As Colorado State University begins the redevelopment process for Hughes Stadium, feedback from about 700 residents is split over whether it should be used for housing, open space or a performance venue.
The feedback is just the first stage of determining the future of Hughes Stadium, the former football venue at the base of the foothills off Overland Trail in west Fort Collins.
Other suggestions include expanding CSU’s equine program, turning it into gardens similar to The Gardens on Spring Creek or converting it to community farms. Most feedback favored anything but high-density housing.
“The feedback … reflects a diversity of ideas and opinions about what should be done with Hughes property, and represents competing community values, which certainly include a strong desire to preserve open space either in whole or as part of a mixed-use development,” wrote Tom Milligan, vice president of external relations, in an email.
The CSU System Board of Governors has made it clear the property is not needed and will be sold or leased and Hughes torn down to make way for redevelopment. The stadium, as is, has little value. CSU previously estimated demolition costs at about $3 million.
One of CSU’s priorities is creating workforce housing for some of its faculty and staff. As home prices and rents increase, so does the affordability gap for some of CSU’s 1,800 state classified employees who can make as little as $10 an hour depending on position.
With current rents topping $1,200 in most areas of Fort Collins, a one-income household would need to earn more than $24 an hour to afford an apartment and spend no more than 30 percent of income on rent.
In addition to supporting open space, community members expressed concerns “about the growing need for affordable housing while avoiding high-density development amid the need for some restriction on growth in the area,” Milligan said.
Selling the Hughes Stadium land at a discount could decrease construction costs and result in more affordable homes, said one resident who left comments at one of six discussion centers set up at the Drake Centre.
As Overland Trail gets more homes, it also gets more traffic. As with most potential developments, neighbors wanted to know more about traffic, but CSU can’t answer these questions until a development plan is in place.
CSU and its consultants, ICON Venue Group, are talking with Fort Collins city leaders about annexing the site into city limits. If that happens, the property would be developed according to city codes and would likely include a traffic study.
Article Credit(s): Pat Ferrier, Coloradoan