Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority kicks in money to revitalize blighted block


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Redevelopment of a blighted corner at College Avenue and Maple Street in downtown Fort Collins will get nearly $370,000 from the Downtown Development Authority to help the project come to fruition.

The DDA board of directors approved $247,737 in tax increment financing plus $90,000 from a public facilities grant for the project that includes a four-story, 160-unit long-term care facility plus 20,000 square feel of retail space and a parking garage. Funding will help pay for public infrastructure such as water and sewer lines. 

JD Padilla, owner of Post Modern Development, is partnering with the development arm of Haselden Construction and MorningStar of Fort Collins senior living to redevelop Block 23, the largest remaining underdeveloped parcel in Old Town. 

Block 23, a downtown tract on College Avenue between Maple and Cherry streets has become a downtown eyesore since it fell into bank ownership. It is slated to become 180 apartments adjacent to Old Town Flats and Penny Flats.

The L-shaped, three-site parcel is bordered by North College Avenue on the east, Mason Street on the west, Cherry Street on the north and Maple Street on the south. The site is just east of Old town Flats, Penny Flats and the MAX bus rapid-transit system along Mason Street and south of the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.

The site, formerly home to a tire shop, bike co-op and Taco John’s, has been vacant for more than a decade as buildings deteriorated.

The $28 million project would rejuvenate Block 23, which went into foreclosure in 2011. Padilla bought the property in January 2015 for $3.35 million.  

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DDA estimates show the project will provide $595,129 in tax increment generated by the project up through 2031.

In exchange for the funding, the DDA will receive a facade easement along North College Avenue. 

The DDA is authorized by state legislation that allows downtown development authorities to use tax increment financing — money gained as increased property values generate greater tax revenues within the district — to fund downtown improvements. 

Dozens of new construction and renovation projects have occurred over the past decades through the DDA’s facade improvement program that helps business owners cover improvements to their public-facing storefronts and the tax increment investment program that provides funds for public improvements such as stormwater and sidewalks. 

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Recent projects include Ginger & Baker and Union restaurants, The Woodward campus on Lincoln Avenue, the Encompass Technologies headquarters on the banks of the Poudre River, Confluence condos at the intersection of Willow and Linden streets and the under-construction Elevations Credit Union branch and condos on Mountain Avenue.

An artist's rendering of the proposed mixed use building on Block 23. This angle is from the corner of Maple and College Avenue.

 Pat Ferrier is a senior reporter covering business, health care and growth issues in Northern Colorado. Contact her at Please support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a subscription today.