Mainstreet Steamboat Springs and some residents are pushing for the former Space Station gas station and Go-Fer Foods convenience store to be turned into a park.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Mainstreet Steamboat Springs and some residents are pushing for the former Space Station gas station and Go-Fer Foods convenience store to be turned into a park.

Pumps could become park

Supporters: Space Station site ideal

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To share your ideas about the future of the Space Station gas and Go-Fer Foods convenience store site in downtown Steamboat Springs, contact Jon Sanders of Colorado Group Realty at 870-0552 or jonwsanders@mybrokers.com

— When landscape designer Lisa Lee Benjamin looks at the fences and abandoned fuel pumps at Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue, she sees a community gathering spot and green space.

Benjamin is part of a push, backed by Mainstreet Steamboat Springs, to replace the Space Station site with a park. The gas station and Go-Fer Foods convenience store, on a corner lot in downtown Steamboat Springs, have been closed since December 2006.

Benjamin, principal of Evo Design LLC, said she has been mulling the idea since the Space Station shut its doors. She said she has been working on preliminary designs for the 15,000-square-foot property.

"I think as we've expanded, the community is kind of disjointed," she said of Steamboat. "I'm just thinking about how public space can create community. I think that'd be great."

Grand Junction-based Monument Oil owns the Space Station, and its executives couldn't be reached for comment. Buying the property will be tough, Mainstreet Program Manager Tracy Barnett said. She said proponents of the park have yet to meet with Monument's Paul Brown, whose family has owned the site for years.

Fundraising and partnerships with the city will be crucial to paying for the project, Barnett said.

"I think if there's enough people who think it's a good idea, we'll find the money," she said.

In Benjamin's vision, the park would have an amphitheater for events and outdoor movies. She would like to see Butcherknife Creek uncovered; the waterway runs diagonally below the property. Not only would a park create a gathering place in the heart of downtown, but it also would improve the ecology by housing insects and animals, Benjamin said.

She said she plans to work on concepts during the next several weeks.

"I'd like to have it be simple, clean, have it be soft," Benjamin said. "I'm trying to create something that will be able to be used for public space and low maintenance that would add beauty : something that looks good in the winter and the summer. I think that's a challenge here."

Downtown vision

Developer Jon Sanders of Colorado Group Realty is working toward the creation of the park. It's just a dream, he said, adding that community funding and grants would be necessary for the project to move forward.

The property has a few issues awaiting resolution, he and Barnett said. The owners must do mitigation work because of the site's history as a gas station, Sanders said.

"The current owners are responsible for the cleanup of it, but really, it's the responsibility of everybody involved," he said. "We don't want it to sit there and rot. As a city and as a community, we need to step up and find an answer for that site."

Barnett, Benjamin and Sanders said community involvement would be crucial. Benjamin said she would like residents to influence the design and discuss what they want in a park.

Sanders said anyone interested in adding ideas to the mix is welcome to give him a ring. Everyone involved so far is donating time and brainpower to the preliminary project.

"For me, it's something I'd like to see done, and it's something I'm doing out of my own ethics," Sanders said. "There's a big vision for downtown, and I think that fits right into that vision."

Comments

scooter 5 years, 8 months ago

Good luck on that idea... People are scrambling just to figure out how they are going to buy their ski passes, food, gas, pay their rent or mortgage. Not to mention property and income taxes, insurance, so on and so on...

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id04sp 5 years, 8 months ago

5,000,000 acres of splendid National Forest land within a few miles, and somebody wants to put a park in the middle of town.

Easily the dumbest idea since they built the new terminal at Bob Adams field.

Turn the Space Station land into metered parking spaces, where it can actually do some good for the town surrounding it.

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jeff roman 5 years, 8 months ago

HEY THATS A GREAT IDEA,now all we have to do is get all the new building developers in city limits to pay for it.aren't we already spending more that we make(oh the american way)maybe if we stop firing people and hiring consultants we could refill the city coifuers

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cara marrs 5 years, 8 months ago

I think this is a wonderful idea! Good job Lisa and everyone involved for having a great vision for trying to beautify downtown, I think you will find the support.

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madmoores 5 years, 8 months ago

Beautiful or practical, I see two choices here. Id is right, you live in the middle of an outdoor park, why would you want more "open space" in the middle of town, Steamboat is all about "open space"? The Practical solution would be to turn it into a parking lot. Look at how it was used before the fence went up. There were dozens of cars parked there all the time. Beauty(which you live in)...or practical and useful, something to help with the parking crunch downtown?

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scooter 5 years, 8 months ago

A million dollar piece of prime real estate... it will never happen. And a parking lot for 25 cars.... not! I understand eveyone's frustrations, but come on kids!!!!

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Gadfly 5 years, 8 months ago

We've been looking for a piece of downtown green space for years, and now here it is, exactly where we would have placed it if we'd been able to design Lincoln Avenue from the beginning. This could be our last opportunity to create a downtown gathering place. Parking spaces! You can put those anywhere, or actually walk a block to your destination. Don't listen to the naysayers, Main Street.

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damselfly 5 years, 8 months ago

Park opportunities within an urban area immensely add to to the richness of the town's character. And the chance to uncover Butcherknife Creek...priceless! When would this opportunity come up again? This peek of our natural resource ammenities while shopping downtown will remind us of why we live here. Don't let Steamboat Springs become Anytown, USA. Not every storefront needs to hug the curb...take this opportunity to showcase the real Steamboat Springs.

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mtroach 5 years, 8 months ago

I would like a convience store that sells gas downtown. Bob's Conoco is great for fuel, but where can I get a Big Gulp Dr. Pepper, and a bag of chips with easy parking and quick in and out, within a mile of downtown? Bring back the Space Station.

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scooter 5 years, 8 months ago

By the By...

The hazmat cost alone to remove all the tanks and contaminated soil will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Nothing will grow there until you do.

The scuttlebutt is the underground tanks have been leaking for years. Just like the ones under Peak fitness, and the now defunct Shell station... across from the downtown Post Office.

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handyman 5 years, 8 months ago

scooter - The state might be able to help with the cost of clean up. The owner just needs to apply to get the ball rolling.

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bartender 5 years, 8 months ago

Wait!! We haven't heard from Mr Cook yet. 3 story condos, and multi-use buildings. Come on people drive the real estate market!! A park where there could be a condo? A place in Nature instead of millions in sales tax dollars and another 30 condos to be sold in town? Call Mr Cook and lets Sale Our Soul!! Everybody now "S.O.S.".

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localfuzz 5 years, 8 months ago

The park would be nice - minus the amphitheater. It might help lessen the effect of the build-up on the other side of the street.

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Tracy Barnett 5 years, 8 months ago

A small gathering, people watching space which could include public bathrooms, the babbling of the creek and some grass would be a welcome addition to all the tall buildings being constructed downtown. It would definitely break up the block upon block of buildings fronting Lincoln Ave. Would the public be interested making this happen? It would probably take private donations, grants, manual labor to construct and ongoing maintenance fees in the future. Maybe an Adopt-A- Park or Friends of Space Station Park program would be the way to go.

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JazzSlave 5 years, 8 months ago

More power to 'em if they can get it done, but I'm with id on this one. Spring Creek is just a stone's throw away, fer cripe's sake. Kicking back on Lincoln with all that traffic belching unleaded & diesel fumes doesn't strike me as a relaxing vibe.

My prediction: ain't gonna happen.

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id04sp 5 years, 8 months ago

I have an idea. Why not build a town in the middle of the National Forest to lend an urban flavor to the woodlands.

Oh, yeah, that's what we've got. Duh.

Uh, when I drove by recently, didn't I see a sorta "park" along the bike path just a few blocks away? Isn't there a park with the pond and elk statue just a few blocks away. Isn't the Yampa River and the bike path sort of a park all through town?

Sounds to me like a few landscape architects are pushing the idea so they can bid on the job. "We need a park in town . . . " Crazy.

Better idea. Let's tear the town completely down and restore the woodlands. I'll vote for that one.

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foodchain 5 years, 8 months ago

The town in the middle of the woodlands needs an air conditioned gym. I miss working out on the treadmill late at night like I used to do when I lived in a City.

Maybe the park in the middle of town could have treadmills and stair masters so that i could work out and enjoy some nice scenery right in the middle of town. Ideally, there would be climate control (its too hot right now) so maybe a park with a dome over it and some stair masters? And air condtioning. Please!

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scooter 5 years, 8 months ago

From knowitall...

"They start remediating soils tomorrow behind Shell station at 3rd."

I guess you don't know much... Nothing was started today. There are no plans according to Blimpies for any re-mediating of soils on their lot. I saw no digging in "Cookville" behind where the batch plant has been.

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dave reynolds 5 years, 8 months ago

I believe that problem was solved a while ago.once again know nothing..but knowitall please feel free to correct me if i'm wrong..which ive been known to be and you?

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ColoradoNative 5 years, 8 months ago

1) Build a structure that has underground parking, parking on the main level and put a park on top.
2) While we are the subject of the milner land fill lets close that god awful place down. It's time for the Routt County planners to rethink allowing toxic dumping to be going on next to a major watershed.

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scooter 5 years, 8 months ago

I know that anything analyzed at ACZ... is probably bogus.

I know of two ex-employees that moved on years ago both known to each other. That both categorically stated to me personally (at different times) that ACZ will fudge the numbers to make the situation work.

As far as dumping the soil in Milner... @#%&ing Great!

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Aaron Murphy 5 years, 8 months ago

My $0.02--

I agree that we live in an area where open space is not hard to come by, and that a park in the middle of downtown Steamboat is not exactly a necessity.

I have some concerns that haven't been mentioned yet.

One-- the park would be backed up against a major highway. We already have traffic concerns through downtown, there is a bus stop right in front of the Gofer's site, and now we'd be creating a situation where people would be casually strolling through a park, not looking for traffic or concerning themselves with the busy highway that runs right next to the park.

Two-- do people really want to sit in a park while hearing dump trucks, cars, buses, and freight trucks driving by within fifty feet of the park benches and creek? It seems like it would be difficult to enjoy the calm serenity of a park in downtown with the constant "BRAWP" of traffic moving by.

These concerns, coupled with the fact that there is no shortage of open space in our community and surrounding areas, leads me to believe that putting a park at the Gofer's location is a bad decision.

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Tricia Nickerson 5 years, 8 months ago

Bring back the convenience store. Why was it taken away anyways? Where can you buy a loaf of bread or a roll of toilet paper downtown for a reasonable price? Come on.

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cmducks 5 years, 8 months ago

I think a t-shirt shop should be there, I just can't find a shirt that says "Steamboat" on it anywhere!

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Tricia Nickerson 5 years, 8 months ago

ColoradoNative ~ what toxic waste are you referring to? The Milner Landfill is a lined landfill, probably one of the more cleaner landfills in Colorado. Nonhazardous waste. We're lucky to have it where it is. Would you rather have it at the GoFer site? Besides that you can get the best deals for home improvement at the Milner Mall.

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Kevin Nerney 5 years, 8 months ago

Wow more and more like NY everyday!!! They have Central Park smack dab in the middle of the city ( oh wait we already have a Central Park not central to anything but what else is new) Great Idea yeah right Now what we need is a good pizzeria

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steamberg 5 years, 8 months ago

Colorado Native - great idea - however, I would like to see the parking garage about 4 stories tall so the people in the 'park' could see over the new buildings being erected.

Kevin_Nerney - central park is central to downtown and the mountain, fyi.

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spukomy 5 years, 8 months ago

Bring on the 4 story (1 underground) parking lot. People need/want it. Personally, I like the spot at Blimpies better, but I'm not so sure that could be part of Jim Cook's "vision".

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ColoradoNative 5 years, 8 months ago

There would be some killer views from the 4th story park! How about a nice water feature drowning out the sound of the traffic. Some trees sucking up the pollution rising up. A swing set, a marry go round, some nice benches capturing the views of the valley.

Best of all room for a couple hundred cars! Instead of dozens of cars circling around looking for a spot adding to traffic bottle necks people could zip right in. They might just hit level 4 on the elevator and enjoy the views of our valley from the parking park!

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madmoores 5 years, 8 months ago

Now THAT'S a great idea ColoradoNative, best of both worlds. Why not go for 5 or 6 stories, more parking and at a great height to overlook most of the downtown corridor with Howelson and Werner in full view. Not too terribly tall and intrusive yet efficient(would look a whole lot better than the "white thumb" y'all have sticking up in the middle of town, what the heck is that thing?). Boulder(yeah I know but it isn't bad to visit for a few days) has a 4, maybe 5 level right downtown on the Pearl street mall. Can't even tell it is a parking garage until you pull up to the entrance, at a good height to see most of the town, and room for 4-500 cars(guesstimate). At 5 bucks a pop thats alot of needed revenue, maybe enough to build that much needed t-shirt shop someone suggested;) The park on top is perfect, I would drive to Steamboat just to hang out and look around, people watch, and enjoy the mountain air. Virtual pat on the back to ya, now you need to get someone important to listen to you.

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