Downtown Steamboat businesses shuffle near Seventh Street | SteamboatToday.com

Downtown Steamboat businesses shuffle near Seventh Street

Mike Lawrence

A Quiksilver retail store will move from Old Town Square to this corner location in Howelsen Place. A real estate office for the mixed-use development will open down the sidewalk, where people look into windows Wednesday.

— Tuesday night's approval of a real estate office on Lincoln Avenue near Seventh Street was part of a chain reaction of businesses preparing to shuffle locations at Howelsen Place and Old Town Square.

"Throw a deck of cards in the air and see where they fall, I guess," Tracy Barnett of Mainstreet Steamboat Springs said Wednesday in her Howelsen Place office, which is in the corner location at Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue.

Barnett said she'll be moving out of that spot Monday, transferring Mainstreet operations to the Yampa Street building between Sunpie's Bistro and Sweetwater Grill where Barnett had her office about four years ago.

Mark Scully, managing director of Howelsen Place developers Green Courte Partners, said the real estate sales office for Howelsen Place and Alpen Glow — its sister development at Sixth Street — will be moving out of the Howelsen Place corner location by April 1. The real estate office will move one unit over in Howelsen Place to a location with Lincoln Avenue frontage.

That will clear the way for Quik­­silver to refurbish the corner location's interior in preparation for an opening there that local business owner Linda Cullen said could happen June 1.

Cullen said while some aspects of the situation remain fluid, she's planning to move her two snowboard-style, youth-oriented clothing and gear stores — Quiksilver and The DC Store — across Seventh Street from Old Town Square to the corner Howelsen Place location. The new Quiksilver store likely will also offer DC brands, in what Cullen said could be a "store-in-a-store" format.

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She said representatives from Quiksilver's California headquarters will participate in the design of the new downtown Steamboat store.

"It'll be one of their newer concepts," Cullen said. "It's kind of a surprise for us, too, at this point."

Her son, Derek Cullen, is operations manager for The DC Store and Quiksilver locations in Old Town Square. He said the new Howelsen Place location would focus more heavily on skateboarding and snowboarding apparel and equipment.

That could set up a skateboarding retail center on Seventh Street. A few doors down from Howelsen Place's corner location, Urbane co-owner Trent Kolste said the streetwear store is expanding its four-wheeled inventory.

"We're definitely blowing up our skateboards," Kolste said Wednesday, citing strong sales since The Click closed in Central Park Plaza. "We've got big plans for skateboarding this year."

Amid all the business shuffling, the move of Howelsen Place's real estate office drew questions from Steamboat Springs City Council members Tuesday night in Centennial Hall.

Councilwoman Meg Bentley said the addition of another real estate office with frontage on downtown's main drag could "erode the Lincoln Avenue experience."

City planner Seth Lorson said planning staff had a lot of discussion about "whether this is a slippery slope," but decided to recommend approval of a real estate office in that location as a conditional use, provided it is only for first-time sales of Howelsen Place and Alpen Glow units.

"To be able to sell those properties upstairs, you really need a street-front presence," Lorson told City Council. "That use will extinguish itself after a certain amount of time."

City Council approved the office's development plan and location in a 6-0 vote. Councilman Scott Myller was absent Tuesday.

Bentley said her support occurred despite "a fight with myself over the past couple of days."

"I guess I'm just going to put everybody on notice that I'm watching," she said.

— To reach Mike Lawrence, call 970-871-4233 or e-mail mlawrence@SteamboatToday.com

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