Montrose, CO — The City of Montrose was recently recognized for its collaborations with downtown business owners in the revitalization of Block 64 in the heart of Montrose.
The city's Development and Revitalization Team (DART) earned the Governor's Award for Downtown Excellence Best Project for Block 64 and Tim and Krista Bush, owners of Chow Down Pet Supplies, were selected for the Vicki Mattox Downtowner of the Year award.
The Downtown Colorado, Inc. conference was held April 12-15 in Colorado Springs. The three-day conference equips communities with strategies to solve challenges and strengthen their downtowns.
Block 64 in downtown Montrose includes Centennial Plaza, San Juan Brews, Chow Down Pet Supplies, and other surrounding businesses. The city sought to recognize the entrepreneurial efforts of local businesses and organizations that are contributing to the revitalization of this downtown area.
Based on the notion that public space serves to support various activities and opportunities for people to connect, Centennial Plaza was designed to accommodate usage by a variety of people from all walks of life. Centennial Plaza is a multi-use public space that incorporates public art, a space for organizations like the Montrose Farmers’ Market that occurs year-round, and a space for people to gather.
On January 2, 2021, San Juan Brews opened a 3,000-square-foot building within Block 64. It is the only brewhouse of its kind on the Western Slope, offering a full coffee espresso bar in an atmosphere with Elevate Fiber internet, creating a safe and comfortable atmosphere for telecommuters to work. As they transition to the afternoon/evening crowd, San Juan Brews becomes a small-batch brewery, offering up to ten of their house-brewed craft beers.
The City of Montrose provided $10,000 in funds through DART to install the garage doors at the front and back of the building. With outdoor patio space being relatively non-existent in this location, the addition of the garage doors allowed the entire building to turn into a patio environment during the warm months of the year. DART also worked with San Juan Brews to accommodate food trucks on Main Street, which has increased foot traffic downtown and is addressing a community desire for more food options.
On May 17, 2021, Chow Down Pet Supplies officially reopened at its new 10,500-square-foot downtown location within Block 64. The company first opened in Montrose in November 2012. With great demand over the past several years, owners Krista and Tim Bush decided it was time to expand to a bigger location. The new downtown property posed some challenges. The City of Montrose leveraged its U.S. EPA Brownfields Assessment grant to determine environmental conditions on the property. The building posed challenges for redevelopment including asbestos and an underground ink storage tank that had been used for newspaper production. DART provided $100,000 in funds to cover the costs of remediating these issues to incentivize the redevelopment of this long-blighted property.
Block 64 has become a popular destination for residents and tourists alike and has served as an opportunity for business partnerships and community events. San Juan Brews provided free coffee to customers for Chow Down Pet Supplies’ grand reopening. During the summer, residents and visitors alike are able to start their days by picking up a coffee from San Juan Brews and, within a few steps, enjoy shopping at the Montrose Farmers’ Market or downtown businesses such as Chow Down Pet Supplies where they can buy supplies for their furry friends. San Juan Brews has plans to further activate the Centennial Plaza parking lot through live music on Friday nights this summer.
“We wanted to find a way to recognize the incredible transformation happening on this block, identified as Block 64 on GIS grid data, and are excited that San Juan Brews, Chow Down, and their owners have been recognized for making a difference in our community,” said Community Program Specialist Briceida Ortega.
The revitalization of Block 64 demonstrates DART’s commitment to public-private partnerships that create a sense of place, lead to economic development, and improve the quality of life for residents, according to Ortega.
Krista and Tim Bush won the Vicki Mattox Downtowner of the Year for their continued efforts to grow a better community for local residents and their pets.
The Vicki Mattox Downtowner of the Year award recognizes individuals who have shown exemplary commitment to their local downtown and community. The winners encourage ongoing collaboration and teamwork benefitting the community.
“Their commitment to the Montrose community is exceptional," said Downtown Colorado, Inc. in a Wednesday news release.
"They always try to meet their customers' personal needs and make their pets happy," Ortega said. “Their eagerness to help the community is demonstrated through their events like ‘adopt-a-thons’ in which they provide post-adoption information, training, and treats for the animals. They have built positive relationships with local businesses, organizations, and members of the community and are always looking for opportunities to support local shelters."
Over the past decade, the City of Montrose has invested around $1 million in downtown projects, creating over $22 million in economic growth.
More information about DART can be found here.