Exchanging the Ordinary Development

Fried chicken served out of a waffle cone and ice cream served out of a 30-foot-tall churn bucket are just a taste of the unique experiences coming to The Exchange in Fort Collins this fall. This redevelopment will extend Fort Collins’ downtown corridor a block farther north and exchange an underutilized space with something truly unique in the Choice City.

The Exchange redevelopment will offer unique experiences to visitors with artisan food, craft cocktails, and a central plaza. In addition to the new businesses coming to The Exchange, visitors will also enjoy a free book library, self-service bike repair station, fire pits, and public artwork embedded throughout the outdoor areas.

Upcycling shipping containers into store fronts is an eco-friendly concept that the real estate development industry is seeing more and more. The Exchange is hopefully the first development of many in Northern Colorado to utilize this sustainable approach taking place elsewhere in the state. The environmental impact of utilizing shipping containers is substantially less than building new.

Compared to traditional brick-and-mortar construction, shipping containers reduce waste, cut down on construction time, and reduce labor and material costs. It comes as no surprise that container architecture has become all the rage in recent years.

The tenant mix of the overall development is made up of concepts that intentionally complement each other. Within the 53,000-square-foot development, you’ll find fitness studios, offices, and an eclectic mix of food options including artisan donuts, pizza, burgers, sushi, tacos, and ice cream. The watering holes are equally diverse including a wine bar and a distillery.

In addition to the varied product mix, the tenants also represent a blend of local businesses and successful concepts from elsewhere in Colorado expanding north. One of Denver’s most popular ice cream shops, Little Man Ice Cream, is bringing a new brand to The Exchange called Churn with the storefront consisting of a 30-foot, cylindrical, old-style ice cream churn bucket. This unique concept fits within the branding of the development which was named The Exchange because the immediate vicinity was the former site of a livestock exchange.

Deemed “adaptive reuse development,” projects like The Exchange are another industry trend popping up around the country. From offices to apartments, developers are choosing to leverage existing buildings instead of tearing down and building up. Adaptive reuse is a more sustainable way to redevelop sites through the reduction of urban sprawl and environmental impact caused by the traditional built environment.

As a recently certified B Corporation, the many pros of adaptive reuse are top of mind for Brinkman. Their goal is to continue exploring options for similar projects along the Front Range, focusing in Denver and surrounding municipalities.

From the tenant mix to the construction process, this project has certainly exchanged ordinary development for something innovative. Plan a trip to Fort Collins this fall to see it for yourself.