LOVELAND — The heavy equipment growling around the site of downtown Loveland’s newest apartment complex stopped moving dirt Thursday afternoon only long enough for dignitaries to make a few speeches and push their ceremonial gold shovels into the ground.
Then it was back to work on The Gallery Flats project at 541 N. Lincoln Ave.
Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony drew a small crowd – executives with developers Brinkman Partners and Woodbury Strategic Partners, city and economic development officials and curious onlookers.
All nine Loveland City Council members showed up, which Mayor Cecil Gutierrez said “shows the support from council as a whole.”
The recent completion of one downtown apartment complex and the imminent construction of two more within a few blocks of each other demonstrates that the city’s core is making a comeback, Gutierrez said.
“Before a city is built, and before our downtown is rebuilt, it must be imagined,” Gutierrez said. In downtown Loveland, “there is a long-term vision; there is a long-term plan; there is a long-term strategy.”
The five-story upscale apartment building will feature 70 units, said Kevin Brinkman, president of Fort Collins-based real estate company Brinkman Partners.
Those apartments – and the “wallets” that will come with them – are expected to help fulfill city planners’ strategy of increasing downtown density and therefore the area’s economic vitality.
The city bought the property at Sixth Street and Lincoln Avenue – which contained a former Home State Bank building – and solicited proposals for a “catalyst” project on the site.
Brinkman Partners responded, and with help from the city will spend $10.5 million on a project that is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2014.
Craig Young can be reached at 635-3634 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @CraigYoungRH.