Superior residents, mayor await next phase of Downtown Superior

Daily Camera

December 20, 2019

Construction scheduled to begin between March and June

Downtown Superior residents and city officials say they are anxiously awaiting the next phase of the Downtown Superior project.

Developed by Morgan Land Holdings and Ranch Capital, the phase includes five blocks within Downtown Superior with 73,243 square feet of commercial development, 446 residential dwelling units, a parking garage, and 7,564 square-feet of civic space. It was approved unanimously by the Superior Board of Trustees Dec. 9.

Mayor Clint Folsom said he was pleased with the outcome of the recent approval.

“The final development plans we approved were a significant step,” Folsom said.

The project also will bring a downtown plaza and pedestrian promenade which could be used for public congregation, recreation, outdoor commercial activities and more.

The heart of Downtown Superior will be at the plaza, which could have synthetic turf lawn surrounded by seat walls, steps and benches, a stage for small performances and events, a water splash pad, a play area, space for outdoor games, large trees and a space for art exhibits and cultural events.

In total, the Downtown Superior project could house up to 1,400 dwelling units, 444,600 square feet of commercial/retail floor space, 373,000 square feet of office space and 500 hotel rooms.

Currently, 565 residential units have been approved, a 62,000 square-foot medical center has been built, the 165,000 square-foot building that houses the Superior Sports Stable, Impact Sports, Brunnelleschi’s restaurant, Stix coffee shop, Flloyd’s Barbershop, Fairways Gold and offices has been built, the Element Hotel has opened, Tesla is being constructed, and a four-level parking garage has been built.

Multiple attempts to reach Tesla spokespeople have been unsuccessful.

Folsom has been a part of the Downtown Superior process since the beginning. He served on the Planning Commission from 2008-2014 when the plan was in the development process.

“The Downtown Superior development has been one of the biggest developments in Superior,” Folsom said. “It was one of the reasons I wanted to run for mayor and continue the work I had been doing on the Planning Commission, and see it through to its full success.”

He said seeing all the approvals and beginning of construction has been positive.

“Seeing all the housing go up to this point has been exciting,” Folsom said. “The most recent piece brought so many of those pieces together.”

Bill Jenks, vice president of sales for Ranch Capital, has been part of the project since 2016.

“We’re really excited to be moving that key piece of Downtown Superior,” Jenks said. “It’s a real catalyst for the project.”

Jenks said construction on Main Street will begin in the new year.

“(Construction) should occur sometime between March and June,” Jenks said. “The first phase of apartments and retail are expected to be ready by the end of summer 2021, and the final is slated for the second half of 2022.”

He added he’s impressed how the timeline is staying on track.

“Three years ago there was nothing on the site,” Jenks said. “In a scale of a project this size, in three years we have gotten an incredible amount done. I don’t think it could have gone any faster.”

Some residents already are living in Downtown Superior.

Dylan Beeson and his wife Stacy moved to Downtown Superior to be closer to restaurants and retail.

“We moved to Downtown Superior from Boulder two years ago because of the promise for a new, yet authentic, vibrant, walkable, bikeable town,” Beeson said. “We envisioned farmer’s markets, live music, restaurants with rooftop dining looking out at the most impressive views in Boulder County.”

He said Boulder was becoming too congested and too expensive for the family to purchase a home, so moving to Superior seemed like a good plan and a smart investment.

“So far we love it,” Beeson said. “The neighborhood is filling in nicely. We love our neighbors. We have some of the greatest trails right out our door with easy access to Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette and proximity to RTD and (Denver International Airport).”

Beeson said now that the Main Street portion of the project has been approved, he and his wife are looking for “interesting, local and authentic” vendors to fill the commercial spaces.

“My wife and I are actually appealing to local business owners that we love to come out to Downtown Superior,” Beeson said. “We need tacos, Ethiopian, Nepalese, rooftop wine bar, sushi, pan-Asian, boutiques, outdoor stores.”

Another Downtown Superior resident, Dan Bruder, also is looking for a variety of cuisines. Previously, Bruder lived just up the street in Rock Creek but moved downtown to have more of a city lifestyle.

“We lived in Rock Creek for several years,” Bruder said. “We became empty nesters and wanted something smaller.”

He said they like living in Superior but wanted to have the ability to walk into town and have restaurants and have the ability to meet new people.

Folsom said he’s excited about the amenities the project will bring to Superior.

“It will not only be for the residents of Downtown Superior but for the entire town,” Folsom said. “We will have a great community center that will overlook the plaza area, this will create a new place for many great successful community events we’ve had over the years. We can potentially move to the new space and really showcase these events.”

“I just hope that the momentum will keep going so it all gets developed according to plan,” Folsom said. “There’s always outside factors, such as the economy that we cannot control.”

Folsom said in the beginning of the process, he would have liked to see downtown developed a little sooner, but understands that all the residential portions being approved first was necessary.

“The reality of a development this size is you need residential in place and early investors in the project to be there for these retailers,” Folsom said. “It’s unrealistic for restaurants and retailers to be there before people are there.”

Folsom said he would like to see office space built in the last couple blocks near Main Street.

“I would like to see some larger office developments built there,” Folsom said. “Possibly for some companies that have outgrown neighboring towns and want to have their own building right here. It would provide great support to the daytime traffic to our retailers and restaurants.”

Jenks said there likely could be office development, but plans are not confirmed.

There still are a few more approvals before the entire Downtown Superior project is complete. Dates have not been announced when the next project will be before the Superior Board of Trustees.