Land Revitalization Success Stories | EPA 560-F-l 7-201
September 2017
Planning for Sustainable Brownfield Redevelopment
The building's location bridges residential neighborhoods and the city's civic core.
With excellent access to the Poudre River trails system, the Museum of Discovery,
and pedestrian infrastructure, the site is optimally connected and accessible to the
community. The City of Fort Collins views the strategic reuse of the former Trolley
Car Bam building and property as key to preserving the unique history of early
transportation in the city and maintaining the historic character of the neighborhood
in a time of rapid change and redevelopment.
The city requested technical assistance from the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) Land Revitalization Team to evaluate reuse options for the Trolley
Car Barn property. The goals of the technical assistance were to; 1) organize and
analyze available information on reuse options for the site; 2) prepare for a future
facilitated community workshop that will educate and engage local stakeholders
regarding potential reuse options by outlining the market factors affecting the site's
reuse; and 3) identify prior reuse alternatives and prepare for the future release of a
request for proposal or quote to redevelop the site.
The Land Revitalization Team reviewed the existing building condition, analyzed
potential opportunities and constraints based upon community assets and needs and
the location of the property, reviewed the results of existing market feasibility studies
and design proposals, summarized market constraints, and developed a Preliminary
Reuse Assessment report that discussed redevelopment opportunities and next steps.
Based on the increasing population, a high demand for housing, positive employment
growth, a low unemployment rate, and stable real estate/commercial markets in Fort
Collins and the region, the Trolley Car Barn is well-positioned for a variety of reuses.
The analysis results suggest that an adaptive reuse of the iconic Trolley Car Barn could
help to create a unique community feel within the civic core and act as a "gateway" from
the north to the downtown. The final technical assistance report outlines two possible
reuses that would provide positive benefits for the surrounding community, without
negative impact, and allow reuse of the building while preserving its historic character: a
community marketplace or a business innovation center.
Figure 1: West (Front) Elevation Trolley Car Barn.
Collaboration amongst city departments
can lead to effective and efficient
Conducting a detailed reuse assessment
that includes an analysis of building
conditions and opportunities, a review of
market feasibility studies and analysis,
and a summary of constraints, can
position a community for collaborative,
community engagement.
	Begin a public education and
engagement process that will determine
a community-driven reuse of the
	Conduct the financial feasibility analysis
to identify potential financing gaps that
may need to Pe addressed to move the
project forward,
	Design and hold a collaborative
workshop-centered on community
engagement, to determine a use that
will meet the needs of residents and
preserve the unique character of the
A community marketplace could rejuvenate the neighborhood and build upon the
quality of life for residents. Restoration of trolley service would allow residents and
visitors to travel to and from the store/marketplace in historical fashion. A community
marketplace also could highlight local vendors offering a variety of foods and goods made on-site, in Fort Collins, or in Colorado, and an
anchor restaurant could provide a home for the farm-to-table movement in Fort Collins. A business innovation center could attract young
talent and innovative thinkers to Fort Collins and help grow the local economy. The business innovation center could create space for startup
companies to blossom under a common innovation theme, to co-locate for support and shared services, and take advantage of an opportunity
to test the market before establishing an independent brick and mortar location.
For more information, please contact Melisa Devincenzi, EPA Region 8,
From 1907-1951, the Fort Collins Trolley Car Barn served as the depot for the Fort Collins Municipal Railway, a
three-line street car system. In 1992, the building was designated as a local landmark. The historic Trolley Car
Barn is located in a former industrial district to the northwest of downtown Fort Collins. Over the years, the City
of Fort Collins maintained the building with local funds and the support of state and
federal grants. In 2016, EPA Region 8 conducted a Phase II environmental
assessment on the property through its Targeted Brownfields Assessment (TBA)
program. The results of the assessment showed no significant contamination that
would prevent the city from preparing the site for reuse.