Room at the inn
New hotels proposed and under development in Boulder:
Baseline Zero, 2700 Baseline Road: A 100-room hotel and 180,000-square-foot office building.
Golden Buff redevelopment, 1715 and 1725 28th St.: Full-service hotel with 204 rooms and select-service hotel with 171 rooms. A 42,890-square-foot mixed-use commercial building with office and retail uses also is proposed.
Hyatt Place, 3151 Pearl Parkway: A 150-room hotel under construction as part of the Depot Square at Boulder Junction development. The hotel will include 5,000 square feet of meeting space, a catering kitchen, indoor pool and an adjacent 2,200 square feet for a corner restaurant.
Pearl Place, 30th and Pearl streets: A 120-room hotel to accompany 6,000 square feet of retail space and 202,500 square feet of office space in a total of three buildings. The proposal also includes public spaces such as an amphitheater. City officials say the hotel may not be part of future project plans.
Residence Inn at Village Shopping Center, 2550 Canyon Blvd.: Residence Inn by Marriott extended-stay hotel with 171 rooms
SPARK, 3390 Valmont Road: A 140-room, "boutique" hotel to be part of a mixed-use redevelopment on the former Sutherlands lumberyard lot. The project includes 180 apartments, nearly 250,000 square feet of office space, restaurants and retail uses, public spaces and "flex" commercial spaces.
The Buff has migrated.
Late last week, the popular Boulder brunch spot settled in at 2600 Canyon Blvd., making a quick roam across the street from its previous home at the core of the now-shuttered Best Western Golden Buff Lodge.
"In the last 18 years, the only days we've ever been closed (were) Christmas and Thanksgiving," said Jacqueline Sproul, who has run The Buff with her husband and family since 1995. "We got it done. There hasn't been a hiccup in business."
The new space has a little more wiggle room — on the order of roughly 500 square feet to the back of the house.
"We worked really hard on this project, put our heart and soul and every dime into this project," Sproul said, noting her sons installed the extensive backsplash in the bar area and did the tilework in the bathrooms.
Other efforts included the recycling, repurposing and reusing of materials to create the booths, the wood behind the "clock wall" and the bar.
The Buff operators also installed theater ceiling tiles to muffle the sounds and carved out areas within the large, open space to mimic the coziness of the restaurant's former home, she said.
The move of The Buff restaurant comes as a pair of development proposals, which are moving through the city planning process, could end up planting three hotels along Canyon Boulevard between Folsom and 28th streets.
The proposals, which were submitted in November and December, include a site review application for an Residence Inn at 2550 Canyon Blvd. and an amended plan for two hotels — Embassy Suites and Hilton Garden Inn — at the former Golden Buff site.
"It's the heart of the business district and there's strong demand for a modern hotel project," said Jason Pomerantz, general counsel for NAI Shames Makovsky, a Denver-based commercial real estate firm that bought the Golden Buff property in October for $10 million. Shames Makovsky acquired the property from local developer Scott Pedersen.
The Canyon Boulevard projects very well could be part of hotel boom in Boulder.
In addition to the 150-room Hyatt Place hotel under construction at Boulder Junction, there are plans for at least six new hotels — with more than 900 rooms between them — that have been submitted to the city in recent months.
A slew of potential new arrivals
When the Hampton Inn & Suites Boulder North opened in Gunbarrel last July, it was the first hotel to debut in Boulder since the 2005 arrival of the St. Julien Hotel & Spa in downtown Boulder.
It's not going to take eight more years before another new hotel opens in Boulder.
A 150-room Hyatt Place is under construction at Depot Square, a development off 30th Street and Pearl Parkway that sits in the heart of the 160-ace, transportation-oriented Boulder Junction project. The work on Depot Square, which broke ground in August, is expected to take 18 months.
If the Golden Buff development gains the necessary approvals from the city, the two hotels and a neighboring 42,890--square-foot office building could be completed in 2016, architects behind the amended development plans wrote in an application submitted to the city in December.
The two-hotel project previously gained the necessary approvals from the Boulder Planning Board, but the project was since tweaked to include changes to the number of rooms and the positioning of the hotels.
The amended plans show a full-service Embassy Suites on the corner of 26th Street and Canyon and a select-service Hilton Garden Inn on the eastern portion of the property bordering 28th Street. The Embassy Suites features a 6,500-square-foot ballroom, a Brickstones restaurant and bar, a banquet kitchen and event plaza with a 6,500-square-foot ballroom, an event plaza.
The proposal is in the entitlement process, Shames Makovsky's Pomerantz said.
The stretch of Canyon Boulevard, which already includes the Boulder Marriott, could bulk up further in hotels as the result of another recent proposal.
Boulder Lodging LLC, an entity connected to Englewood-based Stonebridge Companies, submitted plans in November for a 171-room Residence Inn for the parking lot on the southwest corner of 26th and Canyon. The extended-stay Residence Inn is a brand of Marriott.
Several years ago, the city approved a hotel use at the 2550 Canyon Blvd. site targeted for the Residence Inn, but that approval has since expired, said Elaine McLaughlin, city planner.
"The market conditions seem to be changing, and customer expectations may be changing," McLaughlin said, noting the recent closer of the Golden Buff and the planned closure of the Boulder Outlook Hotel & Suites, which is slated to be converted to apartments.
American Campus Communities this week completed its previously announced purchase of the Boulder Outlook Hotel & Suites. American College Communities, under the entities ACC OP (Flatirons) LLC and ACC OP LLC, purchased the property from Republic of Boulder Hotel Group LLC for $9.3 million, according to Boulder County property records.
Other hotels in the planning stages range in rooms from 100 to 150 and have been proposed as part of broader mixed-use projects such as Pearl Place, the recently announced SPARK development at Sutherlands lumberyard, and Baseline Zero, an eco-conscious development off 27th Way and Baseline Road.
Boulder's Planning Board is scheduled to review Baseline Zero's concept plan on Thursday.
'Will they get built?'
Boulder's "healthy" occupancy rate, which closed out at 71.5 percent in November, is helping to drive the increased hotel activity, said Mary Ann Mahoney, executive director at the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"In the Denver-Boulder market, we fared very, very well during the last recession — the travel, leisure (industry) was a strong leader out of the economy in this area," she said.
Whether all the hotels proposed for Boulder will come to fruition is something that will be dictated by market forces and those who are financially backing the projects, she said.
"It depends on how it unfolds," she said. "This Residence Inn (hotel site) on Canyon, that's been sitting there for quite a few years — maybe even six or seven years — even before we went into a sliding economy.
"Just because these things are approved, will they get built?"
The Buff's Jacqueline Sproul hopes that her restaurant gains some company on Canyon.
If the hotels move forward as planned, the formerly hotel-anchored Buff could benefit, she said.
"In the short-term, the only (negative) thing is possibly the parking," she said. "We're really excited to have more hotels around. It could be nothing but positive."