Downtown redevelopment project in Loveland gains momentum

This video shows an animated aerial flyover and through the proposed The Foundry mixed-use project in downtown Loveland. Courtesy city of Loveland/OZ Architecture/Russell + Mills Studios.

LOVELAND — A public-private project that has been on the drawing board for about six years to redevelop two and one-half blocks in downtown Loveland, is beginning to gain momentum.

Fort Collins-based Brinkman Partners is partnering with the city of Loveland on The Foundry project, formerly called South Catalyst, that will include apartments, retail space, a MetroLux theater, community plaza with a large screen, multistory parking garage and possibly a hotel. The project cost is estimated at $76 million.

The property is from East First Street to an alley between East Third and Fourth streets and is bordered to the east and west by North Cleveland and North Lincoln avenues.

Mike Scholl, the city’s economic-development manager, said the site has been cleared and a temporary parking lot has been paved at the southeast corner of Cleveland Avenue and Third Street. The parking structure is expected to be the first step on the construction schedule, but a start date has not been set.

A market study — commissioned by the city on behalf of an unnamed hotel chain — shows viability for a 90-room downtown hotel that would presumably occupy a portion of the southern edge of the site that is now earmarked for office space.

“Right now, the climate is favorable for a hotel,” Scholl said.

The hotel would be located between First and Second streets. From Second to Third, The Foundry will include two five-story mixed-use buildings consisting of approximately 150 apartments, 15,000 square feet of retail space, a five-screen MetroLux Theater, a central plaza with a stage and large screen, and the 460-space parking structure.

The city of Loveland assembled the site over time by purchasing private property in the area for $5.7 million, Scholl said. The city also spent $1.3 million to clear the land, including demolition of buildings and asbestos abatement, as well as pay for several studies.

Scholl said the city has agreed to cap its spending on the project at $17.6 million, which includes $11 million that would come from Downtown Development Authority bonds that will be voted on in November.

The city will also transfer a parcel of land on the site to Brinkman Partners that would give the developer a vote within a metro district that still needs to be approved, Scholl said.

The city had been working with New Jersey-based Michaels Development Co. for a year and a half on plans for the site. However, the city and Michaels cut ties in August 2015 after a dispute over an extension of Michaels’ exclusive right to negotiate with the city.

Oz Architecture, which has offices in Boulder and Denver, and Fort Collins-based Russell & Mills Studio are working on the project.

Brinkman Partners completed the five-story Gallery Flats mixed-use apartment building nearby The Foundry site in 2012.