports to movies, and bring the community together for outdoor yoga, ceremonies, and all of our current community events we have operating in the space. In the night rendering, which depicts a “movies in the park” event, you can start to get an idea of how the building and lit bridge works to create a people friendly celebratory space both during the day and at night, awakening the downtown and creating a new “nighttime economy.”
The dedicated funding for this project, from the ABC contest, is $1million. The PED leadership has taken on this project and continues to invest our own funds to drive the initial planning in order to keep as much of the $1million available for the construction of the project. In the current iteration, total expected cost would be around $7-$8million. In a project that is so vital to the future of our downtown, the main focus currently rests with connecting the right partners for long term success.