Dillon Center remodel on homestretch
DILLON – It’s been four years in the making, but the developers of the Dillon Center remodel say the large-scale project has entered the homestretch to completion.”All the hard work has been done,” said John Barna, principal owner of dcb Construction, as he walked into the new parking garage at the center on Wednesday.The project consists of adding 37 modular condominiums on top of the existing 44,610-square-foot building, which is home to Lakeside Bowl, the Little Flower Shop, Corinthian Real Estate and Americana Resort Properties. Crews also built a two-story parking garage on the east side of the building.The addition doubles the size of the structure.Since March 15, 24 of the 37 one-, two- and three-bedroom condo units have been placed by crane on steel beams that separate the old and new levels of the building.”In two weeks, the remaining units will all be set,” Barna said.Next Thursday, construction crews will begin covering the building’s exterior with stucco and siding. They will also install the heating system that will melt snow on the walkways and plazas between the units on the upper level.The interior will be completely remodeled with European-style accents that will match the colors and textures of the building’s exterior.
The periodic closures of Main Street, which were necessary to facilitate the large crane needed to set the units on the building, are over, Barna said.Buffalo Street will be closed intermittently over the next two weeks.Barna said he is now aiming for a mid-summer completion date.He had originally projected an early summer finish date, but said construction delays and weather held crews up.Sales of the residential units are moving along “phenomenally,” said Omni Real Estate Realtor Jackie McPheeters.Of the 37 units, nine two-bedroom condos remain on the market, and are priced between $357,500 and $394,000.McPheeters said about half the buyers are second homeowners, and she knows of only two people who are purchasing units for investment purposes and intend to put them back on the market immediately.”For the most part, we have a steady group of people buying for the purpose of owning long-term,” she said. The commercial space is leasing, although not quite as rapidly as the residential units, said Omni Real Estate broker associate Tom Coolidge.
About 50 percent of the 60,000 square feet of commercial space is leased. Future tenants include a local restaurant, a hair salon, a property management company and possibly a coffee shop and bakery and an art gallery, as well as the leasees that are already established, Coolidge said.The Rocky Mountain Montessori School, which has relocated during construction, will move back in.”There’s a lot of interest, but commercial is different than residential in that people want to see the product and touch it before they make that commitment,” Coolidge said.The town of Dillon has long hoped that the remodel would spur revitalization in the town’s quiet downtown core.Dillon Center co-owner Abbas Rajabi said although half of the future residential tenants won’t live there full-time, the project will help in Dillon’s goal because its mix of residential and retail shops will invite people to linger.”We were pioneers in terms of taking a chance on Dillon. We’re delighted that we did and we won’t be disappointed,” Rajabi said, looking out over the Dillon Reservoir from a window in a three-bedroom condo.The town of Dillon first approved the project in May 2002, but plans remained dormant for more than two years due to financial constraints.Developers began excavation work on the remodel in early spring of 2005 after the town council approved a 10-foot height increase for buildings in the town core to allow for the Dillon Center’s proposed 44-foot height.
Crews officially broke ground in June 2005, and at that time, developers anticipated the job would be completed in December 2005. However, the project fell behind schedule prompting construction, and the road closures, to continue through the following winter.Rajabi characterized the lengthy project as a labor of love, and said it gives him a great sense of achievement to see it heading down the pathway to completion.The Dillon Center will be renamed La Riva Del Lago when it’s done.
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