Jones General Store and Camera will be closing in October to make room for new retail spaces and student rentals. (CU Independent/Patrick Ghidossi)
Love it or hate it, changes are coming to the Hill.
Local developer Michael Boyers will help create new student rentals and retail stores on the corner of College Avenue and 14th Street.
Though many Boulder citizens have expressed concern over the changes, Boyers said they must occur.
“Change is inevitable,” Boyers said. “There are some businesses currently occupying the space that are not doing very well.”
Boyers said the student rentals that will occupy the top two floors of the new building will be available for students by Aug. 1, 2011. The Silver and Gold Barber & Stylist and College Optical will occupy two of the four retail spaces on the first floor. Snarf’s Sub Shop may occupy a third space and the fourth is undetermined.
Many Boulder citizens were particularly concerned over Jones General Store and Camera closing due to these new development plans. Over 150 people signed a petition to save the store.
Boyers said it was hard to reach an agreement with those at the store.
“We just cannot strike a deal with Jones that will make sense for them, or us, rent wise and space wise,” Boyers said. “They occupy probably the best corner on the hill. It is an unfortunate change, but I think it needs to happen.”
Co-owner of Jones, Louie Moschetti, said he agrees that he and Boyers could not strike a deal.
“The rent offered was higher than what we’re paying now for a space half the size of my store,” Moschetti said. “I’d have to double prices, cut staff and work 12 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Moschetti said he is willing to make a less drastic deal with Boyers.
“Even with having the space go down from 3,500 square feet to 2,500 square feet, like it says on the blueprint, and a moderate increase in rent, my brother and I would happily sign the lease,” Moschetti said.
According to the petition to Save The Jones Store, one question posed was: “Do we really need 13 more apartments or condominiums right there at the corner, at the gateway to the university campus from the Hill?”
Boyers said yes.
“CU admittedly is way behind the curve at providing enough living quarters for students today,” Boyers said. “By their estimate, they are several thousand units behind.”
Another question posed, according to the petition, was, “Won’t all of the 30 or 40 new residents of the new living units also have to get into their cars and go to King Soopers of downtown to purchase those various sundry things that people need day to day?”
Boyers said Boulder’s public transportation system is very efficient.
“The bus service to and from the hill is the best of any location in town except for the downtown bus service,” Boyers said. “They can take the Hop, the Skip, they can go to King Soopers, Safeway or Whole Foods, all without too much hassle.”
CU sophomore Japanese major Taylor Kirk said he lives two blocks up from Jones. He said that he disagrees with Boyers’ answer.
“I don’t think taking the buses is as convenient as going two blocks down,” Kirk said. “That way I’d have to wait for the buses.”
CU sophomore geology major Drake Singleton signed the petition to Save The Jones Store. He said the fact that Michael Boyers is a long-time Boulder resident comforts him a little bit.
“It’s better than someone coming from some other city or from some big corporation,” Singleton said.
Boyers said he is also working on creating student units on 13th street. He said they should be finished around December of this year.
“I’m just really excited to be a part of the new hill and I think that new things are going to happen and that they need to happen,” Boyers said
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jon Tattum at Jonathan.email@example.com.
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