Contest award to benefit the Creative District

Greeley officials have narrowed down where the Benjamin Moore paint company will paint the town, as it were, on 8th Avenue to somewhere between 12th and 16th streets. source: Greeley Tribune

The city’s plans follow the announcement on Monday that Greeley won an online voting contest to get three city blocks revitalized for free through the national paint company, which selected Greeley for the six-week contest early this summer. The exact location of the revitalization efforts are pending the approval of storefront owners and other businesses.

But no matter where on those streets the paint is set, the Benjamin Moore improvements fit in perfectly with Greeley’s greater efforts to revitalize the 8th Avenue corridor, a plan that includes “bumping out” the 16th Street intersection sidewalk this fall to make it more pedestrian-friendly, said Becky Safarik, Greeley’s assistant city manager.

The plan stems from a conceptual design drafted last fall by Fort Collins-based BHA Design Inc., which aims to decorate 8th Avenue with tree-lined medians and “parklets” at some intersections with benches, lighting and landscaping.

Efforts to revitalize 8th Avenue are a joint venture by those who are also involved in the Creative District, which incorporates the neighborhoods surrounding the University of Northern Colorado and Greeley’s downtown. The city of Greeley, UNC and the Downtown Development Authority are jointly pursuing revitalization along 8th Avenue to foster business and a general vibrancy in the area, which has also been the goal of events such as Friday Fest on the 9th Street Plaza.

Safarik said the Benjamin Moore project, which should begin later this summer or early next year, will add momentum to what is already going on downtown and in the Creative District.

“It’s like it’s just launching us right into the next phase,” she said of the project.

The paint company will provide the paint, labor and assistance in managing the revitalization, which Safarik said will have to be on blocks where there is, in fact, an opportunity to paint. Many of Greeley’s historic brick buildings will have to be ruled out.

That’s OK, Safarik said — it’s the diversity of the city’s downtown buildings that makes the area unique. It’s also why it’s so important to have the 8th Avenue corridor to tie everything together, she said.

“The next thing you know, you’ve really got some momentum for the next big thing.”