New Renovation Plans Revealed for Foothills Mall in Fort Collins – Are We Excited?
The Foothills Mall dates back to 1973 and will see more changes in the next several years. Will these changes help to make the shopping/dining/residential area as robust as it used to be?
The old "FFM" (Foothills Fashion Mall) is long gone; with these new renovation plans, will the current Foothills Mall seem "long gone" as well? McWhinney and Prism presented what they envisioned to the public. We have photos and details.
On April 15, 2023, at Foothills Mall, McWhinney and PRISM held a public gathering featuring snacks and beverages to unveil their current initial plans for redeveloping the mall in Fort Collins. More than 100 people showed up to see the plans during the three-hour event.
According to BizWest, McWhinney and PRISM have yet to submit their plans to the city; this event on April 15 was just something that they wanted to do to show that they're coming into this project in a "full disclosure" kind of way.
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I can see where many folks around Fort Collins can appreciate that, considering the mall's struggles over the last decade or so.
HOW WILL THE FORT COLLINS, COLORADO MALL CHANGE?
Bottom line: Foothills will transform from an indoor mall to an outdoor mall experience.
Their research has shown, what we all can agree on, that indoor malls are generic and played out. It's not the '70s or '80s anymore. So, this "new" Foothills will be like the Promenade Shops at Centerra (also owned by McWhinney) in Loveland, Colorado, but will be very "Fort Collins" focused.
Their initial plans are to reduce the retail by 30% while looking to add more dining/beverage options.
Bad Daddy's, Smokin' Fins, and SMOK BBQ are doing OK, but those restaurants along College Avenue are doing very well. They're hoping to have a very good variety of dining options to fit the changing needs of Fort Collins diners.
WILL THERE BE APARTMENTS?
They are planning on bringing in 750 residential units. One hundred twenty of those units will be apartments above retail, which is becoming more and more popular, along with townhome-style and brownstone-style units. Some of the units may be "55 and older" living spaces.
HOW WILL THE MALL BE MORE "FORT COLLINS?"
- Trails: They're planning on increasing the mall's open space from about 4 miles to over 11 miles, with courses that will connect to the city's existing trail system.
- A Beer Garden: What more straightforward way to say "Fort Collins" than to add a beer garden? They see it as an area where you could get food at one of the many restaurants, then sit with a beer and your dog.
- Being Outdoors: Bringing the mall from indoor to outdoor should appeal to Fort Collins residents.
WHAT ELSE ARE THEY ADDING TO FOOTHILLS MALL?
- Offices. Seventy thousand square feet of office space. The premise is that when people work at the mall, they will dine/get beverages and shop there.
ARE THEY GOING TO TEAR THINGS DOWN?
Yes. When construction begins, we'll see them start to "gut" the indoor mall, starting with the old Macy's.
WHEN WILL FOOTHILLS MALL RECONSTRUCTION BEGIN?
If things move along as they should, they're hoping to begin demolition in February 2025. That gives us over a year to say "goodbye" to the indoor mall.
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