Spotlight on Fort Collins real estate development – The Exchange

Oftentimes, it seems like Denver and Boulder get all the attention when it comes to development and trendy spots, but Fort Collins is marching right along too. There has been a fair amount of activity regarding Fort Collins real estate development lately. A great example is the Exchange project – a mix of retail, restaurant, and office space slated to open in Spring 2017.

I first caught wind of the project by chatting with broker Jake Arnold, of Fort Collins based Waypoint Real Estate. Waypoint is spearheading the effort to revitalize this location. The firm is redeveloping pretty much an entire city block in Old Town where the old EZ Pawn building once stood.

The Exchange in Fort Collins takes shape with Fort Collins Real Estate Development

Notably, the development aims to create a mixed-use common space where the parking lot currently exists. “We are working with the city on a “common consumption corridor,” which will allow for drinks (alcoholic) and food to be taken into the plaza area,” says Arnold.

Looking over the present plans, I was happy to see a real nice mix of tenants. It’s looking like there will be a nice balance between retail and restaurant space. However, what caught my eye the most is the proposed large grassy space, intended to be available for lounging in the Colorado sun, hosting community events, and being an all-around great meeting spot.

Arnold went on to tell me that “…we are trying to create a place where people can enjoy a variety of vendors in one area. It should be a great place for a whole family to spend an afternoon or evening with a variety of food/wine & beer options.”

And fans of Denver’s Work & Class and Cart & Driver on Larimer Street will be pleased to learn that shipping containers may be rolled into the architecture plan. Personally, I think shipping containers offer a great aesthetic when paired with organics so I’m anxious to see what happens.

The Exchange project in Fort Collins Real Estate Development

I’m very excited to see downtown Fort Collins stretch its development legs a bit. Especially, when the intention is not merely to create a shopping center, but to establish a place for people to meet and live. Yes, that often means food and drink, but development projects that are careful to include space to sit and enjoy the outdoors are really wonderful, in my opinion.

I also hope that projects like the Exchange and Boulder’s Rayback Collective help to prove to people that the idea of a “food court” can be an awesome thing and far from what I would call a traditional North American model (i.e. food courts in shopping malls). The hawker centers of Singapore and Bangkok, for instance, are a flurry of activity and full of unique tastes and experiences.

Domestic developments like Denver’s Avanti and The Duce in Phoenix are headed in the right direction. It’s looking like the Exchange project will earn its place in the conversation.

Waypoint Real Estate

For more information on Waypoint, please visit their website here.

 

5280’s Top of the Town voting

So, it’s that time of year again. 5280 Magazine is rolling out their annual Top of the Town voting today. Results of the balloting are published in the June issue and consistently reflect the best that Denver has to offer in a range of categories.

You shouldn’t have any problem voting for the best menswear boutique, right? :). How about the other categories?

I wanted to write a quick blog post and offer up some recommendations for a handful of genres. I’ve personally worked with each of these businesses and they are run by some really amazing people who are super passionate about what they do. More importantly, they uphold the highest level of quality and attention to service. The latter I think is worth emphasizing, because in an increasingly digital world, good customer service can seem difficult to come by.

But these are just my recommendations. The important thing is to vote for the company or individual that you think has earned a spot on the list!

Top of the Town voting!

Here’s the link to vote!

A note on how to vote: The reader voting (that’s you, as opposed to the editor voting) is a write-in format. That means that you’d type in something like, oh say, Bespoke Edge, for the Local Men’s Boutique category. You certainly don’t need to fill in all of the line items, just scroll through and pick your favorites!

Barber

I’ve been a loyal patron of Al’s Barbershop for something like 5 or 6 years now. In the beginning, I was frequenting the Denver barbershop in Larimer Square. When I moved to Boulder a couple years back I would go to the Boulder shop. And now that I’m back in Denver, well, you guessed it.

Simply put, Al’s a master at cutting men’s hair.

Something you probably wouldn’t know if you didn’t ask, is that Al cuts hair for a handful of models at national fashion shows. He is even a recognized speaker at industry conferences. And to have him cut your hair and listen to him explain his approach and watch what he does, you’ll soon understand that Al and his highly skilled team are the very best at what they do.

Local Jewelry Designer

I met Abby Sparks a couple years back, because well, most of us custom folks end up gravitating towards one another sooner or later!

And when Brett got engaged I decided that he deserved a pair of custom cufflinks to go with his custom suits. That’s when I had an opportunity to work one-on-one with Abby. I thought it was interesting at how similar her process is to ours, in that you can literally control every aspect of what you’re building. For us, it’s custom suits, and for her, custom jewelry.

Abby is an incredibly talented and personable woman. She has a knack for taking sketches and turning them into amazing pieces of jewelry.

I’d recommend taking a peek at our article on Brett’s custom cufflinks. It has a lot of great photos of some of her rings too.

Website: Abby Sparks Jewelry

custom cuff links abby sparks designs and 5280 top of the town

Wedding Gowns

For years now, Ron and I have known Little White Dress Bridal Shop owner Cate Malone and her daughter and business partner, Kelly Hinde. They are really wonderful people who consistently find the best in designer gowns and bring them to the mile high city.

Recommended reading: 5 style tips for grooms, an interview with Kelly Hinde

Accessories

Denver based HIM Clothing has been making some impressive menswear accessories for a while now. Several years ago I stumbled across the brand and met with cofounder, Hugh Hartigan. Now, there are a handful of people making ties in Colorado today and I’m no stranger to vintage and cotton neck wear. When I first had the chance to inspect one of HIM Clothing’s ties, the first thing I did was flip it over and look at the construction. It immediately became clear that this company knows how to make ties. They’d be a great pick for the Top of the Town accessories category.

Read the BE Featured Company blog post on HIM Clothing here.

HIM Clothing and the 5280 top of the town voting

How to choose a pocket square: Cotton or silk?

how to wear a pocket square in the office

So, you’ve made a commitment to yourself to start wearing pocket squares more often. Good for you! The BE team stands in applause. Seriously, this is a big thing. For whatever reason, a lot of men don’t wear pocket squares, leaving their chest pockets, sadly, very empty. The first step to filling that pocket and looking sharp is understanding how to choose a pocket square fabric.

If you head to the store to pick up a few, you are going to realize very quickly that aside from there being an enormous assortment of colors from which to choose, that you’ll also need to choose a fabric. That fabric is often cotton, linen, or silk.

When should you wear which one? Does it matter?

How to choose a pocket square

Here’s the big thing to know: In general terms, a cotton or linen pocket square will always be more casual than a silk pocket square. A notable exception is a crisp white cotton pocket square that always looks great for black tie events and when you’re wearing a white dress shirt. If it’s good enough for James Bond, it’s good enough for you.

The rule of thumb when choosing a pocket square is that you want to match the fabric of the pocket square to that of your jacket. Cotton and linen suits demand a cotton or linen pocket square. Whereas, a very refined woolen suit needs a more refined pocket square, and that means silk.

Like with so many things style related, much of this can be subjective. Rules can be bent. You’ll remember that I said as a general rule, cotton goes with cotton and silk goes with silk. But if you’re just starting out and still trying to build your own unique sense of style, I think there can be some real value in understanding the basics before you start to innovate. Then, in the future you may begin to realize that understanding how to choose a pocket square fabric was the easy part – that the real art lies in the matching.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t end a blog post on pocket squares without trying to drive the point home that all men look better wearing a pocket square in their jacket pocket…Yes, not many men wear one, and that means that it’s a perfect opportunity for you to stand apart!

Remember, anytime you have a jacket on, you should be wearing a pocket square. Period. That may mean a suit, sportcoat, or blazer. If there’s a chest pocket, you need to fill it!

Check out Episode 19 of the Daily BE for the video on how to choose a pocket square.

Further Reading

The BE Learn article: When to wear a pocket square