FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- The green space around downtown Fort Collins is shrinking.
A long-time and popular park will soon be the home to a high-end restaurant development, and the project is sure to impact the city’s homeless population who hang out in Jefferson Street Park regularly.
“Everybody gets here about a quarter to six or six o'clock and some people are here until ten, 10:30 when the park closes, and then it starts all over again,” said John, who’s homeless.
But soon, John and others like his friend Cheryl will need to find somewhere else to spend their days.
“I’m going to Texas,” said Cheryl. “They do have Martinez Park that is available to them; they have Buckingham, which is available.”
The city says a developer is in the permit process to turn this park, which is nestled in a historic district, into an upscale restaurant.
The building will have almost 6,000 square feet of space, along with outdoor dining.
In order to preserve as much of the park’s character as possible, 22 of the 31 trees will be woven into the new development plans.
Still, signs hanging around the park are a clear indication that those who hang out in the park need to move out soon.
“So where does that leave us to go? Nowhere. I feel sorry for the guys who have been here two or three years that don't have no idea. They have been here that long and they don't have an idea," said John.
In order to maximize the property, the restaurant will share a parking lot with the restaurant next door, which will also save these trees on the west side of the property.
The City of Fort Collins said the permit process could take as much as five months to complete.