Plaza due for a makeover

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— Oak Street Plaza is about to receive a makeover.

The small commercial center with the tattered blue awnings at Ninth and Oak streets will get new stone work on the exterior and a new color scheme to tone down its stark white color. And the old blue awnings are coming down.

The building changed hands recently when an ownership group led by two Steamboat Springs men purchased the building from Cliff and Johanna Russell and George "Toby" Meade.

"We want to give the stucco the look and paint of (the new) Cugino's" restaurant, Bob Del Valle of Arico Investments said. "We're looking at putting stone work on the seven pillars that face Oak (Street) and more stone on the Mister Money side on Ninth (Street)."

Del Valle's partner is Mitch Cantele. A third share of the ownership is held by a business entity called Striving for Excellence.

The Russells own Mister Money and will become tenants of the new owners.

"We were lucky that Cliff made us a very good deal," Del Valle said.

Space in the commercial center is fully occupied. Other tenants include Steamboat Vision Clinic, Western Slope Accounting and Weavers' Waggin Wash, a pet washing business accessed from the Eighth Street parking lot.

City Planner Sid Rivers said the improvements to Oak Street Plaza are straightforward and will be administratively approved Friday.

Del Valle said he and his partners tentatively had planned more extensive changes. Howe--ver, the additional work would have kicked in a higher level of city approval that would have taken more time and required them to add public improvements.

Rivers confirmed that additional improvements would have triggered city requirements for a sidewalk on Oak Street and landscaping on the site.

Del Valle said the partners might consider tackling more improvements to Oak Street Plaza in a second phase. For now, they are looking at new signs identifying tenant businesses as an alternative to the old awnings.

Construction could begin in June.

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