Demolition work on the former Daily Camera building in downtown Boulder is scheduled to begin May 12, kicking off a 22-month construction period for PearlWest, a mixed-use development with office, retail, restaurant and theater uses, officials for developer Nichols Partnership said Tuesday.
PearlWest, which spans the buildings at 1048 Pearl St. and 1023 Walnut St., is the largest of several redevelopment projects slated to get under way in downtown Boulder during the next year.
Sean Maher, executive director of Downtown Boulder Inc., said the 160,000-square-foot PearlWest building off 11th and Pearl streets should "re-energize" the entry way to west Pearl.
"The first thing it's going to do is get rid of a major dead space," Maher said, referencing the surface parking lot and brick building set off from Pearl Street. "As you stand on the edge of the (Pearl Street) Mall and look west ... it doesn't invite you to cross the street and keep going."
The Daily Camera newspaper operated at the corner of 11th and Pearl streets for nearly 120 years. The Camera moved its operations to 5450 Western Ave. in early 2011.
Leasing activity is starting to ramp up for PearlWest, which is receiving "tons of interest," said Dan Schuetz, project manager for Denver-based Nichols Partnership.
Only one tenant has been announced so far.
Crestone Capital, a Boulder-based wealth management firm based at 1025 Pearl St., leased a 30,000-square-foot space on PearlWest's fourth floor, Schuetz said.
Schuetz said more tenant announcements will be coming soon.
Considering the PearlWest project's size and scope, construction will not start until after the University of Colorado's graduation and Mother's Day, he said.
"That's a very important (weekend)," Schuetz said. "We're not going to commence any activities until that week is done."
Downtown and city officials already are bracing for what is expected to be a significant amount of concurrent construction projects. In addition to PearlWest, several other infill developments are planned throughout downtown Boulder.
"I don't remember a time when there were this many projects in the pipeline," said Maher, of Downtown Boulder Inc., a nonprofit organization that promotes downtown businesses.
Construction activity related to those projects also will be occurring at a critical time of year for the downtown area: tourist season.
Maher and Downtown Boulder officials are expected to meet with city of Boulder staff members this Friday to develop a marketing campaign for the area during construction.
"We're definitely going to do everything in our power to encourage people to come down," Maher said.
That could include posting signs on the information kiosk on the west end of the Pearl Street Mall and having volunteers promoting the area and what's to come, he said.
"I think the pros outweigh the cons in terms of the positive impacts" that could come as a result of the finished projects, he said.
Contact Camera Business Writer Alicia Wallace at 303-473-1332 or firstname.lastname@example.org