Sitzmark North, South construction updates
September 22, 2016
You have probably noticed the construction happening in Winter Park that, when completed, will contain attainable housing units, retail units, a community center, and a parking structure. This project is the Sitzmark property.
According to the Sitzmark master site plan, the ultimate vision of Winter Park is to be a small town that includes a world-class ski resort. The desire is to be an attractive, convenient destination resort for Front Range visitors.
Located at the North end of downtown Winter Park, the two Sitzmark Properties total over 14 acres (12.3 buildable acres) along US Highway 40 and are referred to as the Sitzmark North and Sitzmark South properties. Both properties will act as catalysts for development in the Town.
According to the Master Plan, totaling 8.43 acres with 5.8 acres of developable land, the property is bound by the Fraser River on the east, residential and commercial development on the south, US 40 on the west and a sanitation district augmentation pond on the north. It also contains wetlands that reach out from the Fraser River that limited the development potential. Sitzmark North is where the Headwaters Ecological and Community Center (HECC) is currently under construction. The construction began in fall of 2015. It will house community event space, classrooms, and an ecological education center. It is owned by the Sprout Foundation. The property is located north of Telemark Drive.
The South property is 6.3 acres of primarily flat landscape. Similar to the North Property, it is bounded by US Highway 40 on the west, residential and commercial development to the north, Nob Hill Drive to the east and a commercial development to the south. This site has no environmental limitations such as wetlands.
Sitzmark South will contain a 19,000 square foot grocery store. The grocery store is a top priority, according to the Master Plan. As of press time, the store brand has not been announced to the public. The property is located south of Telemark Drive.
The Town of Winter Park's mission is to create a vibrant downtown with diverse retailers, nightlife and a high quality pedestrian environment, and they believe the Sitzmark properties can offer just that.
Winter Park Development Co. has partnered with the Town of Winter Park to construct 38 apartment units on the Sitzmark South parcel. The town anticipates that the units will be ready for rental in September of 2017. The attainable housing units will be part of Phase I of the project. The Town of Winter Park is in the process of developing a Strategic Plan for its Attainable Housing Program. The purpose of the Housing Plan is to provide guidance as the Town takes steps to alleviate the housing problem. This will allow the Town to focus its efforts as they try to ensure that those who work in Winter Park have the opportunity to live in Winter Park.
Phase I will also include mixed retail including the grocery store and a two-story, town-owned parking garage. Construction has already begun on the project with site work and infrastructure installation. The Town anticipates that the construction on the actual units will start soon. Phase I is the only Phase of the Sitzmark South Project that has been approved so far. The town hopes to design and approve more phases in the future.
"The Town Council and Town staff are excited to see structures coming out of the ground on the Sitzmark project," said Winter Park Town Manager Drew Nelson.
"We continue to work diligently with Winter Park Development Co. and Big Valley Construction to enable the project to be delivered on time next fall. This project will go a long way towards providing good, quality affordable housing in downtown Winter Park while creating new jobs and economic development opportunities."
Transit system graphics
At their September 20 meeting the Winter Park Town Council viewed a presentation from Studio Six, a graphic design company from Longmont, on potential transit system graphics for the bus fleet.
The presentation included several possible designs for bus graphics and possibilities for the signage that will be present at each bus stop. Studio Six presented the idea of vinyl bus wraps to display graphics for the busses that are unique to Grand County. One idea for the bus graphics is a design that shows a pattern of different colors representing each season as an attempt to show that one goal of Grand County is to have a better year-round economy and recruit more year-round residents (option 3 from graphic).
Transit system updates will be reported as they become available.