If you go

What: Civic area master plan final ideas presentation and open house

When: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Boulder Public Library, 1001 Arapahoe Ave., Canyon Theater and Gallery

A year after Boulder first asked residents to offer up ideas for the city's "civic heart," it will present a nearly complete draft plan and ask for feedback.

The final open house in the civic area master plan process is scheduled for Thursday night at the Boulder Public Library.

The civic area lies along Boulder Creek between Ninth and 17th streets and between Canyon Boulevard and Arapahoe Avenue, and city leaders have identified redeveloping that area as a top priority.

Boulder planning officials have held a series of open houses and workshops, as well as several design competitions, to solicit ideas for the area.

The City Council gave its support to the broad outlines of a staff proposal in June. Planners have incorporated some of the questions and critiques from the City Council into the plan that will be presented to the public Thursday.

The feedback from Thursday night's meeting will be incorporated into a presentation for a council study session July 30.

The City Council is scheduled to take up the plan for adoption Sept. 3.

The proposal maintains Boulder Creek as a natural corridor and creates a larger, more cohesive park at the core, with a combination of cultural, educational and municipal office space around the edges of the area.


Planners recommend removing the New Britain and Park Central city buildings on the northwest corner of Arapahoe and Broadway and the surface parking lot for the library due to their location in a high-hazard flood zone.

They would be replaced with new office space, most likely along 13th and 14th streets as part of a larger mixed-use development and an underground parking structure.

Much of the civic area plan focuses on redeveloping the area between 13th and 14th streets. The Dushanbe Teahouse and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art would remain as key community institutions, while a year-round market hall could complement the Farmers' Market.

The rest of the block could house some combination of city and private office space, hotels, a community event center that could also host performances, or a performing arts center.

However, some of the plan will remain open and some of the elements could move around even after it is adopted because some projects may not find private financing or be supported by feasibility studies.

"There is a community vision that this plan captures at a very high level, as well as some more concrete things, like moving buildings and parking," civic area project coordinator Sam Assefa said. "It is flexible enough, but it also sets a vision for the future."

A group backing a performing arts center is working on a feasibility study, but it likely won't be complete until after the council adopts the plan.

Assefa said community feedback has been valuable in developing the plan, and the open house represents a last chance for the public to weigh in before the plan is finalized.

The open house will start with a video presentation at 6 p.m. Questions and discussion will start around 6:30 p.m.