Transformation underway at Windsor Mill; Blue Ocean making progress on renovations | MyWindsorNow.com
Emily Wenger
ewenger@mywindsornow.com

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Transformation underway at Windsor Mill; Blue Ocean making progress on renovations

Windsor Town Board members say they are excited for downtown Windsor's future after they got a glimpse of the transformation underway at the Windsor Mill.

"This is just awesome," said Windsor Town Board Member Ken Bennett, as he examined the brick and stone on the outside of the old mill at 301 Main St.

Blue Ocean Director of Real Estate Steve Schroyer showed four board members — Bennett, Myles Baker, Christian Morgan and Paul Rennemeyer — the progress his company has made in restoring the building at the Town Board work session Monday night.

The mill was damaged by a tornado in 2008, and in November 2016 the town board approved an economic incentive package for the development of the structure.

Schroyer said the site plan is "pretty much the same as it was," although the crew has encountered some challenges, like weak bricks on the outside of the building.

"You could take a pen and go over there and poke holes in some spots," he told the board.

New tin siding, Schroyer said, will be added to the outside of the building to bolster the structure. Inside, he pointed out the flooring that had to be replaced.

"We lost about 30 percent of the floor," he said.

As he led the group through the building, up metal stairs put in place by the construction crew — "Hold on to the rail," he warned — he pointed out elements of the old mill that will be left in place, like some wheels that used to help move grain.

Schroyer previously pledged to keep as much of the original structure as possible, even as it is prepared for restaurants, a brewery, offices and a tavern.

The top floor of the building, which Schroyer assured the group would be worth the climb, revealed the views of both mountains and Windsor Lake that will be enjoyed by those who rent the community space. The top floor, Schroyer explained, will be available to be rented for events.

"I'm impressed with the structural changes that they've made so far," Bennett said after he and other board members climbed back down the stairs.

Baker and Bennett said they hope the renovations will increase foot traffic and business participation in the downtown area.

"I'm excited for the opportunities that it's going to present," Baker said.

The project has been slated for a late 2017 opening, and the economic incentives require a certificate of occupancy with five-year leases for least half of the available space by the end of 2018.

After walking back to Town Hall, the board members followed Assistant Town Manager Kelly Unger to the new Windsor Public Works site. The project broke ground in October 2016, and is planned to be completed by October 2017.

The new facility, located west of 15th Street on the north side of town, will dramatically increase the space for the currently cramped Public Works Department.

FCI Constructors Project Manager Tom Boucha said all seven new structures are "in the air."

"We've made some good leaps," he said.

Progress of the Windsor Mill

The Windsor Mill was built in 1899. Initially used to process flour, the building was converted to a feed mill and was used as a livestock feed storage facility in the 1900s and a retail building until the building was closed due to tornado damage in 2008.

The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Colorado State Register in 1998.

The mill was damaged in the 2008 tornado.

A 2014 study estimated $9 million would be needed to restore the mill. The study also pinpointed potential uses for the building, like a restaurant and brew pub.

In August 2016, Blue Ocean was considering the building for development.

In November 2016, the Windsor Town Board approved a redevelopment incentive package to encourage the mill’s improvement.

The mill renovation project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017.