After the new Boathouse Pub's opening on Yampa Street during the weekend, two new proposals would continue the evolution of that strip into a dining and shopping district along the Yampa River.
Jamie McQuade, owner of Winona's Restaurant, one of Steamboat's most popular breakfast and lunch establishments, confirmed she is exploring the possibility of developing a new building at 603 Yampa St. It would occupy the site where the Workman home now stands, just across Butcherknife Creek from the Boathouse.
"It's very preliminary," McQuade said. "We're trying to see if it's feasible. We are planning to keep some part of Winona's at our current location on Lincoln Avenue even if this goes through."
On July 24, the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of an unrelated project in the Yampa Street neighborhood. The latest in a series of mixed commercial and residential projects downtown, the project would be built at 608 Yampa St., across the street from the Workman house. It would replace another wooden frame house, this one built in 1928. The new project would be immediately behind the new Alpen Glow townhomes and across Sixth Street from the Bank of the West parking lot.
The developers are Jon Wade and Chris Paoli of Steamboat Springs. Their 13,000-square-foot design bears a resemblance to The Olympian, nearing completion a block away. The two projects share the architectural firm of Vertical Arts.
The Planning Commission gave its blessing last week for a development permit and the final development permit that represents the design review of 608 Yampa. The project is scheduled to go before Steamboat Springs City Council on Aug. 5. Another favorable vote would send the developers on to seek building permits.
The project anticipates just 1,229 square feet of commercial space fronting Yampa Street, with a pair of two-story residential units above. It would share an at-grade parking garage with an entrance off Sixth Street.
"The building very much fits the trend on Yampa Street," City Planner Jason Peasley said. "We supported a variance to the front setback so the buildings could be built right to the sidewalk."
Peasley said similar measures have been taken elsewhere on Yampa St. to enhance the pedestrian environment.
The building would jog away from Butcherknife Creek on the north elevation to respect the 30-foot water body setback on the stream. The developers say they would work with service clubs and the Boy Scouts to enhance the riparian environment in Butcherknife Park.
McQuade's preliminary plan involves more than her restaurant. Tara, Julie and Jill Wernig also would like to create a small pub, The Knotty Buoy, on the west end of the building. The proposal also calls for two second-story apartments.
The structure they would like to build would be a tight fit on the 7,112-square-foot lot and would require variances from setbacks on the river and the creek.
Marcus York, with Steamboat Engineering and Architectural Design, is the project manager. He said the developers need the variances to make the project financially viable.
"While we do need variances to the setback requirements, we believe that every other aspect of this project is entirely in harmony with the purpose and intent of the Yampa Street Commercial Zone District," York wrote in a memo to the planning department.
The developers say they are willing to improve the banks of the Yampa River and make the backyard of their lot public, allowing travel on foot from Lion's Park to the creek.
McQuade and the Wernigs also propose a rare amenity in downtown Steamboat - public restrooms.
McQuade said that if she someday succeeds in moving Winona's to Yampa Street, she would plan to retain the Lincoln Avenue site for take-out baked goods and coffee.