How things get done in Niwot – Part 3
March 24, 2021
The Niwot Future League, or NFL as it is commonly referred to, is another one of Niwot’s accidentally sports-themed acronym groups. With the Niwot Business Association (NBA) and the Niwot Cultural Arts Association (NCAA) widely known in Niwot, the NFL is probably the least-known group in Niwot.
That’s because it is actually just a committee of the NBA, formed at the request of the Niwot Local Improvement District (LID) several years ago when the LID agreed to fund the NBA’s request for a part-time contractor to serve as Niwot’s Economic Development Director (EDD).
A RFP for the position was created by the NBA, which Boulder County publicized, and the position was filled, first by Heather Truhan, then by Jon Erb, later by Julie Ankenbrandt, and currently by Catherine McHale.
It soon became clear that someone other than the NBA officers should work with the EDD to provide direction, feedback and evaluate the EDD’s work. Tony Santelli, who was then president of the NBA and a member of the LID Advisory Committee, appointed a group of individuals that included not only members of the LID and the NBA Executive Committee, but also representatives of the largest commercial property owners in Niwot at the time.
The group was known as the Revitalization Committee, due to the fact that there were many commercial property vacancies in Niwot at the time, and the initial task of the EDD was to find a way to fill them while supporting and encouraging Niwot’s existing businesses.
The first members of the Revitalization Committee were Santelli (NBA president, LID member and co-owner of Niwot Tavern), Harris Faberman (manager of the group that owned most of Cottonwood Square), Cotton Burden (manager of RLET Properties, which owned several Second Avenue commercial buildings, Carrie Wise (LID Co-Chair and co-owner of Wise-Buys Antiques, Niwot’s longest tenured retail business), Chuck Klueber (NBA Streetscapes committee) and Biff Warren (LID member, co-owner of a Cottonwood Square commercial building, attorney and managing editor of the Left Hand Valley Courier).
Since then, Faberman has stepped down and been replaced by Alex Chlebek, current owner of most of Cottonwood Square, and new NBA president and LID member Eric Bergeson, owner of Niwot Wheel Works and the Wheel House, have joined the group.
After several years of success in filling vacant commercial spaces, Santelli suggested that “Revitalization Committee” was no longer an accurate moniker for the group. The group agreed, and the Niwot Future League, or NFL, was adopted.
The NFL meets monthly on the first Tuesday of the month at 10 a.m., just ahead of the LID meeting, to receive updates from McHale and offer direction. A written report is then submitted to LID members. Current projects which McHale is working on include
1 - Developing a comprehensive list of all commercial properties in Niwot, with important information to prospective tenants such as square footage, zoning restrictions and current use, 2 -Meeting with area commercial brokers to make sure they are aware of opportunities in Niwot,
3 - Developing and implementing marketing campaigns for Niwot, and (4) offering programs and support for current Niwot business owners, such as marketing and social media recommendations.