It looks to me like Longmont is starting to re-brand itself. Seems like I am seeing a lot more interest in this great Boulder County city since the beginning of this year. I have been showing a lot more homes there and answering a lot more questions. And why not. Home prices are very good and it has relatively easy access to Boulder, Denver and the airport. Are you sensing a trend?
You might have seen the article in our local newspaper on the redeveloping of the St. Vrain River between Sunset and Martin. A study will focus on the ultimate aim of shrinking the flood plain that stretches up to a half mile in places. Some businesses may hope to benefit from proximity to the river.
A University of Colorado at Denver study recommended making it a vibrant area that showcases the river. I like that idea. You don't have to travel far to see what cities have done with their creeks and rivers. Boulder has a beautiful park next to its library and a short walk from Pearl Street Mall. This area is also setting for the Dushanbe Tea House. Boulder has had sponsors give fishing lessons to area youths at the creek. Also nearby, Estes Park shops line its creek. It's concrete paths are inviting for an after dinner stroll.
Longmont already has a long running festival, the Rhythm on the River that features music, art on display, and food as well as activities that celebrate the outdoors. No doubt, the festival will extend itself with the additional space.
The proximity to downtown offers an opportunity for events like a taste of Longmont's eateries and craft beer. Longmont already enjoys the Left Hand Brewing Co.'s outdoor tables at its building near the Izaak Walton Park. Great place to walk or bike to for a beer and snack. Lots of glowing praise has been uploaded on Yelp.
Expanding these events with additional permanent structures could bring even more walkers and bikers to the downtown area. It can be an attraction for visitors, too.
If anyone would like to share their ideas, please feel free.
Regional history and explorations of culture are all part of the mix of exhibitions. Permanent exhibits show 14,000 years of human history in Longmont, and the people who helped to create this community. There's always something new to see.
Currently, exhibits by quilt artist Linda Beach and photographer Ed Freeman are displayed. It is a lot of creativity all in one place. Check it out.
Boulder has great malls. Pearl Street is legendary.
At first, combining a thoroughly European concept with Western towns seemed more than a bit incongruous. Pearl made it work. The family oriented Pearl turns into a fun nightlife after dusk. Other Boulder County communities have followed suit. With the crafted beer makers turning out stout profits and record sales, it's no wonder we're seeing a surge in restaurant/bar openings.
Some in Longmont would love to see a developer take a wrecking ball to the mill on the east side of town and develop out that blighted-looking area. Others want to keep that history. Longmont has a rich agricultural past to celebrate.
I recently visited Bavaria. I toured the preserved farms at a small town near the Czech Republic. It looked so authentic you could swear a Medieval farmer and his wife would come walking through one of the doors any time. A restaurant served famous German fare with that fabulous German beer and German wine. What park would be complete without a novelty store? And as long as you're growing grains and crops, you might as well make bread in a stone oven.
I have to believe some remnant of the Longmont mill can be saved for future generations to see. If a commuter rail line eventually becomes reality for that property, all the better! It will take plenty of money along with tax breaks and incentives to pull it off. But, Longmont could compete regionally with the likes of Pearl Street.
Note the Starbucks and Disney successes. These were European influences that worked.
It's healthy, too. A large property with a lot of paths makes for a great day trip for neighboring communities. And, we can always use another festival, right? Good food, good beer, good times ... you can't beat that.
Oh, did I forget to mention the favorite comment I've heard from real estate agents over the years?
Buyers are often told they can buy more house for the dollar in Longmont - as opposed to Louisville and Boulder. It has been true. There are a number of differences. Boulder is in the national spotlight, but Longmont has plenty to boast about, too.
There is plenty to like. Hipsters will like historic Longmont, where you can walk from a nice home to shops and the nightlife afforded by Longmont's downtown. Couples with families will like the slower pace and the active lifestyle afforded in Longmont.
The Fairgrounds and downtown are not the only focal points. There are recreation opportunities at Union Reservoir. There are public golf courses, skydiving, balloon rides and on and on.
I like these suggestions. Anyone else care to chime in?
On the East side, Longmont has a need for more sit-down restaurants. Ice cream at McDonald's (Wal-mart) is a start. But, I'm talking about an Olive Garden. A great family diner with a railroad theme would be ideal for the Mill area.
Can we do it?
So to re-brand Longmont as a desirable place to hang out - we need more interesting recreational options. Restructuring the old Twin Peaks mall into something similar to Centerra would be a good start - with a remodeled big movie theater. A Costco and Sams would keep more tax dollars in the city as well. Continuing to draw nicer restaurants to the area, as has started in the SW quadrant would also be beneficial.
Shopping at holidays will always be important. The social aspects of the redevelpment of "The Mall" are need to be sudied.