The three buildings will surround slightly more than two sides
of the development site’s central plaza. Part of Meier’s building
will extend under the end of Colligan’s easternmost building and
there also will be above-ground connections.

By Norma Engelberg

There are a number of connections between developers Keith Meier
and Lynn Colligan and their buildings in the Downtown Development
Authority’s Woodland Station project.

The three buildings will surround slightly more than two sides
of the development site’s central plaza. Part of Meier’s building
will extend under the end of Colligan’s easternmost building and
there also will be above-ground connections.

While they have collaborated on the marketing and design of the
buildings, they’ve each focused on different goals.

Taking advantage of a steep drop in grade along Park Street,
Meier, who is developing the property as the Rocky Mountain
Lifestyle Centers LLC, presented a 140,000-square foot, five- or
six-story building that will have a strong family entertainment

The bottom two floors will be at the same level as the
under-plaza parking facility being developed by the authority.
Meier is in negotiations for a multiscreen, 850-seat cinema and a
20-lane bowling alley for these lower levels.

The cinema will combine two levels into one facility and the
bowling alley, which doesn’t need the height provided by combining
two levels, will be covered by a mezzanine that could be used for
an arcade or some other form of entertainment.

Meier has planned a covered and landscaped drop-off area for the
cinema and bowling alley on Park Street and access through the
parking facility. The plan also calls for an escalator from the
parking area to the plaza.

The ground floor is planned for retail. The second floor could
be a mix of retail and office.

“I may eliminate the third floor if I have too much trouble
marketing it,” he said. “The second floor will have a balcony
facing the plaza. This will provide covered seating and walking
areas on the plaza.”

The fourth floor also could have a spa or fitness area and
rooftop gardens.

One design element that will be common to all floors is an
atrium that starts at the cinema level and continues through every
floor to the roof.

Meier plans to use a combination of stone, stucco, metal siding
and roofing and wood.

Colligan, as the owner of Woodland Station of Colorado LLC, has
a different vision. His architect, Fong Lee of Ivins Design Group,
presented plans for 90,000 square feet in two modern buildings that
reflect local heritage without attempting to replicate

The buildings will be at the north end of the plaza, wrapping
around both the east and west corners. The most prominent feature
of his development will be 90-foot-long bridge connecting the two
buildings. A restaurant will be inside the two-story bridge and
pedestrians will be able to access the plaza, walking under the

The buildings will have underground parking, retail at the plaza
level, offices at the second level and residential units on the
third and fourth level, which is tucked under the roof where there
will be dormer windows.

Design elements include towers at either end of the bridge,
canopies, awnings, bay windows, gabled roofs and dormers. Arches
through the buildings will provide more access to the

Retail entrances will be recessed as required by the authority’s
design standards. Materials include timber, masonry, lap siding,
asphalt tiles and metal roofing and siding.

Lee designed changes in materials and window styles to visually
emphasize the transition from the public spaces at plaza level to
the private residential spaces above.

The authority design review committee had reservations about the
design of the bridge, fearing it would be too much like a tunnel
rather than an inviting gateway, and that people might want to
hurry through. Colligan suggested a change to the bridge that would
make it look more like a train station entrance with arches instead
of a train trestle.

Colligan said he envisions the bridge as a grand foyer that
draws people into a beautiful home.

“The weakest part of the design is the bridge,” said Dave
Morrison of Land Patterns Inc. “I like the buildings – they have a
residential feel to them.”

Merry Jo Larsen asked both Meier and Colligan about building
heights – she said she worried about the view from shops on the
other side of U.S. 24.

Authority executive director Joe Napoleon said because the
elevations drop sharply from U.S. 24 to the south end of the
property, the impact of these buildings won’t be as big as most
people fear.

“Remember there is another row of buildings between these and
the highway,” he said. “If someone were to construct a building at
highway level a 35-foot building is permitted in the central
business district, so there goes the view.”

Colligan said the buildings are designed to give tantalizing
glimpses of what’s behind the buildings.

“This is where compromise comes in,” Napoleon said. “Whatever
people come up with, it should be designed from the pedestrians’
point of view instead of the motorists.'”

The design review committee gave both developers the go ahead on
their buildings. Both buildings were estimated to cost about $125
per square foot.

The final presentation, the Hampton Inn & Suites, will be at
3 p.m., Sept. 12 at 214 W. Midland Ave., (U.S. 24) in the Austin
Antlers Building.

Contact Norma Engelberg at 719-687-3006 or