Fort Collins recently found the area around College, just south of Prospect, blighted. It includes ChuckECheese, Dairy Queen, and early strip malls.
The area in the photo above is behind the strip malls. It was a trailer park, but it took the worst of the 1997 flood (several residents drowned trying to leave) and the trailers have since been hauled away. I hear we’ll have apartments there soon.
So, what makes blight? The city has several criteria. But my short answer is “anywhere that Latinos might be starting to open successful businesses.”
This is one of maybe 3 areas in town with Latino businesses, and all would qualify as blighted by our standards.
So, I have 3 wishes for the Prospect/College renewal plan:
1. That it finds a way to include the affordable little businesses that reside there now–Mexican markets, used books, used games, cheap exercise, ordinary ice cream.
2. That it finds an architectural approach that transcends 21st century monster strip mall, er, Lifestyle Center.
3. That it finds a way to keep the trailer park trees.