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Midtown Commercial Corridor Study: Final Report and Action Items

With a final report in hand, City staff is taking a close look at a study that outlines recommendations to encourage redevelopment in the Midtown Commercial Corridor.

For nearly a decade, the center of Fort Collins, along College Avenue, between Prospect and Harmony, has ebbed and flowed in retail success and failure. The Study represents the beginning of a forward-looking conversation about the future of Midtown: one that is grounded in real estate economics and addresses community aspirations.

One of the obvious findings is that the area is ripe for redevelopment and rejuvenation. Despite some of the challenges in the area, the corridor has retail staying power and

potential to become a thriving mixed-use district with its own unique character.

In addition to identifying this long-term vision, the Study also provides examples of the types of catalyst projects that can help guide the way and specific suggestions to move forward, including:

  • Evaluate existing zoning and building codes.
  • Removing barriers to incremental investments could include the reuse or remodel of existing buildings that fit with the recommended concepts.
  • Identify and design improvements along College Avenue.
  • A functional, safe and identifiable boulevard for pedestrians, cars and bicycles includes enhanced landscaped medians, improvements to the frontage road, and design features that create character and sense of place.
  • Formalize a partnership with the Foothills Mall owner, General Growth Properties.

The Foothills Mall location continues to be the perfect spot for department stores with its plentiful parking, expansive space and central location. A public-private partnership between the City and Mall owner/developer would help move redevelopment of that area forward. The two entities must also solicit the interest of potential department stores and other anchor tenants in Mall redevelopment plans.

The redevelopment process will be incremental and occur over an extended period of time. City staff will first work to update City codes, public infrastructure, and pedestrian and bicycle access to generate developer interest in properties along the corridor.

The vision and goals are ambitious, but they could result in a comprehensive transformation of Midtown. It will depend on cooperation and partnerships between property owners, developers and City policies.

Stakeholders and residents have contributed to the Study, but as time goes by, more input and additional partners are needed to ensure that the community’s aspirations for Midtown are met. Find more fast facts and the final report at fcgov.com/midtown.

The City and General Growth Properties, owner of the Foothills Mall, are meeting this week to discuss details of a future public private partnership. We’ll keep you up to date on any developments.