Arts among couple’s Visions

FORT COLLINS — Craig and Kumiko McKee have broken ground on a 12,200-square-foot building at the outskirts of Fort Collins that they hope will be the catalyst for a future arts district

The $1.65 million project, called Visions, will be constructed at 2415 Donella Court off South Timberline Road in the Summit View Industrial Park, northeast of Fort Collins’ city limits in Larimer County.

McKee and his wife, Kumiko, are using the entity K&C Properties LLC to develop the 1.6 acres of land they own adjacent to the former Downtown Fort Collins Airport.

Excavation of the property began June 20 and general contractor Sean Rogers of Hillside Construction in Fort Collins expects the project will be completed by the end of this year.

The building will serve as the headquarters for the McKees’ existing business, Concrete-Visions LLC, which manufactures custom concrete countertops and decorative cast items, as well as two new businesses they are launching: 3 Square Art, that will consist of an arts center, gallery and leasable studio space, plus McKeesport Distilling & Brewing Co., where he will make whiskey and run a restaurant. The building will have leasable space for “creative businesses,” Craig McKee said.

“We want to identify this area as an arts zone,” he said. “It seems that Fort Collins has been losing some of its arts spaces.”

The McKees want to brand the area as FAAD, which he said stands for Fort Collins Airport Arts District.

“We’d like to work with the economic development groups in the future,” he said. “We hope to bring creative energy with great food, drink and fun at the edge of the brewing district area.”

McKee said 3 Square Art will consist of studio space for artists, a gallery for local artists to show their work plus provide space for out-of-state juried art shows, and seminars and workshops on the arts. It will be managed by Kumiko McKee, who is an award-winning artist.

The distillery is named for McKeesport, Pa., a town with a population of about 20,000 at the confluence of the Monongahela and Youghiogheny rivers and is part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. “It’s a family heritage thing,” McKee said.

The restaurant will serve a variety of international fare from “Asia to Europe, stuff that pairs well with whiskey,” he said.

Concrete-Visions will move from 517 N. Link Lane sometime in 2017 when the project is completed. McKee said Concrete-Visions will occupy 4,750 square feet of the building. About 2,350 square feet will be occupied by 3 Square Art, and the distillery and restaurant will take up about 2,300 square feet.

About 2,800 square feet will be available for leasing.

The building is being designed by VFLA of Fort Collins. Ripley Design in Fort Collins is handling the landscape design. Financing for the project is through Bank of Colorado.

Doug Storum can be reached at 303-630-1959, 970-416-7369 or dstorum@bizwestmedia.com.

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