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Fort Collins Mayor Doug Hutchinson

Fort Collins was known as the regional retail leader for years, but competition from other cities is forcing Fort Collins to deal with budget shortfalls. The city saw a decline of $2.5 million in sales tax collections, or 3.8 percent, and $3.2 million in use tax revenues, or 20.3 percent. One of the major enigmas the city is facing is the future of the Foothills Mall. The mall is currently owned by General Growth Properties, which is reorganizing under Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The area was designated as an urban renewal area a few years ago, but the designation has lapsed. These two factors are causing the future of the mall to be a big question mark. Additionally, the city has over 600,000 square feet of empty retail space along the College Avenue corridor, including the former locations of Circuit City, Toys “R” Us, Wal-Mart and Linens N’ Things. “There are two solid anchors at the mall with Sears and Macy’s,” says Mayor Doug Hutchinson. “I am optimistic the area will look different in a few years, and the Mason Corridor factors into that to make the area more attractive.” The Mason Corridor project, originally approved by voters in 1998, has evolved into a five-mile byway running north from Harmony Road to Cherry Street. The proposed project includes pedestrian and bike friendly pathways and a bus rapid transit system. The project is in the final planning stages with initial construction beginning summer 2010. Construction has also begun on an area of the city many wrote off years ago with the development of the North College Marketplace at the intersection of North College Ave. and Willox Lane. The 26-acre shopping center is anchored by King Soopers as well as anticipated restaurants, a bank and a liquor store. Hutchinson says the project was made possible by the Fort Collins City Council through the Fort Collins Urban Renewal Authority, which provided $8 million to fund public infrastructure

“While we have several companies looking to move here, you have to also think of your existing companies. Remember, your lack of a retention program is someone else’s attraction program.”

Mike Masciola, COO and senior vice president of Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation

Larry Burkhardt, president and CEO of Upstate Colorado Economic Development

Unemployment Stats:

How Does Northern Colorado Measure Up? Figures based on January 2010 statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

National Unemployment Rate Denver/Aurora MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) Fort Collins/Loveland MSA


6.25 5



7.4 6.6 5.8


9.7 8.2 8.3 6.6

3.75 2.5 1.25 0 Percent



8.75 7.5

Colorado’s Unemployment Rate Boulder/Longmont MSA Greeley MSA



January 2010 statistics were the newest available at time of publication

Fort Collins Continues to Revitalize Empty Spaces

“Our office has been exceptionally busy (since February). We have seen a dozen or so prospective companies looking at the area and they are all intriguing. It is definitely an encouraging sign.”

2010 Lydia’s STYLE Magazine

2010-04 Lydia's Style Magazine  
2010-04 Lydia's Style Magazine  

April - Northern Colorado Economy A powerful issue with an article focus on Northern Colorado’s business, building, economy, lifestyle an...