North College block could become new plaza

A block of North College Avenue that housed a livestock exchange in Fort Collins’ early days is slated for redevelopment with a mix of restaurants, retail, office space and a community plaza.

Plans submitted to the Fort Collins planning department show the block between Pine and Jefferson streets to be fully renovated as The Exchange, with the focus on the plaza — now a parking lot between CopperMuse Distillery and the former Compass Cidery.

Plans show a plaza roughly the size of Oak Street Plaza, full of grass, trees, several seating areas, a Churn ice cream kiosk and shipping containers turned into restaurants serving different cuisines, craft cocktails and the like.

Churn is the latest concept from Little Man Ice Cream in Denver, which had hoped to bring its giant cream can design to a parking lot between the Fort Collins Museum of Art building and Ace Hardware. The design, which was considered to be one big sign, failed to meet the city’s sign ordinances. Its new concept is housed in a giant, hand-cranked, old-fashioned ice cream bucket.

The shipping containers “are the next step up from food trucks,” said Josh Guernsey of Brinkman Partners, which bought the property last year. “We see it as a great incubator for the restaurant/chef community.”

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