Developers close on Bustop purchase; Boulder strip club to remain for 2 years

BOULDER — A trio of local developers last week closed on the $2.8 million purchase of the site of The Bustop strip club in north Boulder. But it will likely be at least three years before the affordable-housing and community arts space envisioned for the site could open.

Andy Allison, Thistle Communities and BA Investments bought the property at 4871 N. Broadway from Omar Aldabbagh, who has owned the property since 1990 and operated The Bustop himself since 2014.

As part of the deal, Aldabbagh will lease the property back for two years and continue operating the club while Allison and his partners solidify their plans and work through the entitlement process with the city of Boulder.

Allison said Monday that it would likely be four or five months before his group makes any sort of formal submittal to the city for the site. The goal is to be ready to go with building permits in two years when Aldabbagh’s lease expires.

The developers are planning 45 to 60 permanently affordable apartments available to Boulder’s artist community. There would also be about 8,000 square feet of commercial and artist uses on the main level of what, at this point, is slated to be one three-story building.

The idea for a community arts space and gallery in north Boulder is one that had been originally planned by developer Bruce Dierking, who is doing a mixed-use redevelopment of the Armory site just to the east across Broadway from The Bustop. But zoning issues caused Dierking to eliminate that aspect of his project.

Allison said he believes the industrial zoning at The Bustop site will allow for the residential and arts space components he’s planning. He said construction on the project would take about a year.

As for The Bustop, Aldabbagh said in a phone interview that he decided to sell the site because he has other projects he’s working on in Las Vegas. He said that his main focus locally is on continuing to operate The Bustop during the lease period.

“As far as moving to another location in Boulder or Denver (when the lease is up), I haven’t thought about it yet,” Aldabbagh said.