After many months of work by numerous groups, the Colfax Ave Business Improvement District (CBID) has completed its conceptual streetscape master plan, a necessary step for consideration for the 2017 …
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.
After many months of work by numerous groups, the Colfax Ave Business Improvement District (CBID) has completed its conceptual streetscape master plan, a necessary step for consideration for the 2017 General Obligation (GO) Bond.
CBID is a quasi-governmental entity funded by a portion of property taxes on businesses within its boundaries (Grant to Josephine Streets, between 14th & 16th Avenues). The organization is governed by a board of directors representing businesses and property owners who are appointed by the mayor. It exists to promote economic vitality, implement a clean and safe street program and advocate on behalf of area businesses among public and private partners.
A conceptual rendering of Colfax Ave BID's streetscape master plan. Image provided by Colfax Ave BID.
Frank Locantore, Executive Director for CBID said, “The masterplan, which was done by studioINSIGHT, in collaboration with urban design, pedestrian/mobility, finance and engineering consultants, outlines the broad framework of improvements CBID hopes to see implemented over the next five years. It also makes the recommendations “shelf ready,” meaning the project design is now 15 percent complete.”
CBID is part of the Colfax Collaborative, which also includes West Colfax, Bluebird and Colfax Mayfair BIDS. In November, the group received $500,000 it had requested from City Council and Mayor Hancock to use for design work for street improvements and pedestrian enhancements.
The money will be used to take design work from 15 percent completion in the BID master plans, to the 30 percent completion necessary for construction plans. It also qualifies the projects for inclusion in the 2017 GO Bond.
The total cost for the full scope of the work is unknown, but is expected to exceed 10 million dollars for CBID alone. “Even if the Colfax improvements are included in the GO Bond, we still anticipate doing some of our own bonding, in addition to fundraising, to pay for all the work,” Locantore said.
Beyond the necessity of having a master plan for inclusion in the GO Bond, the document is an important blueprint for the future of CBID. It will also be used by the city for community planning and development.
When people purchase property in CBID and want to build on it, the master plan will be a way to communicate the context and character of the area. It also provides rules and regulations, including maximum building height allowed for different sections of CBID.
For merchants looking to open a business in CBID, the organization can provide recommendations on what types of establishments may be the most successful due to the needs of the area. There is currently no hardware store, bakery or butcher shop in CBID, but an abundance of pizza parlors.
One of the boldest ideas in the master plan involves the five-point intersection at Colfax Avenue, Franklin Street and Park Avenue, near Scooter Liquors and Streets of London Pub. The location is in the middle of CBID and has the highest number of crashes of any intersection on Colfax Avenue.
Locantore said, “We feel the best way to make the intersection safer would be to eliminate the fifth point, which would actually bring the area back to how it was designed over 100 years ago. In doing research for the master plan, historical renderings were discovered from the 1800s and early 1900s. Originally, there were two homes on Park Avenue just off Colfax Avenue. Park Avenue did not connect to Colfax Avenue until the city purchased these homes in the 1930s, demolished them and connected the two streets.”
Locantore believes closing off this 100-yard section of Park Avenue, rerouting traffic to exit on Humboldt Street and literally creating a park, would be an ideal way to bring much-needed elbow room to this heavily trafficked area. He said, “If we program it in a way that brings vitality to the area, we don’t feel that it will become a place where people camp.”
CBID hopes to host “Street Party 2017” in late June or July and close off this stretch of Park Avenue for a weekend day to simulate what it would be like to have a park in the space.
The next step for pursuing a “Park on Park Ave” would be to allocate a portion of the $500,000 the Colfax Collaborative received to do a traffic feasibility study. Locantore estimates it will cost approximately $20,000.
CBID was meeting with neighborhood leaders and organizations to present ideas and gather feedback before the master plan was complete. Now that it is done, it will continue to do so. For anyone who would like to schedule a meeting or learn more, please contact Frank Locantore at email@example.com. If you are interested in being on the Street Party 2017 organizing committee, please contact Sara Randall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.