Windsor officials plan to extend downtown parking to reach mill redevelopment project
March 25, 2017
Windsor officials discussed a number of traffic projects around town at their work session Monday night including downtown parking, a roundabout on Colo. 257, a regional bus route and more.
Those discussions, along with the rest of the meeting and a copy of the meeting agenda, can be seen online at http://bit.ly/2mQQVcf.
Windsor town officials want to expand downtown parking on Main Street in advance of the highly anticipated opening of the city's remodeled mill later this year.
Windsor's Director of Engineering Dennis Wagner told town board members Monday night during their work session how staff envisions adding new parking spots to the 300 block of Main Street near the historic mill.
Fort Collins-based developer Blue Ocean plans for the redeveloped mill — at Main and 3rd streets — to include a brew pub, cocktail bar, dining facility, public room and office space for rent, all slated to open near the end of this year.
The plan the 300 block of Main Street is to replicate what town officials did downtown a few years ago when they took Main Street down to a single lane and added diagonal parking to the 400 and 500 blocks of the street, Wagner said.
“People are going to love this parking for the concerts in the park too.” Paul Rennemeyer
In order to bring the 300 block of Main Street down to single-lane traffic each way from two-lane traffic each way, the plan will need to start losing the second lanes east of the railroads tracks for safety, he added.
Town officials have a traffic consultant — Fox Tuttle Hernandez Transportation Group — working on a plan for exactly how to change the traffic lines on Main Street to add the additional diagonal parking spots. When completed, staff will presented the plan to Colorado Department of Transportation officials in an effort to get the change approved.
The initial and planning phase of the work should cost about $13,500, Wagner said. On Wednesday, he said he didn't have an estimate for how much restriping the road would cost, but he said it will easily be in the thousands.
Wagner said he is a little worried about getting approval from CDOT. Town Manager Kelly Arnold said he doesn't share those concerns, however, and believes CDOT officials understand the importance of the mill's remodel and how it could affect traffic in the area.
For years, Windsor residents and officials have tried to bring new life to the historic downtown mill after a tornado blew through Windsor in 2008, damaged the mill and left it empty and unused.
Originally built in 1899, the Windsor mill and elevator served as a flour and feed mill in its early life. In 2014, a local study found the best bet for restoring the mill would be through private investment with some public funding.
This past year, Windsor's town board and DDA partnered to create a $3.7 million economic incentive package to jump-start redevelopment of the iconic downtown property.
When the mill opens, the town better be ready, Arnold said. Town staff hope improvements along Main Street will help.
In addition to the parking spots, plans include projects such as crosswalk improvements that would essentially extend the downtown design and atmosphere another block, Arnold said. However, town board and staff expect the extended parking will get used for other downtown area events and businesses, too.
"People are going to love this parking for the concerts in the park too," said town board member Paul Rennemeyer.