Riverfront changes proposed



The Colorado Group Realty building on Yampa Street in downtown Steamboat Springs is one of three buildings proposed to be demolished and replaced late in the 2008 construction season.


The Sunpie's Bistro building on Yampa Street in downtown Steamboat Springs is one of three buildings proposed to be demolished and replaced late in the 2008 construction season.

— Realtor/developer Jim Cook has entered the city planning process with a proposal to replace three small buildings on Yampa Street with three new buildings.

The new construction would provide a mix of residential units and commercial space, including a restaurant. The site fronts the Yampa River between Seventh and Eighth streets. It is immediately west of Bear River Center and immediately east of the Yacht Club restaurant.

Cook is a principal in Colorado Group Realty. Among the buildings that would be demolished to make way for the new, yet to be named project is Colorado Group's project showcase. The remaining buildings house Sunpie's Bistro and Sweet Pea Produce in one structure and Hell's Wall consignment sporting goods in a neighboring old house.

However, Cook said the demolition phase would not begin until late in the construction season of 2008.

The new two-story buildings would create four retail spaces plus a restaurant on the first level and four, possibly five, residential units on the second level.

Cook owns the real estate showcase building and has an option to purchase the other two from James D. Reichert of Denver, he said. He has the master lease on Reichert's buildings. The development group is the same as the one tackling larger projects in downtown Steamboat, including Howelsen Place, Alpenglow and River Walk. Green Courte Partners of Chicago is the financial partner.

Cook said he hopes to continue a business relationship with at least two of his current tenants.

"Sunpie's will most likely be a tenant" of the new restaurant building, Cook said.

If that should happen, he said, he anticipates the cafe would not have to close during the transition. Sunpie's owner Mike Miller confirmed he has a right of first refusal to lease the new space. He added he'd have to wait and see how the details unfold before making a decision on the future of his business.

Cook said there's a chance Sweet Pea Produce would occupy a commercial space in one of the other three projects in Steamboat's Old Town. Jonathon Hieb, a partner with Katherine Zambrana in the business, said that's one option they are considering.

"Our business is definitely at a crossroads," Hieb said. "We could continue as a seasonal business, which would probably mean moving out of downtown in the next two years or so. Or, we could become a full-fledged natural market and move into one of the new buildings."

Whatever happens, Hieb said, Cook's new development on Yampa Street won't put him out of business.

Hieb also is a partner with Pete Van De Carr of Backdoor Sports in Hell's Wall.

Cook said the new structures would honor the architecture that prevailed in another era on Yampa Street.

"We want to follow the design guidelines and respect the older residential look," he said.

Architect Bill Rangitsch's preliminary elevation drawings show residential style gables and covered entryways on the Yampa Street side. The rear elevation incorporates large windows on the commercial buildings.

Crescent-shaped seating walls define patios along the river.

Cook said the lots are too shallow to allow construction of a public trail paralleling the river. Instead, he proposes to create public access walkways to the river between the buildings.

Cook did not offer a construction timetable. His submittal to the planning department is so recent no staff planner has been assigned to it, and no meetings have been scheduled.


spukomy 10 years ago

Shouldn't Jim Cook's "Riverwalk" be named the "Yampa Street Walk"? If there are to be 3 new two-story buildings in that small area, how will anyone see the river from the street. His idea of having alleyways, not even pier-like, leading up to the river, does not seem too friendly. And we know by now he doesn't care for parking restrictions, even if stipulated in our ordinances. Remember the $60K he paid to ignore the 1.5 parking spaces required for every condo he built downtown at 7th Street. Well worth it. And the requirement of having a concrete pathway in front of his Yampa Street Real Estate Office. He ignored that one and City Council is finally getting on him. Just in time for him to tear that building down. Not my idea of Buisnessman Of The Year.


bartender 10 years ago

I am glad and really suprised that it's not being called the Jim Cook river walk. That would be more typical of the hot headed developers that are taking over the town. Be interesting to see this place when 1 person or group finally owns every acre of Steamboat.


tkdman 10 years ago

Somebody needs to rein this guy in before we start living in Breckenridge


beentheredonethat 10 years ago

Jim Cook is doing all of us a favor by tearing down the junk currently occupying the riverfront. I applaud him for his vision and for spending his money to make all the many improvements.


tkdman 10 years ago

yeah, and pretty soon nobody will be able to work and also live in Steamboat (see Aspen, Vail and most of California) What ever happened to the "Stop the brutal marketing" bumper stickers. Jim Cook is getting rich in the old fashioned way.....by selling something he does not own. tisk tisk. No wonder they are known as Real-a-snakes


Jean 10 years ago

I like the Real a snakes, right on target!!!


corduroy 10 years ago

"junk"? occupying the riverfront? I think it was great having a Bistro you could sit outside by the river at. A sports store. A wonderful local produce market.

And we tear all that down for what. More overpriced crap that makes the river front look less like a river and more like a street.

Leave us alone Cook! I moved to Steamboat, not Cookboat.


Jon Casson 10 years ago

Last time I checked, its still a free market economy. If you dont like what the "hot-headed" developers are doing, you're more than welcome to write a business plan, find investors, come up with the capitol, then buy property and do whatever you want with it....


corduroy 10 years ago

I'm trying to somehow buy a condo for myself first before I even look into owning a business. Oh wait, I forgot. 25 year olds are supposed to work here getting paid crap, and live outside of town til we're 50 and can afford a house.. I'm really getting over Steamboat fast


agentofchange 10 years ago

Ya know I'm reading a lot of "class envy" going on here. This is not good for anybody. If anyone has an issue on local Real Estate "Market Issues", and how to make real progress, (if you choose to... instead of just complaining) contact me. Let's discuss it.

Lay off Jim Cook, as he is not the problem. We can discuss the problem, and possible solutions, if that is what you really want. The ball's in your court. So go ahead and lay it on me.

I won't bite, unlike a "real" snake. Contact me by clicking on "agentofchange"; I think you will find it refreshing. Cheers!


thecondoguy1 10 years ago

corduroy, griping about the over 50's and Steamboat is not going to get you anywhere, costs money wherever you go that is worth being, you got to honker down and make a plan, it may involve some sacrifice, sorry.........


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