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Central Broadway: Alpine-Balsam and Civic Area Redevelopment


On June 6, 2017, council accepted the Central Broadway Corridor Design Framework which serves as a tool to strengthen and implement the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan (BVCP). The framework articulates a shared understanding of the existing and potential future interrelationships between five key activity centers along the central stretch of Broadway: University Hill/CU ; the Boulder Civic Area ; Downtown; the Alpine-Balsam (Boulder Community Hospital) site ; and Boulder County’s site at Broadway and Iris.

The next phase at Alpine-Balsam, will be an area plan for the site and surrounding area of influence. The area plan will outline the desired character, scale, land uses along with the location of streets, paths, parking, public spaces and public facilities. The 2017 Alpine-Balsam Vision Plan provides the guiding principles, strategies, and performance criteria.

The next phase of Civic Area implementation will include concept level site planning for the Civic Area East Bookend (between Canyon Boulevard and Arapahoe Avenue and between Broadway and 14th Streets). The concept level site planning will outline the desired mix of uses, urban design criteria, and the location of paths, parking, public spaces and public facilities. The 2015 Civic Area Master Plan provides the general potential uses, the guiding principles, and performance criteria in the East Bookend.

Both of these planning and redevelopment efforts will be defined by analyses currently underway, informed by community and board input and council decision making. Plan implementation will depend on the availability of funding sources; various means of financing and partnership opportunities will be explored during the planning processes.

Status and Next Steps for Implementation

The Central Broadway (CB) Corridor Design Framework was created in part to ensure that major decision-making at a site or area level takes into account the relationships within a larger area and ensures that opportunities are not missed. In 2018, coordination will occur with Alpine-Balsam area planning, site design of the city-owned parcels at Alpine-Balsam, Civic Area East Bookend planning, the City Facilities Assessment, and Boulder County facilities planning (as it relates to the county-owned site at Broadway and Iris). Through each of these planning and redevelopment efforts, staff continues to commit to robust community engagement throughout this process. Many decisions still need to be made by the community and City Council through detailed site analysis and comprehensive planning.

The Alpine-Balsam site includes 8.8 acres of properties that the City of Boulder purchased from Boulder Community Health in 2015. On June 6, 2017, council accepted the Vision Plan which provides a guide for the desired future of the Alpine-Balsam site and its surroundings, with guiding principles to inform future planning and development. In the meantime, most of the hospital is still in use. While BCH moved its emergency room and acute care functions to its Foothills campus location, BCH will continue providing services within the main hospital building on Broadway until completion of the next phase of construction at its Foothills campus along Riverbend Road (this is anticipated to take 18 months).

Further analysis of the Medical Office Pavilion will occur as part of the Alpine-Balsam Area Plan, allowing the building to be studied relative to the vision of the overall site. While the Medical Office Pavilion reuse analysis is forthcoming, the city has performed an analysis on the main hospital building and recommends it not be reused because of challenges in renovating the building itself and constraints it poses to the development of the entire site. The next phase of work will be an Area Plan and relevant regulatory changes to implement the community’s vision. Area planning provides an opportunity for the community to evaluate and shape its expectations and goals for the desired character, scale, land uses, location of streets, paths, parking, public spaces and public facilities in the area in anticipation of change.

The Civic Area Master Plan, adopted in June 2015, provides a long-term vision to transform the Civic Area into a unique place that reflects the community’s shared values and diversity. While full implementation is expected to take place over the next 10 to 20 years, Phase I - Park at the Core is nearing completion thanks to funding from the Community, Culture and Safety tax initiative in November 2014. The next phase of planning work will focus on the East Bookend. From May 2018 to May 2019, staff anticipates engaging with the community, current tenants and potential future partners to develop a concept level site plan that achieves the vision for the East Bookend as identified in the Civic Area Master Plan.

Council Action

Council items on Central Broadway topics may be presented together or separately depending on project timelines.

  • First Quarter 2018 Study Session on Central Broadway including Alpine-Balsam, Medical Pavilion Reuse and Other Updates. (Currently scheduled for Jan 9, 2018)
  • Second Quarter 2018 - Council Action on Alternatives Analysis/Options – This will likely include review of background analysis and discussions of several options or scenarios, including tradeoffs and opportunities.
  • Third Quarter 2018 - Council Action on Preferred Option – This may involve further discussions of refined options or scenarios, including opportunities.
  • Fourth Quarter 2018 - Council Action  – This will likely include council consideration of area plans and/or concept level site plans, and their implementation next steps.
  • Council Input/Updates – Council will also have multiple opportunities throughout the process to receive additional updates and provide feedback on projects within the Central Broadway Corridor Design Framework.   


Civic Area East Bookend:

[email protected]

Beth Chamberlin, Planner II, (303) 441-4219 



[email protected]

Jean Gatza, Senior Planner, (303) 441-4907

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