Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Alec Moylan at Alec.Moylan@colorado.edu.
At the Twenty Ninth Street mall you can pick up an iPhone at the Apple store, eat at the California Pizza Kitchen and watch the newest blockbusters at Century Theatre. The area offers a plethora of activities, but Boulder city planners are hoping to entice local residents to sit down and stay awhile. City planners and staff are in support of a proposal for a new beer and wine plaza in the 29th street mall. The plaza, located west of the Century Theatre between 1710 and 1750 29th Street, requires a zoning change for a beer/wine area to be established.
In a Feb. 18 meeting, the planning board for the mall appeared to fast-track the proposal by declining to bring up questions about the project. Meanwhile, the project applicant is currently looking for requisite building permits. The proposal currently includes one beer and one wine kiosk in addition to a walk-in cooler. Surrounding the kiosks, seats and other furniture will be installed to form rest areas.
The plan also includes food options, expected to be supplied in the plaza by restaurants in the surrounding area. Chief architect David Biek doesn’t stop there, also envisioning an artificial turf field to be located at the north end of the plaza that could host games such as corn hole. In a story by the Daily Camera, architect David Biek talked about the main goal of the Twenty Ninth Street Mall, hoping for the area to be an active space.
“The original concept was that [the new addition to the mall] would be full of either kiosks and vendors or entertainers,” Biek said. “There were even some science exhibits talked about.”
Eventually the additions to the plaza will act as a balancer to counteract some of the more corporate offices that have moved in, like Juwi Solar and Zayo Group, which surround the plaza on either side.
“Having food and drink there, now that it’s ringed by a store and an office building, would be a perfect use,” Biek said.
A popular area for students, the Twenty Ninth Street Mall serves as viable alternative to Pearl Street. Brendan Daly, a student at CU and common moviegoer at Century Theaters, thinks a beer and wine plaza would be great for Twenty Ninth Street.
“Not everyone wants to go to Pearl Street, especially at night,” Daly said. “It sucks parking on Pearl Street and this would allow you to avoid all the commotion.”
But Luke Kaledin, a recent graduate who lives around the 29th Street Mall, said the plaza would be overkill.
“It looks like they are just trying to make money,” Kaledin said. “Aren’t there enough places to drink in Boulder? I feel like they could fill it with something else.”
The official date for the planning board to hear the proposal has yet to be announced, but as it appears it is only a matter of time until the currently vacant plaza gets filled. If the proposal passes, Twenty Ninth Street will get a little more 21+ friendly.