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In the Spotlight – Galaxie Building

Located on the 3500 block of East Colfax Avenue, the former Galaxie Auto Body is being transformed. The former automotive repair shop, built in the 1920s, will be the new home to several new establishments. Cerebral Brewing, a neighborhood brewery, boasts some of the brainiest libations in town. The Humble Pie Store will offer handmade pies from scratch, and Chow Down will offer a casual dining and drinking experience. These three local businesses will serve the community with an outdoor patio, new sidewalks, and a tree lawn, bringing new life back to this block of East Colfax.


The Galaxie Building creator and Denver Native, Sean Mandel, is excited about what adaptive reuse projects like this can bring to the Bluebird District and surrounding neighborhoods. Adaptive reuse breaths new life into historic building, while sustainability recycling components of those buildings to maintain historic character. Being able to keep the “old school Colfax marquee”, the project pays homage to its roots on the country’s longest highway.

Historic buildings have their own set of construction challenges, especially a former automotive repair shop. The site required extensive below the ground work to get it ready to be a vibrant food and drink hub. The Colfax Mainstreet Coalition, whose goal is to help foster redevelopment of Colorado’s original main street by funding environmental site assessments, “was critical in being able to rehab the building,” says Mandel.

This project will trigger more than adding three businesses to the block, it will also enhance the public realm. Along with new sidewalks and shade trees, seven new bike racks will be added, amount in front of the Galaxie Building and in several other locations along Colfax Avenue. Further, Mandel says, “I’m excited about having a Bluebird Business Improvement District and resources to serve the common areas that we all rely on. We can start filling in the gap between the street and the storefront”.

What’s on the horizon for Mandel? A new project in the former Green Buddies property. Local architect Laura Koehler is on board as well The Colfax Mainstreet Coalition to rehab this former gas station and activate the site.

2017-12-28T15:54:42-07:00October 13th, 2015|

Small Area Plan


The Bluebird Business Improvement District (“BBID”) was formed in 2013. The district falls within a nine- block boundary, just east of downtown Denver, along East Colfax in Denver, CO. It has 27 property owners, and 62 businesses, within a nine-block boundary (2015 Operating Plan). The 2014 assessed valuation of the district is $6,918,230. There is a healthy mix of smaller scale retail, services, art and entertainment, including the Bluebird Theater, which greatly contributes to the identity of the area.

Goals of the BBID

The recently formed Bluebird Business Improvement District (“BBID”) aims to enhance the appearance and attractiveness of the area, provide a safe and clean shopping environment, attract new business owners and retain existing businesses and promote the district through marketing. This plan aims to address how to strategically use BID funds to accomplish these goals through targeted short-term, medium- term and long-term improvements that build on one another to provide a comprehensive vision for area investment.

The BBID Small AreaMulti Modal Mobility - Conditions Analysis-02 Plan

The plan is organized into the following sections:

Values & Vision:  Based on stakeholder input, data, document review, site visits and intercept interviews the values and vision of this area guide decisions. The values and vision of the neighborhood are integral to informing recommendations.

Methodology: The methodology is based on the BIDs established goals and the identify goals of the stakeholders. These goals guide all of the review and decisions for this document.

Goals & Objectives: Plans were reviewed with the identified goals and objectives in mind. The goals and objectives were established with stakeholder input and guide the review of existing conditions and the recommendations.

Informing Documents: The informing documents are plans that address the needs of the Bluebird Business Improvement District from year 2000 to present. They inform the decision making process for identifying goals. They also provide historical data and allow this plan to build off of prior work.

Existing Conditions: Analysis of the existing conditions within the business improvement district.

Recommendations: Based on data collection, input and research recommendations have been made. These are prioritized by cost, time-frame, political will and stakeholder desire for implementation.

Download a PDF version of the the BBID Small Area Plan.




2017-12-28T15:53:58-07:00June 15th, 2015|

Bluebird District: What is our vision?

The vision for the BBID area, based on stakeholder input and engagement, is a vibrant, diverse and eclectic district that aims to serve the neighborhood with a healthy mix of accessible goods and services. Pedestrian safety along iconic Colfax Avenue must be a priority, along with the economic vitality of businesses in the area.

Values & Characteristics
wordle greenandblue
Stakeholders were asked, in an open ended question, to describe the Bluebird Business Improvement District area in one word. They came up with a plethora of responses, but a trend of common words did stand out. Of 163 respondents, eclectic was entered 17 times, vibrant 12 and diverse 10 times. In the “Bluebird District Development Plan” from 2008 a neighborhood forum described the district as quirky, spotty, hip, potential and funky (OED/PUMA, pg. 3). The same group noted that looking to 2018 they want to see a district that is “vibrant, family friendly, locally owned, developed and bohemian.” The Steering Committee for this plan noted that they hoped to see a “safe, pedestrian friendly and diverse” area (pg. 3). According to resident responses the area is living up to stakeholder wishes in that it has maintained its diverse and eclectic nature. However, pedestrian safety improvements have not been realized.

Yet, despite the lack of pedestrian safety improvements, visitors access to the district is multi-modal. Off-street parking is low in this area, and over 50% of survey respondents for the study noted that they come to the district by walking, biking or transit. From this input and additional data analysis of area needs a vision for the Bluebird District was created.

To read more about the plan or download the full document click here.

2017-12-28T15:54:16-07:00June 2nd, 2015|
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