Developer Core Spaces is planning to build 147 apartments and 11,000 square feet of retails space in Boulder. Courtesy Boulder planning documents.

Plans for Liquor Mart redevelopment call for apartments, retail

BOULDER — Plans to transform Boulder’s Liquor Mart property at the corner of 15th Street and Canyon Boulevard call for a mixed-use development that would include 147 apartments and 11,000 square feet of retail space.

Core Spaces LLC, a Chicago-based real estate developer that last year bought the 1.7-acre parcel from W.W. Reynolds Cos. for $16.6 million, unveiled its preliminary redevelopment proposal during Thursday’s Boulder Planning Board meeting.

Representatives of the developer, along with city staff, presented plans to the board, which provided feedback. As this project is very early in the development process, no votes were taken by the board, and additional site reviews and approvals will be necessary prior to groundbreaking.

The Collective on Boulder is located at the site of Liquor Mart and the former Robb’s Music building. Courtesy Boulder planning documents.

The project, called The Collective at Boulder (and referred to occasionally in planning documents as The Collective on Canyon), will be located on the existing Liquor Mart property at 1750 15th St., as well as the former Robb’s Music site at 1580 Canyon Blvd. The Liquor Mart building was built in 1949 as a grocery store and became a liquor store in 1973. The former Robb’s Music building was built in 1966, and the store closed in 2017.

Plans for the four-level development call for a “piano-shaped building” with two interior courtyards and roof with terraces and a pool.

Retail storefronts will line the ground floor along Canyon Boulevard.

“The Collective on Canyon will provide new residences to the downtown district of Boulder which generates positive spin-offs such as increased revenue, promoting a healthier commercial environment for local businesses, increased patronage for evening activities and maintaining a healthy presence of residents to the area — particularly important to a safer downtown,” according to documents submitted to the city by Core Spaces. “The project scope increases social activity and liveliness. Altogether, the project is intended to contribute to a more walkable urban character and scale of structure. This project seeks to address the need for rental housing adjacent to the existing lower density established residential neighborhoods and downtown.”

The residential portion of the development is planned to include micro-studio, studio, one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments that range in size from 300 square feet to 1,200 square feet.

The development “targets specifically the young professional demographic that wants to live where they work, shop and play,” Core Spaces executive vice president of development Chad Matesi told the planning board.

Core Spaces, which began as a student housing developer, has built projects tailored for this demographic in a number of cities — many of them, such as Boulder, are home to major universities —  including Ann Arbor, Mich., and Tempe, Ariz.

Residents of the Goss Grove neighborhood expressed concerns Thursday that The Collective will be marketed toward University of Colorado students.

“We understand the need for growth and housing,” Andrea Montoya with the Goss Grove Neighborhood Association told the planning board, but “we can’t have a development that caters just to students. That does not bring to our neighborhood what we truly need to enhance it.”

College students “are not interested in picking up trash,” she said. “They are not interested in planting gardens or interacting with the neighborhood in a way that fosters the community.”

Matesi said that while Core Spaces does build communities specifically for college students, The Collective is not one of those projects.

“There seems to be a little bit of confusion about our target demographic,” he said. “Core does have student-housing platform and the company was born out of the student housing realm … but we also have a market-rate platform. This [development] is being proposed through our market-rate platform, not our student-housing platform.”

Matesi added, “I’m not going to guarantee that there won’t be a single student in that building because it is still proximate to a university … but our main focus will be on the market rate [occupant].”

BOULDER — Plans to transform Boulder’s Liquor Mart property at the corner of 15th Street and Canyon Boulevard call for a mixed-use development that would include 147 apartments and 11,000 square feet of retail space.

Core Spaces LLC, a Chicago-based real estate developer that last year bought the 1.7-acre parcel from W.W. Reynolds Cos. for $16.6 million, unveiled its preliminary redevelopment proposal during Thursday’s Boulder Planning Board meeting.

Representatives of the developer, along with city staff, presented plans to the board, which provided feedback. As this project is very early in the development process, no votes were taken by the board, and additional site reviews and approvals will be necessary prior to groundbreaking.

The Collective on Boulder is located at the site of Liquor Mart and the former Robb’s Music building. Courtesy Boulder planning documents.

The project, called The Collective at Boulder (and referred to occasionally in planning documents as The Collective on Canyon), will be located on the existing Liquor Mart property at 1750 15th St., as well as the former Robb’s Music site at 1580 Canyon Blvd. The Liquor Mart building was built in 1949 as a grocery store and became a liquor store in 1973. The former Robb’s Music building was built in 1966, and the store closed in 2017.

Plans for the four-level development call for a “piano-shaped building” with two interior courtyards and roof with terraces and a…