By Laura Keegan
On Aug. 2, Edgewater City Council passed Ordinance 2018-11 authorizing the sale of city-owned property at 5845 W. 25th Ave., and 2514 Gray St., to CSI-Edgewater, LLC. Of note – the new owners of this property are also are the owners of the corner properties to the west and to the south. The new development, Edgewater Town Square, will tie all these areas together.
Here is a short summary of information presented to council: Earlier this year, CSI drew together a local focus group. Information gathered from this citizens’ focus group demonstrated that citizens love their city, they greatly value its walkability, its small town feel and like being part of a small city of 5,000 not 700,000. The words “walkability” and/or “small town” appeared in every survey CSI used. Having qualities that reflected the neighborhood culture showed the group’s desire for a place they could call their own and that they could be proud of. It was a priority to feature goods and services — somewhere people want to frequent — and that it enhanced enjoyment of their neighborhood. Highly appealing uses included: ice cream, bakery, beer garden, etc. There was a strong desire for having places to go to, not because you had to, but because you wanted to, places to spend time with family and friends — experiential places. Participants wanted these uses for the social aspects that go along with them.
The need for a community gathering place prevailed. It was important that citizens could walk and bike to the property, that the development be available for use at all times of the day and that it be open and friendly to all ages. The group wanted a place that could be used informally, where they could work on a laptop, read the newspaper, or meet a friend or business associate for coffee or wine. It should be of “neighborhood” scale so that Edgewater’s small-town feel would be maintained. A historic tie-in was deemed important. There was conversation around parking. Participants asked that parking be shared by all users in the vicinity. Participants showed little interest in preserving the existing buildings. There was a general appreciation for the scale of the buildings and the red brick, but participants expressed little love for the “lackluster” architecture. Most felt strongly the metal building should be removed — note, the metal fire department building was intended to be temporary when it was installed decades ago; and any replacement buildings should be of high quality design and materials
Based on the focus group results, CSI concluded a successful redevelopment of the property will: contain multiple uses that will be available all day — ice cream, bakery, beer & wine and healthy food options a must; have accessibility to all age groups; be relatively small in scale and maintain the small town feel; have indoor and outdoor “public” areas for spontaneous and informal gatherings; have adequate parking; be pedestrian and bicyclist friendly; be connected to the history and location; and avoid personal service use.
There are several businesses ready to go into this development — there definitely will be a restaurant and many unique establishments that will fit the “town square” model. CSI is in the process of completing their final plans for this property. These should be forthcoming in the next months. Stay tuned! What an exciting time to be in Edgewater.
Contact Edgewater mayor Laura Keegan at 303-232-0745 (landline) or firstname.lastname@example.org.