New restaurants could find a home in a proposed building on Mercury Village Drive near Vantiv overlooking the Animas River and offer more dining options to the Bodo Industrial Park area.
“We want to attract excellent local operators that will extend our already vibrant food scene to an area that is under-served,” said Ed Kileen, an owner of Peak Development Partners, in a statement. “We believe the location and development as proposed will be a benefit to the community as a unique place to gather.”
Kileen and his partners are proposing the 10,000- to 12,000-square-foot food hall, called Tap River, that would be built with shipping containers converted into kitchens that restaurants could lease.
Construction on the building and a taproom inside could start in March, and the building could open by the end of 2018.
Thus far, the Durango Planning Commission and the Design Review Board have approved early concepts of the building. But further approval from the Planning Commission and Durango City Council is required.
The Design Review Board praised the design of the building this week and its use of recycled shipping containers, which will also be used in the external design.
“You are establishing neighborhood character with this building,” board member Carolyn Hunter said.
The two-story building, modeled after similar concepts in larger cities, would face the river. It is planned to have space for about eight to 10 restaurants on the first floor and a taproom. The second floor will have event space to host private events, business meetings or fundraisers, Kileen said.
The building would also have extensive deck space for outdoor seating, architect Janet Wiley said.
While designing the unique structure, Wiley took into account the surrounding buildings, she said. “The roofs are all flat to mimic Vantiv and some of the hotels,” Wiley said.
Parking lots are planned for the north and south end of the building near both entrances.
The new building would be adjacent to the existing bike path that runs through the site and Kileen said plans call for providing secure bike parking to serve cyclists.
The developers plan to make operating in the building affordable for interested tenants by leasing them space only for kitchens and storage. Kitchens will range in size from 160 to more than 640 square feet for each tenant, the statement said.
The taproom will have the liquor license for the entire development and it will share revenue with the food vendors to help offset any sales lost by not having individual liquor licenses.
Developers have already received interest from potential tenants, but they’re still examining the overall costs of the building. They said they could be ready to sign letters of intent with businesses in January or February.
“Several strong local operators have reached out,” Kileen said.
Kileen owns Grassburger with his wife, Jessie, and Cody Wilderman, and they plan to open two fast-casual restaurants in the new building, he said.
Other developers involved in the project are Roy Solomon, owner of a similar building in Albuquerque, Scott Biaggi and Matt Pobloske, owners of Durango Roasters.