Sep 212006
 
Authors: MEGAN TRUSTY The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Plans were approved Thursday night for Bayer Properties’ Front Range Village, an 850,000 square foot shopping center in south Fort Collins.

The Fort Collins Planning and Zoning Board unanimously gave Front Range Village a final thumbs up Thursday night, and construction is scheduled to begin in February 2007, according to David Silverstein, a principle for Bayer Properties.

“We’re very excited,” Silverstein said. “We’re looking forward to moving the project into construction.”

The $100 million dollar project will be located near the intersection of Harmony and Zieglar roads. The shopping center will be anchored by a Super Target and Lowes and will include about two-dozen retail stores and a few restaurants.

Silverstein said most of the stores will be geared toward women consumers.

“I’m building for the woman consumer-the real shoppers of the world,” Silverstein said. “Our goal is to make it accessible, pedestrian friendly and very convenient for shoppers.”

About fifty community members showed up at the meeting to voice their opinions about the new Front Range Village.

Silverstein and his team addressed questions and concerns of the public and of the board, mostly regarding parking and traffic increases.

While some expressed concern, the majority of the public said they were excited and looking forward to the arrival of the center.

“I’m looking forward to having Mr. Silverstein and his project as a neighbor,” said Robert Schutzius, a resident of one of the surrounding neighborhoods.

Linda Hopkins, a fellow neighbor of the shopping center shared Schutzuis’s excitement.

“It will have enormous regional impact,” Hopkins said.

Other community members weren’t as optimistic.

“I’m not pleased with the process,” said Shane C. Miller, a Fort Collins resident. “But I know stuff has to get built.”

Miller said he was not impressed with Bayer Properties and voiced some negative opinions about their overall presentation.

“It’s a ruse,” he said.

A major issue addressed at the meeting involved the Fort Collins Public Library and whether it will have the funding to serve as Front Range Village’s feature building.

Much of the decision of whether to have a branch of the library in the center relies on an initiative on the November ballot.

Staff writer Megan Trusty can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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