Silverthorne’s plans to remake downtown core move forward
October 25, 2018
Former Silverthorne Mayor Bruce Butler returned to town hall Wednesday night to praise the progress on Fourth Street Crossing, an estimated $80 million "catalyst project" designed to stimulate the downtown area.
Before his four-year term expired in April, Butler had highlighted Fourth Street Crossing as one of the major projects he hoped to approve before leaving office.
The outgoing mayor didn't get that opportunity, but he came back on Wednesday to tell his former colleagues he's quite pleased with the way things have been going since his departure.
"It's such an exciting night I had to come watch," Butler told council after detailing how he thinks this project will set the tone in Silverthorne for the next 50 years. "Thank you for your efforts. I think this is so close, and it's something we've wanted to see for a long time."
After that, council unanimously approved the developer's preliminary zoning and site plans. According to Tim Fredregill of Milender White, the Arvada-based firm selected to lead the project, if everything goes according to plan, he will come back with finalized plans in mid-December.
At that point, they'll go through another review with town staff, a hearing before the planning commission and then another hearing before town council. With council's final approval, crews could break ground as early as spring.
"That's the goal," Fredregill said.
The town and developers have been working on plans to redo the entire block between Third and Fourth streets for about two years now, even longer going back to the overarching concept of creating a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly downtown in Silverthorne.
Video courtesy Milender White
Altogether, the Fourth Street Crossing covers about four acres of prime downtown real estate on the Blue River Parkway, directly across the highway from the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, a new $9 million building that opened in summer 2017.
Billed as the next step for downtown, Fourth Street Crossing's preliminary site plan lays out 13 new buildings on the four acres — including a 112-room upscale hotel, Market Hall, transit center and parking garage, and two large mixed-use buildings with over 7,000 square feet of commercial space.
Multiple live-work units line Third Street and Adams Avenue in hopes they will help breathe new life into the area. The units could offer ideal space for financial advisors, lawyers, chiropractors, masseuses or other small businesses. Because the units can easily separate first-floor business activities from the rest of the home, Fredregill said he believes they will be quite attractive for people working in some of those professions. Behind the live-work units sits a cluster of townhomes, which help make the project financially viable.
With a facelift, The Mint Steakhouse will remain largely untouched where it is. Meanwhile, developers are working to incorporate elements of the Old Dillon Inn into the new Market Hall, which will sit beside The Mint and house multiple retailers, including anything from small food kiosks to sit-down restaurants, along with a large event space.
In approving the land-use and preliminary site plans, council put 17 conditions on the developers. The two biggest line items were fine-tuning the transit center and making the architecture look "more rustic."
Considering the scale of the project, Councilman Bob Kieber said he was impressed council didn't have to add more conditions and was greatly looking forward to voting on it Wednesday night.
One resident spoke out against the project, saying he doesn't see any reason Silverthorne needs a "Main Street" and believes it will be a "dead end" for the town. That prompted another man to offer his strong support in favor of the effort. For the former mayor, it was nice to see it all inching closer to reality.
"One of the things we talked about over the years is Silverthorne is a great community and what it lacks is a cohesive, physical identity," Butler said. "This project is the culmination of many, many, many years of work to try to bring that vision to fruition. I really commend Tim and his team. … if this works well, I see locals would gravitate to it just as much as visitors."
Interestingly enough, Fredregill said, the former mayor is apparently connected to the project in more ways than one. Recalling how a deal was struck to purchase the Old Dillon Inn, a critical component of the project, he said that agreement was actually signed on the old bar itself.
Part of the negotiations pertained to who got to keep the bar, while another piece of the talk covered some of the "old artifacts" found inside the Old Dillon Inn. One of them was an old softball that was apparently signed by a rec league many years ago. As fate would have it, one of the biggest signatures scribed on that ball happens to be Butler's.