Higher density housing highlighted in Fort Collins Midtown Plan

Midtown Fort Collins
The Fort Collins Midtown Plan outlines the area that would be affected, including Mason Street Corridor from Prospect Road, out past Harmony Road, in Fort Collins.

With construction on the Mason Street Corridor, MAX Transit and upcoming mall makeover, comes plans to renew Fort Collins. While students may be interested in what Fort Collins will begin to look like, the big question is what will student housing look like?

The City of Fort Collins is seeking public opinion on a draft of what is called the “Midtown Plan” through their website and public interaction. The Midtown Plan’s proposal is to provide a long term vision for the Mason Corridor, from Prospect Road, across town to just beyond Harmony Road.

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While the plan does not directly address off-campus student housing, it does mention housing, along with commercial property, should be implemented at a higher density.

“[The Midtown Plan] doesn’t address student housing spcifically, but overall, for general land use, we do want to encourage high density housing,” said Megan Bolin, redevelopment specialist on the Midtown Plan committee. “So, it could potentially be a really great location, much like Summit is, for that type of housing.”

The Summit on College, a new apartment complex on South College Avenue, was encouraged to build due to tax increment financing, a public financing tool used for subsidizing redevelopment.

“Properties like us are needed in Fort Collins,” said Jason Swierczynski, Summit property manager. “You take a property like ours, we are taking people who are forced to over-crowd a house or illegally live, because of the U+2 Rule, and put them in an area that is safe and meets all of the local code and regulation.”

The MAX Transit system, the spur of the Midtown Plan, allows students to live further from campus, even without a vehicle. The plan explains how “housing, in the form of apartments and townhouses, should be developed to take advantage of the MAX transit system and help create more ridership for the MAX service, and to make more efficient use of land that is close to the city center.”

“The plan lays out the vision and it covers a variety of different aspects; it talks about the streets, what the streets will look like, are we going to accommodate bikes and pedestrians on the corridor, because we are going to have MAX coming on very soon, it will hopefully be a big game changer for the area,” Bolin said.

The Midtown Plan is available to be reviewed by the public online, until July 3. An open house is being held from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., July 27, at 415 E. Monroe St. for anyone interested in learning more about the plan, or giving feedback on Fort Collins’ future.

Content producer Logan Martinez can be reached at news@collegian.com