Montava plans town center, working farm in first phases of 4,000-home Fort Collins project


The first phases of one of Fort Collins’ largest proposed developments is in the early stages of the city’s review process. 

Montava, the 4,000-home project west of the Budweiser plant in north Fort Collins, has submitted early plans for its first three phases, including the working farm and town center, according to a preliminary design review filed recently with the city’s planning department, which will review plans Aug. 25 and Sept. 1. 

The city last year approved the overall plan for the 1,000-acre Montava project, but each phase requires its own approval. 

According to plans, the first phase, known as phase G, will include 200 units in the southwest portion of the site. Phase E will include 220 townhomes/duplexes/single family homes, 300 multifamily dwellings, including live-work units and the town center.

The new neighborhood is located along Mountain Vista Drive between North Timberline road and the existing Storybrook neighborhood. 

The project’s first three phases “are the most practical but enable us to bring the two primary amenities for the community to the community in the beginning: the town center and the farm,” said developer Max Moss of HF2M. The amenities will be available for the entire Fort Collins community, he said. 

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A rendering shows what the Montava town center might look like once built in northeast Fort Collins.

Housing types around the town center “are going to be special,” he said, with cobblestone streets and different housing types including British-style mews homes — carriage houses with living quarters above them. 

Currently, Montava is the largest development in the history of Fort Collins in terms of land area. Plans include a farm, a library, school sites, a recreation facility, a town center and a community park.

Moss has committed 15%, or 600 units, of Montava’s housing inventory to be affordable and attainable. Half would be for those making between 30% and 80% of the area median income, or AMI, and half would be for those earning between 81% and 120% of AMI.

The city’s AMI, determined by U.S. Housing and Urban Development, is $67,200 for a single person and $95,900 for a family of four. Eighty percent of AMI is about $53,700 and $76,700 respectively; 120% would amount to an income of $80,640 for one; $115,080 for a family of four.  

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Because of the sheer size of the nearly 1,000-acre project, which could take a couple decades to finish, Moss plans to develop in stages. The first three phases could take four to five years to build, he said.

Water remains one of the site’s largest potential hurdles. 

Moss currently has nonpotable water on the site but no confirmed source for drinking water. 

Earlier this year, Moss filed an application in Colorado’s water court to allow him to use an underground aquifer to provide drinking water to the project. Moss said he’s working on buying enough water to start the project while its ultimate long-term solution works its way through water court. 

Without the aquifer water, Montava would have to get its water from the East Larimer County, or ELCO, Water District. ELCO requires large developers to acquire and bring their own water rights, which are expensive and difficult to come by. In contrast, Fort Collins allows developers to simply pay for water.

“We’re starting with the things that impact the northeast Fort Collins overall community the most,” he said. The town center and farm are its two biggest amenities and priorities, he said. “As well as a very diverse housing approach that addresses the missing middle market housing gap,” he said.

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Pat Ferrier is a senior reporter covering business, health care and growth issues in Northern Colorado. Contact her at