The newest addition to downtown Littleton's rapidly evolving Main Street is taking shape on the site of the old Valley Feed store, at the northwest end of downtown near the Melting Pot fondue …
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The newest addition to downtown Littleton's rapidly evolving Main Street is taking shape on the site of the old Valley Feed store, at the northwest end of downtown near the Melting Pot fondue restaurant.
Simply called 2679 Main Street, the building stands three stories tall, and will feature street-facing retail totaling roughly 3,800 square feet. The upper floors, which are set back from the street, will hold office space. The building is expected to be open for business by this coming October, said Josh Rowland, the principal of LAI Design Group, which designed the structure.
No tenants are currently lined up, but interest in the space is high, said broker Jay Johnson of VanWest Real Estate Group, which is marketing the space.
The building incorporates 55 parking spaces, most of which will be in a garage toward the rear of the building.
Jon Benallo, the senior vice president of 2679 Main Street Partners, which owns the building, did not respond to requests for comment.
The building's design was modified to bring it into compliance with guidelines of the Main Street Historic District, said Jocelyn Mills, the city's community development director.
“The approval process resulted in the developer eliminating a planned fourth story that would have included residential units,” Mills said. “The building also butts up against the sidewalk, like most of the other buildings along Main Street.”
The developers agreed to incorporate other design elements and materials in order to meet conditions imposed by the city's Historic Preservation Board, Mills said.
The building could help draw foot traffic to the west end of Main Street, which has historically seen less economic activity than the east end, said Greg Reinke, the president of the Historic Downtown Merchants Association.
“It's going to be awesome,” Reinke said. “The shopping district isn't broken up anymore. In all the years I've lived here, hardly anyone ever ventured down that far. It's going to bring more people, but that's what we need. That's what's making the area successful. If you look at the other new blood in the area, like The Tavern and Ned Kelly's Irish Pub, they're investing in their properties and downtown.”
The building is a sign of the times, said Mickey Kempf, the president of Bradford Auto Body, which is located immediately east of the new building and is dwarfed by the new façade.
“I look at it as your city's either going to grow or die,” Kempf said. “If you want it to die, hey, complain like hell. But if not, don't worry about it. Things happen. That building next to us, it's huge. Is it something I'm enthused about? Not necessarily. But our city is growing because of people like that who are building and keeping things going. I don't have any great complaints. It might even bring in more business. Who knows?”
The building is a net gain for downtown, said Littleton Mayor Debbie Brinkman.
“One business is being replaced by perhaps up to a dozen,” Brinkman said. “It provides employment and more services for residents so they don't have to spend their money in other towns. The developers had a thoughtful consideration of design and how it fits into the character of downtown. I appreciate diligence on trying to maintain our uniqueness. In this instance they were spot on. You have a developer who was willing to work with the constraints, and that's huge. Valley Feed served its purpose. You have to move on. A feed store downtown is no longer appropriate. We need to grow and change in a style that's our own. As long as we continue to do it with an awareness of who we are, we'll continue to be one of the most admired suburbs in the metro area.”
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