Macy Family reshaping farmland into major projects
Don Macy and his family have played a major role in reshaping southern Longmont for nearly 100 years, and a trio of ongoing and proposed projects will continue to mold the city.
The family company, Macy Development, owns most of the land across from the Village at the Peaks mall redevelopment along Hover Road., property that was once the family’s 170-acre farm.
It was Don Macy who began developing it in the 1980s, expanding his reach with a 50-acre purchase on undeveloped land in the Longmont Business Center along Highway 119 a decade ago.
Today, Macy has big plans for both parcels.
The Longmont-based developer is building a 73-bed assisted living facility next to the AltaVita memory care center at 800 S. Fordham St., and two more projects with Macy’s fingerprints are in the pipeline: a 100-bed hotel at 1089 S. Hover, and a health and wellness campus on 20 acres just west of Highway 119.
The projects come at a time when commercial space in Boulder County is at a premium. Vacancy rates have been sliced almost in half over the last five years, from nearly 12 percent in 2010 to just over 6 percent today, according to a report by Tim Conarro with Longmont Commercial Real Estate.
‘An exciting time in Longmont’
“It’s an exciting time,” Macy said.
A lot is going on in Longmont, including the redevelopment of Village at the Peaks shopping center and a major redevelopment of the former Butterball plant on Main St. into a mixed-use residential and commercial space called South Main Station.
The local medical community is growing, too.
In June, University of Colorado Health announced it was planning a 172,000-square-foot hospital on 32 acres at the eastern edge of Longmont. The hospital will be Boulder County’s fifth.
“There’s a lot of movement throughout the Front Range, everywhere that you look,” said Dave Demchuk, CEO of Front Range Orthopedic & Spine, which has plans to relocate to a lot on Macy’s property.
“Centura, UCHealth — all these (medical) facilities are all shaking and moving,” Demchuk said.
Demchuk said his orthopedic surgical center has outgrown its space at the Longmont Medical Campus, and with the lease being up in early 2017, a move was in order.
The plan for the Highway 119 property is to divide it into four lots, creating a “wellness campus” called the Front Range Health and Wellness Center.
Macy’s company is only developing one plot of land along Highway 119, six acres he hopes to turn into an athletic facility. The other three will house the orthopedic center, a skilled nursing facility and medical offices.
“It’s going to be a fun project,” Demchuk said. “It’s something that is really needed within this community.”
Developers seeking variance from planning board
But before that can happen, Longmont’s Planning and Zoning Commission must approve a preliminary plat to divide the parcel — Lot 7 in the LBC — into four sub-plots, and OK a variance to the regulation requiring a 50-foot landscape buffer on any development at the entrance way to the city.
Front Range Orthopedic, which will occupy the lot containing the majority of the buffer zone, has argued it is able to provide only 30 feet of buffer and still retain the parking needed to serve its patients..
“FROC offers more than one service to the orthopedic patient which drives more need for parking … roughly 150 parking spaces without family members, visitors, vendors and contractor maintenance,” wrote Todd Parker of Brinkman Development, which is developing that lot, in a Sept. 30 letter to the planning commission.
“Relocating the building other than how it is currently proposed would not give the FROC the necessary room to expand or allow for adequate parking to serve our patient load.”
City planner Ben Ortiz will recommend to the commission that the 20-foot variance be granted, saying in the official staff recommendation that Brinkman is “meeting the spirit of the code.”
If the variance is not granted, Ortiz said, the project will be dead.
“Hopefully they’ll get that variance approved and their project can go forward,” he said.
Hotel coming to Hover?
Another Macy-involved development is just in the beginning stages.
Macy is doing a ground-lease agreement for 1089 S. Hover with Fargo, N.D.-based TMI Hospitality, a developer of several hotels along the Front Range.
The company is preparing an initial development and planning application that will likely be submitted to Longmont officials within the next month, according to Tom Loegering, TMI’s manager of land acquisition.
Loegering said it was too early to know what franchise would operate the property, but likely candidates include Hilton, Marriott and British firm IHG. He also said the hotel, if approved, would hold 90 to 110 rooms.
Loegering said that the company, which operates Westminster’s Residence Inn and Hampton Inn, looked at Longmont as an area with “growth potential.”
“It’s a high-growth area,” he said. “When we look at demographics, the numbers reflect that it’s a great opportunity.”