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November 17th, 2010Midtown makeover

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by Coloradoan.com

Fort Collins, CO – Fort Collins takes pride in its vibrant Old Town, thriving Harmony Road Corridor and ongoing renewal projects on North College Avenue.

Now, its sights are set on a 3.5-mile stretch of College Avenue from Prospect Road to Harmony – a dichotomous mix of empty storefronts and new projects; auto dealers and aging mall, restaurants and retail. An area the city believes that with a little money and public/private partnerships can be as distinctive as Old Town with a lively mix of retail and up to 3,000 new residential units.

Midtown, with about 3.8 million square feet of retail space and 685 businesses, represents about 41 percent of total retail sales in the city, and 68 percent of shoppers’ goods sales such as apparel, furniture, electronics and sporting goods.

With that much sales tax revenue at stake – much of it generated by the ailing Foothills Mall – Midtown is a key economic driver in a city under pressure to remain a regional retail destination amid growing competition.

Armed with a recently completed 52-page Midtown Corridor Study, a 20-year road map of sorts to the area’s redevelopment, the city is focused on what happens next.

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