Gypsum wants to improve its curb appeal with Front Door redevelopment
Town partners with private landowner to plan new complex at I-70 interchange
GYPSUM — Entering Gypsum from Interstate 70, the community plainly lacks curb appeal.
But a new partnership between town government and a private property owner will work to spruce up Gypsum’s front door. And in this situation, Gypsum has skin in the game.
Earlier this year, the town announced its plan to purchase the former Gypsum Grill property with an eye toward redevelopment of the site. The $960,000 deal closed earlier this month.
Now that the town owns the property, Gypsum has partnered with the owner of the neighboring commercial parcel to master plan the area — referred to as the Front Door in Gypsum’s new master plan. Terry Marcum, the owner of the Highway 6 Store and Shell gas station was already working with a land-planning firm and now Gypsum will split the cost for a master plan involving both parcels.
Gypsum Town Manager Jeremy Rietmann applauded the town council’s decision to purchase the former restaurant property, calling it an opportunity to shape future development at the town’s main entryway.
“It’s just well known that the entryway to Gypsum doesn’t present the quality community that Gypsum is, and first impressions matter,” Rietmann said.
“I have always thought that the corner here, where you pull into Gypsum, is an attractive place to do business,” said Marcum. “I have been kind of hanging around for a couple of years to see what would happen with the restaurant property.”
Marcum has owned the Highway 6 store property since 2001. “The facility I have here is an older facility and it needs to be redone,” Marcum said.
Rietmann concurred. “Right now it is a bit of a hodgepodge up there, and I don’t think it is the most efficient use of the property.”
Marcum and town officials both envision a new gas station, convenience store and dining option at the interchange.
“Something that works for the traveling public and improves the area. It would be nice and functional,” Marcum said.
It would have the potential to increase revenues for Gypsum.
“You can very easily conclude that if you eventually get these parcels developed, they are going to produce sales tax at a rate that’s higher than what’s produced today,” Rietmann said. “It’s not just money out the door with this investment. Terry has been talking about redeveloping his own property for several years, but it is preferable to have a couple of those parcels grouped together so the plan makes sense and is compatible.
Along with the Gypsum Grill site, the town owns the former Nestor house property, located just south of the Highway 6 Store. That residential parcel also will be included in the commercial development plan.
Finally, there is a 1.1-acre site immediately east of the three parcels — which is not part of the current planning effort — but has the potential to influence Gypsum’s entry. The site is owned by Karol and Anna Sobczak, owners of motels located in Eagle and Leadville.
Rietmann said the planning work for the entryway parcels will commence immediately.
“My goal would be to have the site design and renderings available for the International Council of Shopping Centers conference in mid-May,” Rietmann said. “That is the world largest retail recruitment event.”