Construction may finally start on blighted Block 23 in downtown Fort Collins

·2 min read
MorningStar of Old Town is expected to open in early 2023.
MorningStar of Old Town is expected to open in early 2023.

Construction could begin soon on one of the last underdeveloped sites in downtown Fort Collins.

MorningStar Senior Living applied for a building permit Nov. 12 to begin construction on a 160-unit assisted living and memory care facility named MorningStar at Old Town. The Fort Collins Planning and Zoning Board gave its approval in October 2020, clearing the way for final drawings and a building permit application.

Known as Block 23, the property is bounded by Cherry Street to the north, College Avenue to the east, Maple Street to the south and Mason Street to the west. The four-story, 215,956-square-foot facility will occupy a site that has been vacant and rundown for the better part of a decade.

Valued at about $46 million, MorningStar includes 27 memory care units, 44 assisted living units and 89 independent living units with a commercial kitchen, dining room, lobby, bistro, club, theater space, fitness center and pool with two interior courtyards.

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It will also include retail shops on the ground floor and a three-story parking structure with 504 spaces for residents, retail customers and visitors.

MorningStar, which has another Fort Collins facility on Lochwood Drive, says on its website it expects to be open in the first quarter of 2023. The company has several facilities throughout the west and Iowa.

The land is owned by local developer JD Padilla of Post Modern Development and would be the first assisted living and memory care units in the downtown core. It will join the Northern Hotel, 172 N. College Ave., and DMA Plaza, 300 Remington St., as downtown housing tailored for older residents.

Block 23 has stood mostly vacant for a decade after Bank of Choice foreclosed on the site in 2011. Remnants of its past life still stand in shells of the former Taco John's, Tire Distribution Services and the Fort Collins Bike Co-op, which relocated to north Fort Collins.

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Architectural renderings of Morningstar Assisted Living and Memory Care facility that will be built on Block 23 in Old Town Fort Collins. the site is bordered by College Avenue on the east and Cherry Street on the north.
Architectural renderings of Morningstar Assisted Living and Memory Care facility that will be built on Block 23 in Old Town Fort Collins. the site is bordered by College Avenue on the east and Cherry Street on the north.

Pat Ferrier is a senior reporter covering business, health care and growth issues in Northern Colorado. Contact her at patferrier@coloradoan.com. Please support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a subscription today.

This article originally appeared on Fort Collins Coloradoan: See what's happening on Block 23 in downtown Fort Collins

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