New project envisions public plaza on Yampa



The large white house at 655 Yampa Street, shown here Wednesday afternoon, may be replaced by a three-story building in the near future if designer Steven Eggleston's development plan is approved by the city.

— The same development and design team currently building a two-story restaurant and pub on Yampa Street has a new project in the works for Steamboat Springs' downtown riverfront.

Designer Steven Eggleston of SCE Studio has submitted a development plan to the city for a three-story building that would combine commercial spaces and residential units at 655 Yampa St.

The site is directly opposite the "T" intersection with Seventh Street and has frontage on the Yampa River. It is currently occupied by a large white house.

Developers Howard Ulep and Dennis Frank of Annapolis, Md., have begun construction this summer on a new restaurant and pub less than two blocks away, where the Boat House office building formerly stood.

Their newest project would combine a mix of six residential units on the upper floors and three or four commercial spaces fronting a public courtyard on the river. Peter Van De Carr confirmed plans to move his Backdoor Sports mountaineering store and inner tube rental business to the new building.

The plan is notable for several innovative touches, including an automated automobile elevator to stack residents' cars and a covered pedestrian pass-through from the streetscape to the river.

Van De Carr's new shop would feature an overhead conveyor to deliver tubes to the customer desk.

"It's pretty exciting," Van De Carr said. "We'll continue to be the same mountaineering, climbing, kayaking and backcountry skiing store we've always been."

City Planner Jonathan Spence said if the developers can deliver on the design, it could be a noteworthy building.

"It has the potential to be a very exciting project," Spence said. "Steve Eggleston has put a tremendous amount of thought into the building."

Eggleston said Spence has worked with him on the concept of the new building during a period of six months.

The feedback he heard form the city planning staff was that they placed a high value on public views of the river. They also discouraged an initial plan to build six garage bays on the Yampa Street frontage.

"We're using an elevator system that will reduce the number to two bays," Eggleston said. "That will allow more commercial frontage, which is something we want, too. Imagine an elevator for cars that can stack them two bays wide and three high."

He said he researched an existing elevator system that has been put into use in buildings in Denver.

Eggleston said he believes he's persuaded city planners that a single 32-foot-wide pedestrian path to the river would be preferable to four 8-foot sidewalks offering fragmented views. The result would be a "Zen doorway" through the building and under a residential unit that would give passersby a changing view of the river and Howelsen Hill, he said.

"It's going to be such a dramatic architectural element for downtown," he said.

The unnamed project has just entered the formal city planning process, and no public hearing dates have been set.


stillinsteamboat 9 years, 7 months ago

Let's name the project for them. How about Zen on the Yampa.


Jean 9 years, 7 months ago

to condoguy1 I like your description of zen doorway. Now I know I don't need one.


stillinsteamboat 9 years, 8 months ago

Pete, I'm surprised, I thought you were one of us.


bcpow 9 years, 8 months ago

Lets fast track this project and get some more construction equipment downtown.


Geary Baxter 9 years, 8 months ago

A three (3) story "Zen" building? Hmmm. The Beginning of the Inn.


Jean 9 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, just what the heck is a Zen doorway? What happened to the old doorways? I haven't been to SBS in 2-3 years,sounds like every other "in" place on the map. I keep seeing ads calling SBS the "wild west"--now that's a load of horsecrap.


thecondoguy1 9 years, 7 months ago

a zen doorway is the same as a bs doorway only it goes over better when you are making application to the powers that be, so along with feng shui, zen door is a bunch of crap to this old cowboy........., how's that for zen?


Neil O'Keeffe 9 years, 7 months ago

Just like our national politics, you are either with us or against us. Is that what it has come down to with development in Steamboat. For those that are resistant to change or even unable to accept it I can only suggest some hearfelt condolences and recommend counseling, because change is a fact of life and happens everywhere. Accepting this I believe it is important to begin to scrutinize one development proposal from another with the knowledge that some are bettter than others and that all development does not have to be bad and unwelcomed. And no, I am not in the development, real estate or building trades. Believe!


Neil O'Keeffe 9 years, 7 months ago

No, I'm not Jim Cook or even a big fan of his. But I do still love this town after 10+ years despite all the changes. I try not to oppose all development based soley on the fact that it is change. For those that can't stomach change may I suggest a cozy little residence somewhere in Iowa or Kansas where things are the same day in and day out, day after day after day. Let's imbrace diversity and change and play a contructive role in how it shapes our town rather than complaining about it because it's in vogue and the easy thing to do.

Kudos to Pete for teaming up with some creative and caring individuals that are trying to do something different and unique. Backdoor is going to be without a home in the near future anyway, would you rather lose another local business to development or see it recreate itself in a new home? Believe!


JQPUBLIC 9 years, 7 months ago

"For those that can't stomach change may I suggest a cozy little residence somewhere in Iowa or Kansas"... this seems to be the stock answer from the people that believe we should not have our own opinion, or at least not state it. SO... to you I must reply.... Those of you that have only been here 10+ years do not know the changes steamboat has been through and you are the ones that keep trying change things into a copy of where you came from, may I suggest New York or Chicago, they are constantly changing.


bikegirl 9 years, 7 months ago

"And ya know the suns setting fast ,and just like they say nothing good ever lasts,Go on now and kiss it goodbye,but hold onto your lover 'cause your hearts bound to die.Go on now and say goodbye to our town,to our town,Can't ya see the see the sun going down on our town.on our town.Goodbye"

                                                   Iris DeMent

Neil O'Keeffe 9 years, 7 months ago

Oh my, only 10 years and I shouldn't have an opinion. I have met your type before, usually the first one to ask how long someone has lived here and spouting off how long you have lived here before the other can even answer. My response as always is "get a grip" and see a bit more of the world before you pay hommage to your ego again. Besides, what do you think the early pioneers had to say or the native americans that originally inhabitted this area before the likes of you moved in "there goes the neighborhood"? Believe!


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