FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A multi-million-dollar overhaul in downtown Fort Collins is finally opening up.
The Linden Street renovation is set to partially open on Aug. 5 after many construction closures and a lot of heartache for local businesses.
It is the missing link, so to speak, between Old Town and a new area called The River District. The Linden Street overhaul is years in the making.
As the lights go up above Linden, businesses like Curiosities novelty shop can finally see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.
“I’ve seen the design plans and I think it’s going to look awesome once they’re done,” said Haley Miculak, manager of Curiosities. “It’s just the process that’s been the problem. I can’t see it as a bad thing anymore.”
Nor can Bob Younger, owner of Younger Photography, who had been somewhat critical of the project in the past.
“It’s very hard to get customers down here with the street closed,” Younger said. “It’s just been a long, long process. I’m really anxious for it to be over.”
The wait is almost over and most seem pleased with what they’re seeing so far.
“I understand the businesses are hurting right now,” said Jeanne Sanford who has lived in Ft. Collins since the ’80s. “But I think once this opens up – and it seems to be progressing pretty quick – it’ll more than makeup for them. I think it’s going to be great for Old Town.”
“I like the idea of coming out of a restaurant and you have tables and chairs set up, you can hang out outside,” said Garrett Dewan whose daughter is attending CSU this fall.
The street will still allow for two-way traffic and some parallel parking, but it’s also considered flex space and can be closed to vehicles for special events.
“For events and things like that down the line,” said the project manager for the City of Fort Collins, Dillon Willett. “All that infrastructure is in place.”
Willett says this project bridges the gap between two great areas of town. The project also includes infrastructure for a stage and a giant shade structure.
“There’s a lot of really good energy, and everybody seems really excited about it and the potential for future events and different activities,” Willett said.
“I’m hoping that it brings more interest to this side of the square,” Younger said.
“They’re going to be able to close down for events and stuff and it’s going to be a very useful space,” Miculak said.
“Old Town is very quaint and unique,” Sanford said. “This is the perfect complement to that and it supports the mom ‘n pop businesses, unlike those big box retailers. We need those small businesses in our community.”