A rendering shows the Draper Heartland building as seen from Fourth Street at Lincoln Avenue. Courtesy planning documents.

Loveland City Council reviews Draper Heartland project, moves to executive session

LOVELAND — Downtown Loveland’s planned Draper Heartland project continues to be cloaked in mystery. While some details of the project were disclosed to the Loveland City Council Tuesday night, the council retreated into executive session to hear details related to the project’s financing.

No decisions were rendered following the executive session.

After receiving a presentation on the planned development, which included information on the site, the council voted 7-2 to move into executive session. Council members Andrea Samson and Patrick McFall were the dissenting votes. The posted agenda for the special meeting did not cite a specific reason for the executive session other than negotiation.

The project, which would redevelop a portion of the block northeast of Fourth Street and Lincoln Avenue, has overcome some hurdles as it moves forward. In November, Loveland’s Planning Commission voted to exempt the development from a 40-foot height limit that applies to much of Fourth Street. The waiver of the height restriction would permit the development to rise to five stories or 62.5 feet.

While developers have pointed to the height variance as necessary in order for the development to be commercially viable, some council members and community members expressed concern about the variance setting a precedent. Council member Patrick McFall asked for more details on the specifics surrounding the call for a variance.

“You’re never gonna please everybody out there, but the more information we get out there on this one the better,” McFall said.

Plans presented for the site included a five-floor mixed-use building with commercial and residential spaces on the ground floor and more residential spaces above. There are 96 total planned residential units, with more than 14,000 square feet of commercial space planned for the ground floor.

Plans for the site also include an adjacent 277-space parking garage on a city-owned parking lot with 57 spaces. In addition to one parking space for each residential unit, the site would add 117 spaces to Loveland’s downtown. 

The 4½-story parking garage could potentially impact other local businesses on the same block, including Loveland staple The Black Steer, which operates a rear patio adjacent to the proposed garage location.

The garage would be operated in conjunction with the city of Loveland, and one proposal to finance its construction is a certificate of participation using Loveland’s city hall as collateral. Property and sales taxes from the site would be used over 25 years to retire the debt. The total cost of the Draper Heartland development is expected to be $36 million, plus $11 million for the garage.

Renderings for the site include plans to maintain the facades of 333 Fourth St. and 315 Fourth St., home to Loveland’s Odd Fellows Lodge, built in 1903. The roof of the Odd Fellows lodge is set to become a rooftop patio for residents of the building.

The majority of units in the building will be studios and one-bedroom apartments, with some two- and three-bedroom apartments as well. All units will be available for rental, rather than for sale as in condominiums. Tribe Development CEO Ashley Stiles reassured the council that the developers have looked into affordable housing.

“It is something we’ve definitely explored through our partnership with Loveland Housing Authority,” Stiles said.

Improvements to the Sweetheart Alley that runs west to east between Fourth and Fifth streets are also planned, with developers proposing the alley run one-way for its entire length, rather than splitting at the edge of the current parking lot. A passage between two of the retail units would connect the alley and Fourth Street.

The project is a collaboration between BH Developers, Hardy Investments, Tribe Development and Tryba Architects. The development is named after the Draper drug store that occupied the corner location from 1936 to 1986 and the Heartland Cafe, which also called the site home from 1984 to 2015. Next steps for the project include planning commission review again and a public neighborhood meeting.

The Draper Heartland project in downtown Loveland would upgrade properties at Fourth Street and Lincoln Avenue. Courtesy planning documents.

LOVELAND — Downtown Loveland’s planned Draper Heartland project continues to be cloaked in mystery. While some details of the project were disclosed to the Loveland City Council Tuesday night, the council retreated into executive session to hear details related to the project’s financing.

No decisions were rendered following the executive session.

After receiving a presentation on the planned development, which included information on the site, the council voted 7-2 to move into executive session. Council members Andrea Samson and Patrick McFall were the dissenting votes. The posted agenda for the special meeting did not cite a specific reason for the executive session other than negotiation.

The project, which would redevelop a portion of the block northeast of Fourth Street and Lincoln Avenue, has overcome some hurdles as it moves forward. In November, Loveland’s Planning Commission voted to exempt the development from a 40-foot height limit that applies to much of Fourth Street. The waiver of the height restriction would permit the development to rise to five stories or 62.5 feet.

While developers have pointed to the height variance as necessary in order for the development to be commercially viable, some council members and community members expressed concern about the variance setting a precedent. Council member Patrick McFall asked for more details on the specifics surrounding the call for a variance.

“You’re never gonna please everybody out there, but the more information we get out there on this one the better,” McFall said.

Plans presented for the site included a five-floor mixed-use building with commercial and…