Superior Planning Commission gives OK to newest Downtown design

Daily Camera

November 22, 2019

Plans head to Trustees Dec. 9

The most recent plans for Downtown Superior made an appearance at both the Superior Town Board Monday night and Superior Planning Commission Tuesday night, receiving a green light from Planning Commission.

Planning Commissioners voted 6-1, with Commissioner David Harper opposing, to recommend the latest iteration for Trustee-review next month.

The project has been discussed by planning commissioners twice prior to Tuesday night. The Monday review by Trustees was its first before the town board.

The project, by Morgan Holdings, LLC, and Ranch Capital LLC, could include 73,000 square feet of commercial space, 7,500 square feet of civic space, a 1.46-acre pedestrian promenade and downtown plaza, and more than 300 apartment units and 64 rowhomes.

Plans for Downtown Superior, previously called Superior Town Center, date back to October 2012. It allows for up to 1,400 dwelling units, up to 444,600 square feet of commercial/retail space, a total of 373,000 square feet of office space, and up to 500 hotel rooms.

To date, the project has 565 approved residential units within the project area. The town has an application under review which purposes 25 single-family homes.

Both commissioners and Trustees voiced concern over the live/work units.

On Tuesday, developers told commissioners they will build the space out as commercial first, but 21 live/work units could potentially evolve in Downtown.

“We’re going to start with building these out as just commercial, no live/work,” said Bill Jenks, vice president of Ranch Capital. “We’re going to try to fill all the space with commercial space. This only comes into play if it’s three years from now and we haven’t found a single retailer to fill the space. Which is not going to happen.”

Planning Chair Bob McCool said while he imagined Downtown Superior looking slightly different than the plan they were presented, he feels that if the developers can turn the space into commercial they will.

“From day one, I had a bigger vision (for Downtown Superior),” McCool said. “More retail, lots more vibrancy for this development from when we started talking about this 20 years ago. I don’t know if the market is there. I feel like this buildout, if the market is there, supports that. I think there’s a lot we can do with this.”

Jenks told both commissioners and Trustees that the live/work units are a contingency plan due to the uncertainty of the retail market.

On Monday, Superior Mayor Clint Folsom said he was “intrigued” by the spaces.

Harper said he felt like the space was going to have too much density.

“We would like to move the town away from being a bedroom community, that’s essentially what it is,” Harper said. “However, the flex space on the land use plan has so far been dedicated to more bedrooms.”

He said he has concerns that the next portion of Downtown Superior, which has not come before the commissioners, will be more residential units.

“These are the core blocks of the new downtown,” he said. “I think it would be sensible to consider the overall area.”

Superior Town Board did not vote on the project Monday night. It will return to that body Dec. 9.