A private business’ and a community’s vision doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive, said Downtown Colorado Inc. Executive Director Katherine Correll.
As part of the Western Slope Reinvestment and Redevelopment Symposium (WSRRS) series: Deal Making with Urban Renewal, Correll pointed to Mayfly Outdoors as a business that has done that in Montrose.
Downtown Colorado, Inc. is a non-profit organization that works to better communities by assisting downtowns, commercial districts and town centers in within the state, according to its website.
The Colorado Outdoors Project, which opened earlier this year, includes river restoration and high-end commercial, residential and industrial development. Mayfly Outdoors, the parent company of Ross Reels and Abel Reels, will anchor the project with its 41,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.
Correll said having the company up and running means residents have access to the Uncompahgre River. And it has created jobs, brought in investors and outdoor space and a walkable corridor that helps connect that area to downtown, she added.
That matches the communtiy’s vision as well, Correll said Tuesday during the workshop held at the Montrose Pavilion.
This was done because Mayfly created the site on an urban renewal area while having a trail — thanks to a Great Outdoors Colorado grant — right next to the location, she said.
“It’s an attractive building,” she said. “... It (the trail) is opened up to downtown Montrose. But it also opened up the riverfront to many residential neighborhoods nearby.”
Additionally, the Colorado Outdoors Project is also in proximity to the City of Montrose and Montrose Recreation District’s “Connecting the People to their Parks and Recreation” project. The project will create 2.25 miles of new trails, with underpasses, on both ends of town to connect more of the public with parks and recreational opportunities. The 41 acres along the river corridor, which Mayfly gave back to the city, was used for the trail and to provide more open space.
City of Montrose Director of Business Innovation Chelsea Rosty said Mayfly is the “anchor tenant” for the overall project. Since the company moved in earlier this year, it’s been able to show off its fly fishing equipment due to it being next to a pond and the Uncompahgre River, Rosty said.
“Mayfly is the anchor tenant for future development,” she said. “And I think in the next 12-36 months, we’re going to the fruits of that catalyst project happening.”
Correll said the series presented how private investors, like Mayfly, can finance and further the vision of the community.
“It’s where do you want to go as a community and what are the different types of tools that you can use to get on the same page,” Correll said.
The workshop wasn’t only about the success of Mayfly.
The series helped attendees understand the redevelopment processes and the financial elements of urban renewal projects. It also included detailed information into how urban renewal can address brownfield, historic buildings and housing projects.
Rosty said this workshop took “a deeper dive” into how an urban renewal authority, or URA, works. The Montrose Urban Renewal Authority can invest in future projects which would “spur development in a blight,” she said.
The workshop had representatives from Western Slope communities including Grand Junction, Durango and Pagosa Springs, as well as a few from the Front Range.
This was the second time for the symposium, as one was held in Durango earlier this year, while another one will occur next February in Grand Junction.
“We’re really proud to host this in Montrose,” Rosty said. “It’s just a testament to bringing people in from outside communities and show off our community and learn from them.”
Andrew Kiser is the Montrose Daily Press’ sports/business writer. Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kpress.