Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Aurelia Pollard

Niwot LID discusses new project downtown


August 12, 2016

Photo by Aurelia Pollard Anne and Jim Postle’s project in downtown Niwot includes constructing a small commercial building to the west of the former Niwot Interiors building, which will be available for rent.

Although there weren’t any funding requests for the Local Improvement District (LID) at its Aug. 2 meeting, the LID resolved to support a future development project in downtown Niwot.

Anne Postle, owner of Osmosis Art Gallery, wants to update the site of the former Niwot Interiors building and asked for the group’s support for the project. Postle and her husband, Jim Postle, currently have the property under contract for purchase.

She said the building, located at 240 2nd Avenue, will be left as is except for maybe some minor updates inside the nearly 1,300-square-foot space. It will be available for rent for another retail store or business.

The bulk of Postle’s project has to do with the surrounding area. On the east side, that used to hold a commercial greenhouse and mobile home, Postle wants to make a parking lot.

The lot, which would consist of 14 spaces and must be asphalt according to county planners, could be used for employees of local businesses. The idea is to free up spaces along 2nd Avenue for customers. Postle said their plans were to rent out each parking space for $75 per month, either to businesses directly, or possibly to the LID or the NBA, which would then rent the spaces to businesses.

Postle has experienced the negative impacts due to the lack of parking in downtown Niwot, and believes this lot would help out drastically.

“My husband comes in and has lunch with me everyday and has no place to park,” she said.

Along with a parking lot, Postle also wants to add another commercial building on the west side of the old Niwot Interiors building and to the east of Colterra. The new building would be approximately the size of a two-car-garage or slightly larger, and would hopefully house another small retail store or serve as an office space.

The biggest piece of Postle’s project is the construction of a triplex building that would be located behind the former Niwot Interiors building. The triplex would consist of three homes, each two stories with three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms and a two-car garage.

Postle said she is very excited about this project, because “it has a lot of potential,” and will add to the already lively atmosphere of the neighborhood. However, LID member Satir DeMarco, who lives behind the alley to the north of the Niwot Interiors building, said Postle may face some pushback from residents in that area.

DeMarco is concerned about possible increased traffic along the alley, where she said “rules were not previously followed.” Postle said she has no plans to pave the alley to make it a thoroughfare, and businesses are not supposed to be using it as a road.

Although Postle was not asking for any funding from the LID, she was seeking the LID’s support of the project for when she visits the county again. She said the “proposal adds potential for parking, preserves a historic building,” and cleans up the area.

“I like the idea of adding a retail space in that area that [currently] does nothing,” LID member Carrie Wise said. “It would be good for Niwot.”

Most other members of the LID liked the project and agreed to submit a resolution of support.

However LID member Bruce Warren cautioned, “When the LID makes a resolution, we need to think about why it does that and tie it in with the LID,” He said the commercial aspect fits with the LID’s purposes as does the parking lot.

Although not all LID members were in support of the residential aspect of the project, Postle said the project is only viable as a whole.

The LID moved to support the project stating it preserves and enhances the existing historic building, it adds an appropriately-sized commercial area as infill development, and it provides much needed parking for the business district.

“This is a good thing,” Wise stated. LID members voted to approve the resolution with five yes’s and one abstention.


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