Plans for a mixed-use development at the entrance of Lake Dillon Drive are taking form after an application was recently filed with the town.
Ivano Ottoborgo, owner of Adriano’s Bistro in Dillon and co-founder of a company doing the development, is ready to begin construction for phase one of the project — if it garners the approval of the town’s planning and zoning commission and a town council vote.
The new, one-acre development would be constructed on the site of the bistro, which will be demolished. In place of the current restaurant, a five-story building would go up, with space for 20 apartments, 44 condominiums and four retail spaces — including a new incarnation of the bistro.
“We’ve already gotten some interest,” he said. “Apartments are a hot commodity.”
One, two and three-bedroom apartments will be available for long-term rentals, while the condos will be for sale. He estimated that a 900-square-foot apartment would run at about $1,100 per month. While he called the new apartments workforce housing, he does not plan to set an income cap or apply for subsidies.
“They are built to size for the market need and price range that they fill,” said Dillon marketing and communications director Kerstin Anderson.
If the development is approved, Ottoborgo plans to begin pre-sales on all of the properties over the winter, with hopes to start work next summer with an estimated build time of two-and-a-half years. His restaurant, which has remained in the family, will still be a fixture at the corner of Lake Dillon Drive and West Buffalo, next to two commercial spaces in the building.
The same type of development would be mirrored on land owned by Daniel Eilts, the owner of Lake Dillon Conoco, for a two-phase project. Ottoborgo said he had originally planned just to develop on his property in 2009 but held off after the economy took a turn for the worse.
“I’ve been here since 1987, and I’m hoping to see something happen in this town,” he said. “This is a big deal for the town of Dillon.”
In 2007, Dillon’s former economic development director, Susan Fairweather, suggested that the Ottoborgo and Eilts work together to create a larger development with a combined parcel of their properties.
“It’s actually been better for design of building and the concept,” Ottoborgo said.
The two men formed Dillon Gateway Development, LLC in September 2014. They paid the town of Dillon $5,000 for a yearlong option to purchase property owned by the town with lots including Mauna Towers, LLC, the old Rebekah Lodge and the Lake Dillon Theatre company building.
After a three-year litigation process with Mauna Towers LLC concluded on Tuesday, the two men were able to purchase the land from the town for $549,000. The land had been annexed into Dillon’s Urban Renewal Authority, allowing it to be sold for future development.
“It seems that the town has been very supportive of this project,” Ottoborgo said. “In all honesty, this has been a long road. We’re finally getting some traction and moving forward.”
In total, the two combined properties would make for 2.3 acres, with a similar building with more residential units planned for Eilts’ property. He said he did not have plans to keep the gas station at the corner but instead focus on his other businesses.
“I’ve got plenty to do,” he said. “I’m looking to slow down a little.”
Neither he nor Ottoborgo would manage the condominiums, but an on-site manager would operate that piece of the business. The second phase of development would be submitted to the town and approved separately after plans for the first phase are put into motion.
A PIECE OF HISTORY
One point of contention is the status of two old buildings, the old Rebekah Lodge (currently Bonnie Q BBQ) and the Lake Dillon Theatre building. Both buildings were moved when the entire town was relocated to allow Denver Water to fill the reservoir and, therefore, are not designated as historical but still have plenty of stories behind them.
The Lake Dillon Theatre Company will move to Silverthorne next year; however, Bonnie Q BBQ will stay in the Rebekah Lodge until further notice. Doug Pierce, owner of both Bonnie Q and the Arapahoe Café, said he had worked out of the old Rebekah Lodge for more than four years.
“It used to be the old Frisco opera house, and the Rebekahs used to have a lodge upstairs,” he said. “There’s still a little peephole that the Rebekahs would look through and make sure you were paying your dues, that kind of stuff.”
The Graff Opera House opened in Frisco in 1882 before it was moved to Dillon by horses on skids in 1887. The Three Rivers Rebekah Lodge, a fraternal organization under the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, took residence in the upper floor of the building in 1912.
Pierce added that he had not yet heard of the change in ownership from Mauna Towers LLC to Dillon Gateway Development LLC.
Eilts said that when the phase two discussions came to the table, Bonnie Q BBQ would have advance time to move. He offered that Pierce could potentially move the business to one of the new commercial spaces.
Sandra Mather of the Summit Historical Society said she had not had any further discussions with the town regarding the two buildings since late August.
“There’s time for the historical society to have conversations in terms of the buildings,” Anderson said.
Ottoborgo said he hoped to start applications for phase two of the project once phase one is approved by Planning and Zoning but did not yet have a set timeframe.
“Hopefully, they’ll be right in conjunction with each other,” he added.