Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Vicky Dorvee

Mixed-use project proposed for Niwot’s 2nd Avenue


August 3, 2018

As reported on Von’s Colorado Concepts’ website, the local building company is planning a development project in Niwot. The website states, “This development in the heart of downtown Niwot, Colorado will offer a combination of charming single family homes and a commercial boutique space.”

Von’s Colorado Concepts, run by Bob Von Eschen and his brother Scott, plans to build the project on the corner of Second Avenue and Niwot Road. According to Bob Von Eschen, it would include the property presently occupied by Lefty’s Pizza at 364 Second Avenue, as well as the adjoining property to the east owned by Dr. David Meisner at 376 Second Avenue. The business, Intimate Inquiries, is located in a small building on that site, while an unoccupied building, formerly housing a dental practice, is also located on the property. These properties fall within Niwot Rural Community District I (NRDC).

Although the website states, “We have submitted our plans to Boulder County and will keep you posted on our progress,” to date, no site review plans are active with the Boulder County Planning Department. Drawings have been submitted to the Old Town Niwot Design Review Subcommittee.

The subcommittee is a group comprised of Niwot Business Association, Niwot Community Association, and Niwot Historical Association members, as well as Niwot residents and business owners and a Historic Preservation Advisory Board Member, whose task it is to review proposed new buildings in the NRDC, including all of the commercial areas on Second Avenue and portions of Franklin and Murray Streets.

Following the development of Southpaw Commons at 240 Second Avenue, Boulder County officials prompted the subcommittee, which had previously become largely inactive, to start up again to address concerns of neighboring residents and businesses. Although the subcommittee has no decision-making authority, it is charged with making recommendations which will be considered by the county’s Historic Preservation Advisory Board.

Von Eschen declined to provide drawings for the Second Avenue development, but described it with the following elements: a complete remodel of the Lefty’s building for use as a restaurant, a remodel of the dental building as a general office with uses yet to be determined, and “a number of smaller single-family residences with either parking or attached garages and one- and two-story elements.“

He also said, “We’ve got an ample amount of open space around the buildings, so it will be a nice park-like setting.”

Von Eschen bought the one-sixth-acre property at 364 Second Avenue where Lefty’s Pizza building is located in July 2017. He declined to give details about plans to purchase the Meisner property at 376 Second Avenue.

He acknowledged that neighbors have concerns about “the alley situation.” He said design plans would take into consideration that no windows look into the windows of other properties.

Von Eschen said that they have run several studies to determine what would have the lowest impact on the site and that the present plans will accomplish that.

“It would maybe increase the number of trips in the area by 60 to 80 more per day once it’s complete,” Von Eschen said. “It’s as low an impact as you can have.”

“I’ve developed a fair amount of property in Boulder County,” Von Eschen said.

Von’s Colorado Concepts specializes in infill projects, according to Von Eschen and he mentioned building homes in Gunbarrel North, Quiet Retreat, Brittany Place, and near CU in Boulder.

“The idea is that you’ve already got established areas. Then what we do is work at complementing what’s there,” Von Eschen said.


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