Protect Boulder Civic Space

Downtown is for Everyone

Give our community input on the commercial development of the only open space left in Downtown Boulder with a view of the Flatirons.

Rendering of Boulder Civic Use Pad

The St. Julien is proposing to build a 56,900 sq ft structure with an 8,600 sq ft Ballroom and 39 hotel rooms on top of the “Civic Use Pad.”

The development proposal and plans are being reviewed by the Planning Department and has been through the Design Advisory Board process. It will be up for consideration by Planning Board in May/June, 2024.

Join our growing coalition today.

What is the Civic Use Pad?

The Pad is an area of downtown open space that is part of the Civic Use Area that sits between St. Julien and the old Mediterranean restaurant. It sits over the city-owned and managed parking garage. The Civic Use Area encompasses the area around the Boulder Public Library, the Boulder Creek corridor and the auditorium. It is an important connector from the library to downtown.

Why Oppose Current Plans?

Why many in Boulder are opposed to the current design and plans:
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Monolithic

Monolithic

The building is too big at 56,900 sq feet. The height, scope and mass are overwhelming and out of place. Boulder doesn’t need another cookie-cutter building. How much more development does downtown need?

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Out of Character

Out of Character

It doesn’t fit into the character of the neighborhood or downtown. Planning Board’s mission to “encourage thoughtful, well-designed development projects that are sensitive to the existing character of the area”. This project does not fit into the character of the area and is not sensitive to the neighbors.

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Safety and Access

Safety and Access

The project will significantly increase downtown traffic on Walnut Street without additional parking. There has been no analysis of the traffic impacts to downtown or where these additional visitors would park.

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Intent Concerning the Civic Use Pad and Open Space

Intent Concerning the Civic Use Pad and Open Space

That space has always been intended as a civic use space by and for the community, in partnership with the St. Julien. Now the St. Julien will own and control the space at no additional cost. The City of Boulder has said, “Property enhancement at the Civic Use Pad envisions nonprofit and community civic uses.” (9-20-2018). This project does not live up to the original intent of the Civic Use Space.

This is not the right design for this space. We will lose this space forever if not properly developed.

Downtown Urban Design Guidelines

The project does not meet Boulder’s own criteria.

2.1.B. Views

Downtown Boulder is blessed with exceptional mountain views and projects should be designed to preserve access to this extraordinary asset from the public realm and surrounding area. The south and west edges of downtown offer the most spectacular views.

2.2.B. Consider the height, mass, and scale of buildings

  1. In general, buildings should appear similar in height, mass, and scale to other buildings in the area. At the same time, it is important to maintain a variety of heights. While the actual heights of buildings are of concern, the perceived heights of buildings are equally important. One, two and three-story buildings make up the primary architectural fabric of the Downtown, with taller buildings located at key intersections.
  2. Consider the height and proportion of buildings to neighboring structures. For new structures that are significantly taller than adjacent buildings, upper floors should be set back a minimum of 15 feet from the front facade to reduce the perceived height.
  3. Maintain the traditional, established breaks between buildings, such as existing walkways.
  4. For projects located in the Interface Area, construct buildings three floors or less and consider the adjacent residential height, mass, and scale.
  5. Commercial construction on a primarily residential block should be designed to reflect a residential character, e.g. residential set back on a primarily residential street.

History

  • 9th & Canyon Urban Renewal Plan, 1988
    • revised in 1995
  • First Civic Use Task Force – 1998
  • Hotel completed in 2003; garage 2002
  • Consideration of numerous proposals by two other task forces:

Previous Ideas

Many ideas have been previously considered:

  • Location for the Depot
  • Childrens’ Museum and Dance Facility
  • Boulder History Museum
  • 500 Seat Performance Venue
  • Hotel Meeting Space and Dance Facility
  • Entry for a Conference Facility connected to buildings to the east

Analyzed “layer cake” approach: art house cinema, meeting space and hotel uses.