Mixed Use Still The Trend For Downtown Boulder Real Estate

Downtown Boulder real estate development has seen an essentially positive trend in most people’s eyes, as the core area that expands outwards from the Pearl Street Mall continues to see redevelopment. The primary emphasis has been on mixed-use projects. It’s exciting to see more Boulder condos planned for downtown.

This is a trend that seemed to me to be sorely lacking many years ago. I remember spending time on the Pearl Street Mall in the 1970’s and 1980’s wondering why there weren’t more residential opportunities above the many retail businesses downtown.

I had just spent some time in Aspen, CO where they had made an admirable attempt at emulating Boulder’s Pearl Street pedestrian mall on Cooper and Hyman Ave. There were a number of mixed use buildings up there in and around the core downtown Aspen area, but I found few in Boulder.

The direction that Boulder has taken seems to be working, and given that architectural styles and tastes have trended towards “Urban” it’s nice to see that we don’t have just a bunch of loft style corrugated metal structures popping up everywhere. In fact, most of what I see in downtown Boulder has been thoughtfully planned, styled and built.

Recently plans have been submitted for three new projects; two of them near 13th St. and Walnut and the other at 915 Pearl St. The 9th and Pearl location is the current home of Marisol Imports and just across the street from Doug Emerson’s University Bike shop.

At 13th and Walnut, it looks like Bill Reynolds and Jerry Lee have proposed to replace the current brick building and parking lot with a 55,000+ sq foot, 55′ tall building. While there’s been many thoughts that the Colorado Building would be part of a redevelopment project soon, the current scope of the new work proposed does not include this building according to city planners. The buildings that are home to Brewing Market, Tibet Gallery and Conor O’Neill’s are not included in current plans either.

The Marisol location at 9th & Pearl is targeted to be a 3 story building with thoughts to be called “The Eldridge Building”. It’s currently owned by Betty Eldridge, the widow of the late Tom Eldridge of Tom’s Tavern fame.

This building includes plans for some ‘green’ features, similar to other downtown Boulder condo projects such as what developers Deneuve Construction Services, are calling a ‘green roof’. The idea is that the roof will be designed to manage storm-water and will include solar panels.

The constantly changing terrain in downtown Boulder doesn’t seemed to haveĀ  lost any momentum for now. That seems to be due in part to simple supply and demand. As people continue to find Boulder a desirable place to live and work, the developers will continue to build. Fortunately the focus on high quality style, design and functionality is bringing us some really wonderful choices for buyers and tenants.


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