MONTROSE – The Montrose City Council learned a lot about local building projects Tuesday night when city planner Scott Shine announced the recipients of the 2010 Community Development Achievement Awards.
This is the second year the Montrose City Planning Commission has given out plaques for achievements in building in four categories: commercial or industrial, residential, sustainability, and landscaping.
Planning Commission chair Frank Casey told the council about each project, starting with the Christine Bloss Dental Office at 646 S. First Street, which was named the 2010 Commercial Project of the Year.
An old home was torn down for the new building, which retains the look of the partly residential neighborhood and has interior amenities like a fireplace in the reception area and a landscaped courtyard.
But what most impressed the Planning Commission was the diagonal parking with bulb-outs for safety, which Casey said went “far beyond” city requirements. Walt Hill was the project architect for the Bloss building, and the general was Bridger Construction.
For the 2010 Residential Project of the Year, the Planning Commission chose the restoration of the Hutchel Sullender home at 502 S. Sixth Street, built in 1894.
“They kept it as close to the original as possible, and the sidewalks were widened,” Casey said. One outbuilding was removed and a small garage was put in its place, but is in keeping with the historic architecture, he added. The building project team included construction by David Hartley of Colorado Creative Design and landscaping by Max Fowler of Clearwater Design.
The award for Sustainability Project of the Year went to Damiano’s Restaurant at 1135 E. Main Street, which was built in 1928 but had fallen into disrepair and endured many additions.
“There was rot in the kitchen and weeds coming through the floorboards,” Casey told the council. But Michael Thorpe and Derek Miller of Summit West LLC, who purchased the property, saw an opportunity to restore the building and, fortunately, Damiano’s was looking for a place on Main Street.
The remodeling took six months and included adding a brand new kitchen with energy efficient upgrades, new low-water landscaping, and an authentic wood-fired pizza oven in the exterior courtyard. The construction team also renovated the upstairs apartment, which is now home to the restaurant’s head chef.
“It’s very nicely done, with landscaping along the sidewalk to improve the appearance of Main Street, and is very close to historic downtown,” Casey said.
The Landscaping Project of the Year went to Horsefly Brewing Company at 846 E. Main Street for redeveloping a vacant building on a neglected lot and creating an outdoor patio dining area while renovating the building.
With a “rustic and comfortable” design, the landscaping helps break up a section of the street that has very few aesthetic improvements, and creates an inviting setting for patrons, Casey said.
“That building was the original Kentucky Fried Chicken in Montrose,” said councilmember Carol McDermott. “It looks much better now.”
A final award, for Honorable Mention, went to the new Taco Bell restaurant, which replaced the old one with a new building, wider sidewalks, more pedestrian entrances and better parking, Casey said, along with improved landscaping along Townsend Avenue.
Shine said response to the awards program has been overwhelmingly positive, and he hopes that it will continue to grow.
“We see it as a way to encourage best practices in our community, recognize substantial investment in the community, and reward those who go above and beyond,” he said.